Sunday, June 3, 2012

Car Of The Day: June 3, 2012

Today's car of the day is Hot Wheels' 1966 Amphicar Model 770.

The Amphicar is an amphibious automobile, the first such vehicle mass-produced for sale to the public starting in 1961. The German vehicle was designed by Hanns Trippel and manufactured by the Quandt Group at Lübeck and at Berlin-Borsigwalde. Its name is a portmanteau of "amphibious" and "car". The Amphicar was designed to be marketed and sold in the USA. Compared to most boats or cars, its performance was modest, and only 4000 were produced by 1965. Nevertheless, it is still among the most successful amphibious civilian autos of all time, and still often prized and preserved as novelty collectible automobiles today.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Amphicar Model 770

The biggest thrill of the year was seeing the announced models for the Hot Wheels Boulevard line...and the biggest disappointment has been finding them on the pegs.  Some, like the Hudson Hornet and Chrysler Turbine set a very high bar.  The rest though- the Monroe Handler Mustang II was a surprise (and a pleasant one) but a regular notchback Mustang II would have been much more appreciated.  And then we have the monstrosities that are the Chrysler Airflow and this Amphicar.  The Amphicar is one of the definitive missing small scale cars- it deserves better treatment than this.  The real car obviously did not have a giant motor sticking out of the back, but it also didn't have a rudder.  Steering was done by the front wheels.

President Lyndon B. Johnson was known as an owner of an Amphicar. Apparently he liked to scare new visitors to his ranch by driving them downhill in his Amphicar directly into his property's lake, all the while shouting that the brakes have broken.

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