Factory photo


Ken Chambers

A wonderful gift, just in time for Christmas. Ah, membership does have its
benefits. Thank you! I've been intrigued by whatever activities can be
observed taking place on the assembly line. This photo seems to confirm the
report that Amphicars were made in batches of colors (several dark ones in a
row, then several light ones). Looks like this portion of the line is working
on the heating system and maybe some upholstery items owing to the items on the

Can't quite tell if these cars have the lower body lips. I would think so since
there appears to be some other later model items visible such as
through-the-hull front shocks, if that's what that hardware is on top of one of
the wheel wells. Also, a large oval speaker hole is visible as opposed to a 4
inch round hole. Funny that the passenger door is missing on the front car in
line, while all the others have their doors in place early on. Wonder why only
one gas tank strap is
installed? Hard to tell but it appears as if the top frame assembly on that
front car is already sagging on the drivers side. That would confirm an
insufficient design from the start.

Looks like these workers will be completing their shift soon. Could be a nice
day outside since the factory lighting is not necessary. Wonder if Amphicar
Corporation employed any other production shifts?

Anyone else have any observations they'd like to contribute? Might help in
gleaning more info from what the factory was up to at the time.

Best regards,
Ken Chambers, CA
'64 Amphi triplets

Marc Schlemmer

So many people have expressed their gratitude for receiving the factory
photo not only here on the Digest, but in emails directly to me...and even
phone calls!
The credit for the photo goes directly to the Club! Without the members,
sending this wonderful photo out to each person would of course not be
possible. Basically, we met our goal of how much money should be in the
bank account at the end of the year, and the seven of us on the Board wanted
to give something back to the Members. Remember, this is a Club for the
members....and is not in the business of making money!
Club member Ren? Pohl also played a key role in making the whole thing
possible. Thanks Ren?!

And as for Dave the Wave's comment about a hotel room in Celina....that of
course isn't necessary or appropriate. The Club ByLaws don't allow for
that.....Heck, I'm just as happy to receive the photo as everyone else!
Thanks Club!

In any case....I'm glad to see that I'm not alone in how much I've studied
the photo. Ken Chambers posting clearly shows how much he has studied it!
The front turn signals are different than I'm used to seeing....are they
European? I was also surprised to see the rubber inserts in the side
moldings already in place. Two women working on the line....would that
have been typical in the early 60's?
And what is that guy by the drivers door reading? Maybe a clue about
options on the cars? Ken noticed that the passenger door is missing.
Notice that there are no window vent frames on the cars yet. Maybe at this
point on the line the doors are removed and the wing vents installed. The
guy is checking the "build ticket" to know which vent frames (chrome or
painted) to install on the door that he already took off and carried over to
a work bench which is out of view.

It certainly is fun to look at!

Marc Schlemmer.

David Chapman

Re: RE: Factory photo

Well my copy of the photo arrived today, here are my thoughts on the questions,
it must be a later car, you can see the through hull fitting for the front
shock, that probably means it's Berlin and not Lubeck and after 1965. Those
lights are the type fitted to the European cars. Since at least 1964 all cars
sold in Europe must have orange turn signals, hence the need for a front light
with seperate orange and white sections, this car would also have orange turn
signals on the back, not white. The car is left hand drive (you can see glove
box). As a euro car it would not have a bilge blower. The fuse box is a mystery,
on later cars they were fitted inside, it may be it's only loose in the photo
and will be repositioned later although it looks as if it is fixed.

I think the cars have fender lips, look in front of the guys leg on the first
car. Is it a black painted dash ?, it could be, the top of the drivers door
certainly looks darker. Although if the front car is red then the white bumper
inserts are normally an indication of a pre1966 car, that would probably mean a
white top which is sort of confirmed by the cars in the next row - and is that a
dark looking vent window frame, not chrome, maybe the dash isn't black after

The top frame is strange, it has all the hardware fitted but not the top
fabric - I would have thought that's the wrong order.

The one gas tank strap is a puzzle - and all the cars on the line look to have
them, it looks as if the tank could be next to be fitted, you can see them on
the right.

Why is the door missing ? good question, normally you would install the door
"furniture" once it's on the car, otherwise you can't line up the vent window
correctly with the windshield frame.

I've just dug out the Erb Schwimmwagen book as I remember it has a couple of
factory photos, the one in the book is taken from the same location but on a
different day and says it's the Berlin factory.

A female workforce was very common in European factories in the 1950s and 1960s,
a consequence of WW2.

David Chapman