There were a lot of amphibious cars made during the 1920s-70s, and a lot of them ended up being very unsuccessful, but not the Cadillac Seville. This car was made in the 1940s and was a stunning success. The Seville’s design was a little bit of a departure from the norm, but the results were spectacular. It was a luxurious, powerful, and comfortable car that won over the hearts of everyone who came in contact with it.
This is a post about a 762-horsepower amphibious airplane that holds the world land speed record for its class. Well, it is a concept plane and it is not a production aircraft, but this is a concept that could have a big impact on the future. It is not about the speed, but about the concept, and it is not about the engine, but about the design. This is about a plane that is the size of a small family sedan, has the capability of flying around in three modes, and is the largest engine you can get for an airplane. It is also about the people who will make it a reality, and the incredible challenge they are about to face.
From converted jet skis to Jeep-inspired Panthers, the idea of combining car and boat has led to some interesting designs. Some, like Amphicar, have reached mass production, while others remain fascinating one-offs. And now one of these unique amphibious vehicles, the Hydrocar Dobbertin, is for sale.
Dobbertin Hydrocar | Barrett-Jackson
Before building his first amphibious vehicle, Rick Dobbertin built a solid reputation as a builder and designer of hot rods. His work was rewarded by publications like Hot Rod in the 1980s, Silodrom explains. But his imagination soon led him to other projects.
Dobbertin’s first project was the Surface Orbiter, an amphibious vehicle designed to fly around the earth. Although Rick and his wife Karen did not have enough money to complete the trip, they covered a considerable distance, notes Silodrome. The duo covered 27,300 miles by land and 3,000 miles by sea, visiting 28 countries and 38 states. And when he returned, Dobbertin sold it along with some hot rods to fund his next build, Hydrocar, reports Wired.
The Dobbertin Hydrocar is not designed as a survival boat around the world, Silodrom explains. Although it incorporates the lessons of the surface orbiter, it looks more like a speedboat by comparison. Given what it entails and what motivates it, it’s an understandable statement.
Dobbertin Hydrocar Rear 3/4 | Barrett-Jackson
Underneath the aluminum body panels, the Dobbertin hydrocarbon is built on a chassis with a stainless steel tubular frame, reports Motor1. It is powered by an all-aluminum World/Merlin Chevrolet 9.4-liter V8 engine with 762 hp and 712 lb-ft of torque.
In the field, this power is transferred to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission and an Atlas transfer case. This intermediate gear also transfers power in the water to the propeller via the Arneson surface drive. All this gives the Hydrocar a claimed top speed of 125 km/h on land and 60 km/h in the water.
But the Chevrolet V8 isn’t the only trick Dobbertin Hydrocar offers. The amphibious vehicle is equipped with air suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and rear-wheel steering, notes The Drive. And the aluminum side panels also serve as hinged pontoons. But despite its size, the Hydrocar has only two seats (Recaros) and no air conditioning, notes The Drive. Although a cup holder to get to the cabin could have eased the last part.
The HydroCar prototype has been in use at the Auburn auction since September 1 of this year, having been produced for one million dollars over ten years. A sacrificial march with a 762-horsepower Chevrolet engine taking to the road and the water. pic.twitter.com/xI4VCukKhH
– GQ France (@GQ_France) 23. August 2018
If you like the design and/or appearance of the Dobbertin Hydrocar, you are in luck. Barrett-Jackson is currently planning to auction off the amphibious vehicle and trailer in Las Vegas in 2021. The auction will take place from 17 to 19 June 2021 and the Hydrocar will be offered without reserve.
Given its unique nature, it is difficult to say at what price the Hydrocar will be sold. It should be noted, however, that this is not the first time Daubertin’s creation has passed the auction block. In 2018, it was sold by Worldwide Auctioneers for $60,500, reports The Drive. And earlier this year, the sale on eBay failed with a purchase price of $120,000.
Let’s see if anyone wants to give this amphibious vehicle a good home.
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