2 August 2012

The Amphicar: The ultimate automotive crossover

Those of us who call the woods of northern Michigan home have become accustomed to owning rugged, versatile vehicles that adapt to our seasonal changes. There are a lot more Jeeps and Subarus running around Glen Arbor than there are exotic sports cars, mainly because the rural roads are far more suited to the off-road characteristics of these vehicles. (And of course, there’s also the snow to contend with.) But what if your car could handle the highways and the byways and your local lake?  You’d need the ultimate crossover — the Amphicar! 

As a boy, I recall my uncle Rich trolling for lake trout on Glen Lake in his red Amphicar. He would rarely catch anything, but I did witness a fine 30-inch laker he hooked — and dragged all the way in to shore, not wanting the fish guts on the upholstery of his Amphicar! 

Also a fixture on Glen Lake back in the day was Hugh Gordon, who had a summer home on the lake and had several Amphicars he would use regularly.  We were completely unaware he was the biggest Amphicar parts distributor in the country; all we knew was that he had an Amphicar with pseudo-Corvette body work that all of us thought was really cool. 

It isn’t often that you see a truly unmolested Amphicar like the one consigned at the Worldwide Group Auburn Auction over Labor Day Weekend. Owned by one family since new, it shows just 6,154 on the clock and belongs to an individual who as a young boy accompanied his dad to Howell Auto Sales in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 9, 1955.  His father chose the color he liked, Fjord Green, and enjoyed the little amphibian sparingly, storing it in a climate-controlled building for many years.  It was recently fully serviced, with only new tires and the all-important door seals required, and took its last swim with the owner on June 12. 

If an original-owner Amphicar with low miles interests you, take advantage of your HVA Membership and save 50 percent on your bidder pre-registration by logging on to www.worldwide-auctioneers.com  and using HAGERTY as the discount code. This amazing Amphicar will be offered on Saturday, Sept. 1, in Auburn, Ind., at the Main Event Auction in the historic Cord L-29 building on the museum campus. Bob DeKorne is a car specialist with the Worldwide Group Auction company and is a native of northern Lower Michigan.

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