Lot 374

Dare to Dream Collection

1965 Amphicar 770


$95,200 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



Chassis No.
Canadian Registration
  • “The Car That Swims;” an instant party-starter
  • Formerly of the noted Craig McCaw Collection
  • Beautifully restored in striking, desirable colors
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

Developed reportedly at a cost of $25 million and 15 years of engineering work, the German Amphicar remains the only commercially successful fully amphibious vehicle to have been sold to the public. Resembling a combination of a 1957 Thunderbird and Glasspar ski boat, it was powered by a rear-mounted Triumph four-cylinder engine, and on land drove much like any other small European automobile of the day. Upon reaching a boat ramp, the driver locked the doors’ watertight seals, drove into the water, and then actuated dual rear propellers to power away from the dock. In the water, the front wheels served as primitive rudders, allowing the driver to continue to steer using the steering wheel; to slow the vehicle, the driver shifted into reverse, which would reverse the propellers as on a conventional boat. For returning to shore, both the rear-wheel drive and the propeller drive could be operated at the same time.

Simply put, the Amphicar was a great party trick and justifiably the only vehicle that could do what it did. About 3,878 were built between 1961 and 1968, at a price about the same as an Austin-Healey, and the survivors are supported by active clubs worldwide.

The Amphicar offered here was acquired by the Dare to Dream Collection from renowned collector Craig McCaw in early 2016. It had been restored by the noted Amphicar specialist Roger Sallee, in the festive and sought-after color scheme of Fjord Green over Apricot interior, and in Mr. McCaw’s ownership had been fitted with a fully rebuilt correct transmission. Today it remains in excellent overall condition, with only light wear visible throughout, and beautiful finishes; significantly, the hull shows little wear or signs of corrosion. Included with the car are some service receipts, as well as a CD containing a copy of the owner’s manual, and an original sales brochure and maintenance manual.

One of the nicest Amphicars on the market, this example is suitable either for showing with pride, or exploring Ontario’s lakes this summer. It will surely be a head-turner and attention-grabber, the purpose for which it was built. After 60 years, it still does what it does better than anything else!