Making waves

  • Thread starter rbwright@wrightmotors.com
  • Start date
R

rbwright@wrightmotors.com

Guest
This Evansville Courier & Press (http://www.courierpress.com/) story has been
sent to you from rbwright@wrightmotors.com

Message from sender:
todays paper

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Making waves
While Autofest cars cruise Downtown, a few will use their fins to swim the Ohio
By RICH DAVIS, Courier & Press staff writer<br>(812) 464-7516 or <a
href='mailto:rdavis@evansville.net'>rdavis@evansville.net</a>
<a href="http://www.courierpress.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?/200109/26+making092601_features.html+20010926">http://www.courierpress.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?/200109/26+making092601_features.ht\
ml+20010926</a>

-----------------

Make no mistake, Robert Wright adores his 1965 Pontiac GTO, the kind of
convertible that accompanied him to Purdue University during an era (early
1970s) when young men were fascinated by muscle cars and unashamed of
horsepower.

But he?s also in love with the little red-and-white German vehicle ? an
Amphicar ? that he and his wife, Marianna, and teen-age sons, Brodie and Morgan,
take for an occasional ?swim.?

Indeed, ?cruising? is going to take on a whole new meaning this weekend when
the fifth annual Autofest featuring all types of cars and vendors takes over
Downtown Evansville.

Hundreds of classic cars from practically every decade of the 20th century ?
from Crosleys to gull-winged DeLoreans and Ford Gran Torinos popularized by TV
cops Starsky & Hutch ? will arrive from all over America, drawn in part by the
popularity of an Evansville-based TV show, ?My Classic Car.?

But while car owners are having mini-reunions and dragging the Main Street
Walkway and nearby streets Friday and Saturday nights, Wright and several others
from the 200-member International Amphicar Club will be ?swimming together? on
the Ohio River.

Wright, whose family has sold cars in Evansville since 1941, remembers
seeing an Amphicar when he was a kid and being intrigued. Three years ago, with
his sons nearing college age and not needing mom and dad so much, he bought an
Amphicar.

Several thousand Amphicars, the only amphibious passenger car ever mass
produced, were made in Germany from 1961 to 1967, most for export to the United
States. Club members estimate that only about 900 remain here, about half of
them rusting in Grandma?s garage somewhere.

The Amphicar resembles a short Chevy or Plymouth from the late 1950s, with
fins and an air-louvered hood with a horn on top.

And, yes, those are propellers below the back bumper.

Unlike his GTO (360 horsepower), Wright?s Amphicar has just 42 horsepower.

?I can get it up to about 60 mph on the highway,? he says.

But it goes only 7 mph on water, so don?t expect to see him pulling a skier
or crossing the English Channel as two Amphicar owners did awhile back.

?You won?t find any trailer queens with Amphicars,? Wright chuckles, noting
all you do is pull up to the river and drive in, as he did on a test run the
other morning.

For a passenger wet behind the ears, it?s a bit unnerving. The boat, er, car
sits low in the water, the waves capping almost at eye level, and you?ll get
wet.

Beforehand, Wright makes sure everything is watertight, that the bilge pump
works and that the life jackets have been retrieved from the front trunk. The
engine?s in the back.

Just before he enters the water he switches the car from its land
transmission to its water transmission so the wheels don?t spin.

When you?re in the water, explains Wright, ?the front wheels are your
rudder, how you steer.?

?If you?ve got a good battery, good seals and good bilge pump, you?ve got it
under control,? says Wright, noting the car has seals for everything from axles
and brake lines to the doors, whose submarinelike latches pull shut to keep the
door seals tight.

But some things are instinctive. Wright recalls how, during a group shot of
Amphicars on a lake, some drivers instinctively hit their brakes. And the only
thing that?ll do on water, he says, ?is make the taillights come on.? When
splashing around, you slow down by putting it in reverse.

After a swim, the best thing to do is just drive the car, with the engine
heat drying out the moisture, says Wright.

Wright says a typical Amphicar buyer today will invest about $15,000 in a
vehicle that originally cost about $3,500.

When someone mentions how the car?s fins give it more of an American than
German look, Wright nods: ?The fins curve out. As a wave approaches, the fins
redirect the waves.?

That?s important not only for keeping the engine compartment dry (the hood
is louvered to get air to the engine), but because ?sometimes people in boats
want to drive right up to you. As they slow down that can create rollers. You
have to be good at maneuvering because rollers can overwhelm you.?

Wright was a novice the first time he went to an Amphicar gathering in Ohio
several years ago: ?They said, ?Everybody swims.? I thought they were joking.
I?d never had mine in water. Fortunately, my bilge pump worked.?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
R

rbwright@wrightmotors.com

Guest
This Evansville Courier & Press (http://www.courierpress.com/) story has been
sent to you from rbwright@wrightmotors.com

Message from sender:
todays paper

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Making waves
While Autofest cars cruise Downtown, a few will use their fins to swim the Ohio
By RICH DAVIS, Courier & Press staff writer<br>(812) 464-7516 or <a
href='mailto:rdavis@evansville.net'>rdavis@evansville.net</a>
<a href="http://www.courierpress.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?/200109/26+making092601_features.html+20010926">http://www.courierpress.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?/200109/26+making092601_features.ht\
ml+20010926</a>

-----------------

Make no mistake, Robert Wright adores his 1965 Pontiac GTO, the kind of
convertible that accompanied him to Purdue University during an era (early
1970s) when young men were fascinated by muscle cars and unashamed of
horsepower.

But he?s also in love with the little red-and-white German vehicle ? an
Amphicar ? that he and his wife, Marianna, and teen-age sons, Brodie and Morgan,
take for an occasional ?swim.?

Indeed, ?cruising? is going to take on a whole new meaning this weekend when
the fifth annual Autofest featuring all types of cars and vendors takes over
Downtown Evansville.

Hundreds of classic cars from practically every decade of the 20th century ?
from Crosleys to gull-winged DeLoreans and Ford Gran Torinos popularized by TV
cops Starsky & Hutch ? will arrive from all over America, drawn in part by the
popularity of an Evansville-based TV show, ?My Classic Car.?

But while car owners are having mini-reunions and dragging the Main Street
Walkway and nearby streets Friday and Saturday nights, Wright and several others
from the 200-member International Amphicar Club will be ?swimming together? on
the Ohio River.

Wright, whose family has sold cars in Evansville since 1941, remembers
seeing an Amphicar when he was a kid and being intrigued. Three years ago, with
his sons nearing college age and not needing mom and dad so much, he bought an
Amphicar.

Several thousand Amphicars, the only amphibious passenger car ever mass
produced, were made in Germany from 1961 to 1967, most for export to the United
States. Club members estimate that only about 900 remain here, about half of
them rusting in Grandma?s garage somewhere.

The Amphicar resembles a short Chevy or Plymouth from the late 1950s, with
fins and an air-louvered hood with a horn on top.

And, yes, those are propellers below the back bumper.

Unlike his GTO (360 horsepower), Wright?s Amphicar has just 42 horsepower.

?I can get it up to about 60 mph on the highway,? he says.

But it goes only 7 mph on water, so don?t expect to see him pulling a skier
or crossing the English Channel as two Amphicar owners did awhile back.

?You won?t find any trailer queens with Amphicars,? Wright chuckles, noting
all you do is pull up to the river and drive in, as he did on a test run the
other morning.

For a passenger wet behind the ears, it?s a bit unnerving. The boat, er, car
sits low in the water, the waves capping almost at eye level, and you?ll get
wet.

Beforehand, Wright makes sure everything is watertight, that the bilge pump
works and that the life jackets have been retrieved from the front trunk. The
engine?s in the back.

Just before he enters the water he switches the car from its land
transmission to its water transmission so the wheels don?t spin.

When you?re in the water, explains Wright, ?the front wheels are your
rudder, how you steer.?

?If you?ve got a good battery, good seals and good bilge pump, you?ve got it
under control,? says Wright, noting the car has seals for everything from axles
and brake lines to the doors, whose submarinelike latches pull shut to keep the
door seals tight.

But some things are instinctive. Wright recalls how, during a group shot of
Amphicars on a lake, some drivers instinctively hit their brakes. And the only
thing that?ll do on water, he says, ?is make the taillights come on.? When
splashing around, you slow down by putting it in reverse.

After a swim, the best thing to do is just drive the car, with the engine
heat drying out the moisture, says Wright.

Wright says a typical Amphicar buyer today will invest about $15,000 in a
vehicle that originally cost about $3,500.

When someone mentions how the car?s fins give it more of an American than
German look, Wright nods: ?The fins curve out. As a wave approaches, the fins
redirect the waves.?

That?s important not only for keeping the engine compartment dry (the hood
is louvered to get air to the engine), but because ?sometimes people in boats
want to drive right up to you. As they slow down that can create rollers. You
have to be good at maneuvering because rollers can overwhelm you.?

Wright was a novice the first time he went to an Amphicar gathering in Ohio
several years ago: ?They said, ?Everybody swims.? I thought they were joking.
I?d never had mine in water. Fortunately, my bilge pump worked.?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Akamphi Anyone making Amphicar tools? General Amphicar Discussion 1
T Making Good Use of a Boat Trailer General Amphicar Discussion 3
A "Life is what happens when your making other plans" - J. Lennon General Amphicar Discussion 0
R Hagerty Insurance and Making Claims General Amphicar Discussion 4
M Making things clear General Amphicar Discussion 0
B Making a Brake Bleeder General Amphicar Discussion 0
Midwest Amphicar Grand Pa Waves final Swim General Amphicar Discussion 1
Midwest Amphicar No Celina this year for The Waves General Amphicar Discussion 2
azpaul50 Wheels and Waves/Trailer Article General Amphicar Discussion 0
Midwest Amphicar Grand Pa Waves 92nd B Day General Amphicar Discussion 1
MAE Wheels-N-Waves General Amphicar Discussion 0
Midwest Amphicar Dave the Waves 50th Bday party Pulsing with excitement General Amphicar Discussion 11
Canadian four amphs Wheels-n-Waves General Amphicar Discussion 2
S Re Wheels-n-Waves General Amphicar Discussion 1
Canadian four amphs Wheels and Waves General Amphicar Discussion 4
C August/ September Wheels-n-Waves?????? General Amphicar Discussion 8
R Wheels & Waves General Amphicar Discussion 2
E The September / October Issue of Wheels -n- Waves General Amphicar Discussion 0
E IAOC Wheels -n- Waves, Issue #131 General Amphicar Discussion 3
A ANOTHER FINE WHEELS-N-WAVES FROM ED PRICE General Amphicar Discussion 3
D Installing Dave the Waves beautiful quarter panels and fabulous steel trays General Amphicar Discussion 1
A Wheels-N-Waves newsletter General Amphicar Discussion 1
M Dave The Waves Swim In General Amphicar Discussion 0
K Dave-the-Waves General Amphicar Discussion 0
D Dave the Waves Car General Amphicar Discussion 1
Top