From converted jet-ski scooters to Jeep-inspired Panthers, the idea of combining car and boat has lead to some interesting creations. Some, like the Amphicar, reached full-scale production, while others remain intriguing one-offs. And now, one of these unique amphibious cars, the Dobbertin Hydrocar, is up for sale.
The Dobbertin Hydrocar is an amphibious car from the mind of a hot rodder
Before he designed his first amphibious car, Rick Dobbertin earned a solid reputation as a hot rod builder and designer. His works won awards from publications like Hot Rod throughout the ‘80s, Silodrome explains. But his imagination soon led him to pursue other projects.
Dobbertin’s first amphibious car project was the Surface Orbiter, a vehicle designed to circumnavigate the Earth. And while Rick and his wife Karen didn’t have enough funds to complete the journey, they covered a significant distance, Silodrome notes. The duo covered 27,300 miles on land and 3000 miles on the water, visiting 28 countries and 38 states. And after returning, Dobbertin sold it along with several hot rods to fund his next build, the Hydrocar, Wired reports.
The Dobbertin Hydrocar wasn’t designed as a circumnavigating survival vehicle, Silodrome says. Although it incorporates lessons learned from the Surface Orbiter, it’s more like a speedboat in comparison. Given what it’s made out of and what powers it, that’s an understandable statement.
Under its wild looks is a Chevrolet V8 and so much more
Under its aluminum body panels, the Dobbertin Hydrocar is built on a stainless-steel tubular-frame chassis, Motor1 reports. And it’s powered by a 9.4-liter all-aluminum World/Merlin Chevrolet V8 rated at 762 hp and 712 lb-ft of torque.
On land, that power goes to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission and an Atlas transfer case. Said transfer case is also what sends power to the propeller via an Arneson Surface Drive when in the water. All this gives the Hydrocar a claimed land top speed of 125 mph, and an aquatic top speed of 60 mph.
But the Chevrolet V8 isn’t the only party trick the Dobbertin Hydrocar offers. The amphibious car has pneumatic suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and rear-wheel steering, The Drive notes. And those aluminum side panels also double as articulating pontoons. However, despite its size, the Hydrocar only has two seats (Recaros), and no climate control, The Drive points out. Though having gullwing doors as cabin access might soften the blow on that last part.
The Dobbertin Hydrocar is up for sale—again
If the Dobbertin Hydrocar’s design and/or looks strike your fancy, you’re in luck. As of this writing, Barrett-Jackson plans to sell the amphibious car off at its 2021 Las Vegas Auction with an accompanying custom trailer. The auction runs from June 17-19, 2021, and the Hydrocar is listed with no reserve.
Given its unique nature, it’s tough to say how much the Hydrocar will go for. However, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Dobbertin’s creation has crossed the auction block. In 2018 Worldwide Auctioneers sold it for $60.5K, The Drive reports. And earlier that same year, it failed to sell on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $120,000.
Let’s just see if anyone’s willing to give this amphibious car a good home.
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