Rare Bodensee version from Switzerland... I bought from King Michael of Romania....???

victor brown

New Member
20 years ago i had 15 amphicars and used to be on the phone almost everyday with Hugh Gordan.. I was sad to hear of his passing.. I talked with Bob last month and plan to call him again tomorrow...
17 years ago i sold my collection of cars 15 amphicars and isettas and mini coopers and little fiats and vespas etc etc and property/shop i built in Maine... and moved to the jungle mountains of costa rica on a back to nature kick living on horseback raising my own food etc....One of my Amphicars thou Hugh told me not to sell...I bought it from King Michael of Romania...who lived in Switzerland his whole life from just after Hitler took power till now... I contacted him last week and was informed by HRH Princess Margarita that his Majesty is very ill with cancer at 95 years of age and wasn't able to speak with me.. She had the royal family advisor write me a letter of introduction to the Romanian Car Club that King Michael is honorary president of.......The car actually was a present to Anne de Romaine the queen.. I have a ticket that Queen Anne got for driving down a one way street... The Princess asked me for pictures of car and ticket and a letter of the story about the car and about how me and her father met ....After i had bought the car i called Hugh and said the car i just bought was weird....I described the higher back and different running lights and tie downs and heat shields on carburetor ( i didn't know about the little pre muffler till yesterday)....Hugh then told me it was called a Bodensee Model....And he told me a story that they were made to pass Swiss regulations...I told him mine was titled as a 1964... But had the lips along the bottom that didn't come out till 1965...Hugh then pieced together the story... I told him the King told me he bought it for Queen Anne as a present.. The king was an avid collector... So buying a car you want for your wife he was clever also....If i had a wife i would defiantly buy her an amphicar.....I knew the king told me he ordered the white and red car because of Swiss colors and he told me of a big 2 meter - 6ft rear stern pole he had but didn't know what he had done with it..the king told me it came with two because it had to pass special Swiss boat regulations the 6ft pole had to be used in Swiss waters...Hugh pieced together the story for me...When he saw the odd square light for center of hood and the lips on a 1964 and heat shield etc...It turns out that the factory had the new bodies well before 1965 but had to use up the old ones first...When King Michael ordered a car for Switzerland .. The Amphicar company worked with the Swiss nautical register to adopt changes required... Some of those are the higher freeboard required at rear of car.. the different placement and sale of running lights and the 6 ft tall stern pole light and carburetor heat shield,, ones that i saw and Hugh knew about......Hugh knew of a few other Bodensee models.. and he knew of 3 other owners of cars in switzerland he said that two of the other swiss cars were in museums and the other was owned by the family who owns Couvosier Cognac....He said that once the King had ordered the car while they were building the Kings they then build several more Bodensee models just because they were setting up to do it...Thats why it was built in 1963 with a body that didn't come out till 1965... I think they moved production plants after 1962 or something...... So Hugh talked me into not selling it.. We talked about going in together on it..Since i was at best an amateur restorer .. I would strip it down and clean it up any issues there were practically none and i had just bought a little setup to do lead fill work.... And Hugh would assemble and detail a concourse documented restoration....So i took car apart i sent out the interior and the gas tank to be done because i had shops right next to me in Maine and Hugh had seen my other restorations and was really impressed by the interior work...I was also planning to make it a Swiss car by changing the roof to a red one and the side trim to red and i was going to have the interior done with white and red like a Swiss flag... But Hugh talked me out of it and said because it was so collectable we had to keep it perfectly original.........But like i said i someone bought my Maine property and i had to leave for Costa Rica so a friend of mine who owns a Paving Company said he would store it for me 17 years ago....I just went yesterday to open the container he stored it in... He had told me he looked every now and then and had looked a couple months ago and he said it looked like the day he packed it away.. It turned out he stored it in an old Allied Moving Van truck body that was Wooden and had ventilation and it stayed perfectly dry some of the areas i sanded down to bare metal didn't even have surface rust....Lucky because i stored a nice AMC PacerX and AMC Gremlin X and subaru brat and 1957 studerbaker Hawk in metal storage containers that i thought were great they were nice ones perfectly air tight..big mistake ...but the amphicar is perfect....I was just googling around trying to find anything i could on Bodensee or Swiss models...... I wrote Rene Pohl in Europe and he has had a couple of Swiss collectors write me.. and i have the letter and have to contact the Romanian Car Club..... Hugh told me because of it being the only Swiss car that was titled in Switzerland that he imagined would ever be sold he said we would probably sell it there it would be worth the most and everything in Switzerland is worth more.....But now with new Romanian free market wealth and the provenance of being King Michaels present to Queen Anne...It might be very desirable there.....My plan is to sell it because i would like a beater amphicar i can actually drive around everyday and use.... When i had 15 amphicars i drove them everyday for two years.. I even had two cars that i pieced together from old parts restoring my other cars so that i could use them in salt water.. and made lots of ocean voyages to islands off Maine and once in Kennebunc harbor the secret service boats surrounded me and asked me to follow them to a yacht that former first lady Barbra Bush was on so she and her friends could take photos of me.. I had a photo of her taking a photo of me.. Sadly i lost it....But it was a great day they were leaving the yacht and filled the amphicar full of gourmet food and wine.... Any way back to the Kings car......Was there a book written on Amphicar history?

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mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Great story, thanks for sharing.

One of the great things about Hugh was that he was a historian at heart and his knowledge of the Amphi, and many other things, went far beyond the mechanical workings.
 

mschlem

Amphicar Expert & Former IAOC President
....here are a few photos of one of the Swiss cars that I saw in Germany (in 2004 I think) in case anyone is interested in a view of the rear end.

Marc.


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victor brown

New Member
do you have a picture of front hood? i can see the loop tie down on back like mine ... it has a german D on the back.. Hugh told me there were a few that are called Bodensee models in Germany... The other Bodensee models had the different shape odd side mirrors out on the front fenders like mine and the red and green lights on opposite from fenders...But he never saw a square center light like mine before....And i remember Hugh telling me the story of the 6ft tall stern light pole...But the other Bodensee cars he knew of had the regular teardrop center lights with just clear lens like every other amphicar..except they had a clear lens not red and green...He said my square light was probably because the Kings car was the first Bodensee model they built they probably didn't have a clear lens for the standard teardrop center lights... That and the heat shield for the carburetor he said he never saw before... I didn't know about the pre muffler chamber till a couple days ago....Today i was informed that one of the nicest auto museum collection is in Romania and i was sent contact information.. Its called the Tiriac Collection in Bucharest Romania and there is a video on youtube....So i sent them my letter of introduction from the royal family.. I have received emails from two Swiss collectors and one german and one dutch...Today was my first contact for a Romanian... But like the letter says they have a Organization in Romania with a magazine.. I haven't contacted yet.. I just got the videos two days ago.. Now i have to figure out the drop box stuff...I gotta get two or there big dogs interested...I want enough to buy two amphicars so i can have one salt water car beater i can drive everyday and one nice one....

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victor brown

New Member
do you have a picture of front hood? i can see the loop tie down on back like mine ... it has a german D on the back.. Hugh told me there were a few that are called Bodensee models in Germany... The other Bodensee models had the different shape odd side mirrors out on the front fenders like mine and the red and green lights on opposite from fenders...But he never saw a square center light like mine before....And i remember Hugh telling me the story of the 6ft tall stern light pole...But the other Bodensee cars he knew of had the regular teardrop center lights with just clear lens like every other amphicar..except they had a clear lens not red and green...He said my square light was probably because the Kings car was the first Bodensee model they built they probably didn't have a clear lens for the standard teardrop center lights... That and the heat shield for the carburetor he said he never saw before... I didn't know about the pre muffler chamber till a couple days ago....Today i was informed that one of the nicest auto museum collection is in Romania and i was sent contact information.. Its called the Tiriac Collection in Bucharest Romania and there is a video on youtube....So i sent them my letter of introduction from the royal family.. I have received emails from two Swiss collectors and one german and one dutch...Today was my first contact for a Romanian... But like the letter says they have a Organization in Romania with a magazine.. I haven't contacted yet.. I just got the videos two days ago.. Now i have to figure out the drop box stuff...I gotta get two or there big dogs interested...I want enough to buy two amphicars so i can have one salt water car beater i can drive everyday and one nice one....

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do you have a picture of front hood? i can see the loop tie down on back like mine ... it has a german D on the back.. Hugh told me there were a few that are called Bodensee models in Germany... The other Bodensee models had the different shape odd side mirrors out on the front fenders like mine and the red and green lights on opposite from fenders...But he never saw a square center light like mine before....And i remember Hugh telling me the story of the 6ft tall stern light pole...But the other Bodensee cars he knew of had the regular teardrop center lights with just clear lens like every other amphicar..except they had a clear lens not red and green...He said my square light was probably because the Kings car was the first Bodensee model they built they probably didn't have a clear lens for the standard teardrop center lights... That and the heat shield for the carburetor he said he never saw before... I didn't know about the pre muffler chamber till a couple days ago....Today i was informed that one of the nicest auto museum collection is in Romania and i was sent contact information.. Its called the Tiriac Collection in Bucharest Romania and there is a video on youtube....So i sent them my letter of introduction from the royal family.. I have received emails from two Swiss collectors and one german and one dutch...Today was my first contact for a Romanian... But like the letter says they have a Organization in Romania with a magazine.. I haven't contacted yet.. I just got the videos two days ago.. Now i have to figure out the drop box stuff...I gotta get two or there big dogs interested...I want enough to buy two amphicars so i can have one salt water car beater i can drive everyday and one nice one....

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Also while googling Romania car collectors and amphicar and bodensee model today found this mention of Queen Anne in Florida with the car...
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