Amphicar car show sign

laserfixr

Member
I am getting ready to laser engrave a car show sign that will hopefully answer most of the questions asked about our little cars. I am asking for input and corrections to what I have come up with so far. Most items were taken from the back of an Amphicar t-shirt. Please feel free to comment and correct me as needed.

It's a 1966 Amphicar...A-M-P-H-I-C-A-R (one word)
Yes, it's a boat and a car, and all
were built throughout the 60's in Germany.
Except for color and a few odds and ends, all models from 61 to 68 are the same.

You can get up to almost 70 MPH on land if you don't mind losing some control of the steering.
It tends to act like a plane and kind of lifts off the ground (a little).
Yes, it floats! Yes, I've taken it in the water. It goes about 8 knots.
You steer it with the front wheels, which act as rudders.

No, the wheels don't fold up.
No, you can't water ski behind it, but its great for fishing.
The water comes up to (about) the red line.
Yes, it has reverse in the water and no, the brakes don't work in the water.
Yes, you have to have a license for both.
Value depends on condition — anywhere between $20,000-$90,000.
Yes, you can still get parts but the parts are expensive.
The door seals in a fashion similar to your refrigerator.
Yes, it's safe. Once two British Marines navigated across the English Channel in one, in 20 foot seas.
On land they get 35 mpg; in the water about 1.5 hours per gallon.
It has a Triumph 1147cc engine with two Porsche-Hermes transmissions, one for water and one for land.
Yes I have seen Pontiac Moon.

I only take it in fresh water. In salt water it would rust as the body is all steel.
They made about 3800 of them, of which about 500 are left that are water worthy.
Yes, I will race you across the lake for pink slips, as long as we both start from the middle of the parking lot.
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
What red line/? better to say The body side trim
as it can be Red White or Black

Body is all Steel////except my Fiberglass Amphi in Florida.

I will take a pic of the sign I made up and give to all the customers cars I restore.

Doing a car this winter that has 1000 original miles on it,, Same family since new.Note the Dust.
 

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jfriese

Active Member
Hi,

I'd drop the part about bad steering at high speed. They steer just fine at high speed if the front tires are inflated correctly and the alignment is good. My cars ( with 1296 engines ) steer just fine, even at 85 MPH with no sense of "lift off". Heck I once had a 64 Pontiac that really did go airborne above 105 MPH and the steering had almost no effect. I always suspected it was the massive front bumper that caused that but perhaps if I lowered the front tire air pressure that would have been fixed too. 14 psi in the fronts with bias ply and no more than about 20 with radials. Recently I rotated front to rear tires on one side and forgot to adjust the pressures. Within a couple of blocks I remembered that because the car was all over the road even on city streets.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
Ok.. this is decribing YOUR car... Hence the red line.. and the year. and your feelings at 70mph.
But that does make people think there all that way;
I have had cars in the past that were scary at 55mph.
mine now (4)opps(5)..Have no problem mantaining 65Mph. for long drives and even 70(downhill)
All my cars now have Radials, and I keep front and rears at 30LBs
If you underinflate a radial you may damage the sidewalls and Void any tire war.
 

strandweiss62

Active Member
I think the waterline goes from front to rear bumper.
Although it only is rear wheel driven, it has remarkable off road qualities.
And i like the claim that the Amphicar on high speed runs out of the rudder and acts like a plane. Despite it is not true.

A correct maintained amphicar does not sink in water and not float on land. With radial tires there is absolutely no floating. With bias tires it follows wheel ruts. Ok, it drives not like a modern car, but is absolutely acceptable for a european car of the 60th.
Tire pressure depends on max axle load. With bias ply tires i have 28psi on rear wheels and 19psi on front wheels.

Peter
 

jfriese

Active Member
Gord (snowbird),

I can't imagine that my two cars are significantly different than your cars. If the car doesn't drive right at higher speeds there is something wrong with it. Perhaps tire inflation, perhaps swing arm or axle wear, perhaps a wobbling steering box or shot ball joints, but something. And it's not fair to condemn these cars as lousy drivers because of bad maintenance.

Tire inflation is a function of loading and most of the weight of an Amphicar is on the back tires. When I ran bias ply tires the correct front tire pressure, according to Amphicar, was 14 PSI and that's what I ran. With radials if you inflate the fronts too much they will practically bounce down the road and steering will be bad. If I run more than about 22 PSI in the fronts the cars will "float" and I will be constantly correcting the steering at highway speeds. At 20 PSI that have the same amount of flat area on the road as the rears do at 31 PSI. The biggest problem with running very low tire pressure on the fronts is that after driving curving mountain roads for a long time they tend to scrub the outer corners more than the rears. That's why I did a front to rear rotation. With 31 PSI on one front tire the car meandered down the street even a city street speed. There was nothing subtle about it. I switched the tire pressures and it drove fine again. Why would Amphicar specify 30 PSI rear and 14 PSI front (on bias ply) if there wasn't a reason?

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

amphi-Ben

New Member
2 Porsche tranny's????
I can't find any porsche that has a tranny like a Amphicar, not even parts that are the same like in a Amphicar.
Hermes is a tranny factory that builds for everything and everybody tranny's.

Ben
 

SNOWBIRD

Amphicar Expert
Gord (snowbird),

I can't imagine that my two cars are significantly different than your cars. If the car doesn't drive right at higher speeds there is something wrong with it. Perhaps tire inflation, perhaps swing arm or axle wear, perhaps a wobbling steering box or shot ball joints, but something. And it's not fair to condemn these cars as lousy drivers because of bad maintenance.

John I don.t Know why you posted this at me.?I said in the "past "I had driven cars that were bad. BUT now I own 5 Amphicars that will do 65 on all roads all day with no problems!I love the way a good well maintianed Amphicar drives.

And again, All my cars and the cars I redo for customers that have radials on them are inflated at least to 30 lbs, front and rear to keep with the specs of the radial tires. There is no bonce/drift/ or poor driving with this inflation presure .Underinflated radials will ruin the sidewalls, internally where you can not see. beware!
 

jfriese

Active Member
Hi Gord,

I posted to you because you told people to do something other than what the Amphicar factory said to do for tire inflation. I'm also surprised that your cars are handling right with such an over inflation of the front tires. I've always been told that tire pressure is a function of loading and to have the fronts inflated as high at the rears seems totally wrong. It certainly screws up the handling of my cars at high speeds.
 
We run our cars (radial tyres) with 23psi front and 32psi rear. More than a few psi different and it's all over the place as John said.
Best tyres are the Vredestein Sprint Classic 640x13. It's a new production radial tyre in Bias sizes, made in Holland. Looks and drives great and of course Vredestein was original fit on Amphicar.
 
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