Sunday, October 12, 2014

Amphicar at German Autofest on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin

Boating on Lake Burley Griffin in an Amphicar

It was inspired thinking to hold the 2014 German Autofest on the Patrick White Lawns (between the National Library of Australia and Lake Burley Griffin). It meant that people attending the car display, could also watch an Amphicar drive to the lake, enter the water, do a lap or two from bridge to bridge, and then drive out - switching from car to boat to car - and impressing us all. 
How the Amphicar works

The Amphicar is a fascinating piece of engineering, and has been on my 'must see' list for as long as I can remember. Designed by an engineer that worked on the German Schwimmwagen program during WW2, the interesting amphibian used an 1147cc Triumph engine to power itself on land and water. The 43 HP engine provided a top speed of 7 knots in the water and 110 km/h on land. First appearing in 1961 production ceased in 1965, with around 4000 made. 
Canberra Times photo of the Amphicar driving out of the lake

The car in this article was imported in non-running condition by a Cooma based collector. It was bought at auction at a lower than expected price, as according to the owner, they are very difficult to repair and source parts for. He looked at it when it finally arrived in Australia and discovered that the polarity of the electric's had been
reversed, and after switching some wires around, and testing some electrical parts for damage, had it running fairly quickly. The car is very original, and even has genuine Swiss made tyres of the era on it. The owner had very few problems getting it registered.

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