WaterCar

 
 

 

Pictured above: The WaterCar in boat mode

 
 
 
 

The WaterCar is a fiberglass amphibious vehicle styled after the 2002 Convertible Camaro body style. It is powered by a Subaru 2.5 Turbo WRX motor. The transmission is a Rancho Type I-4 speed manual transmission. The four wheel independent suspension and brakes are late model C-4 Corvette with stainless steel rotors.

The WaterCar can reach speeds in excess of 125 MPH on land and the drivability with the Corvette suspension is outstanding. Once the WaterCars is driven into the water all four wheels are hydraulically retracted with the flip of a switch. The bottom covers that enclose the wheel well are also hydraulically extended to create a smooth high speed bottom which allows the WaterCar to easily hit speeds of 40 MPH on the water. The Marine Drive is a Berkeley 12JE Jet Drive with a place diverter to control the ride depending on water conditions. The WaterCar has four usable seats and the doors are fully functional.

Designed by Dave March who previously was not only owner of a collision repair business but also a high performance car and boat enthusiast. Dave got involved with amphibious cars after he retired, together with his son they purchased a 1964 Amphicar. The Amphicar was a great idea at the time but never had much success in sales. It was often reported that the Amphicar drove like a boat on land and had poorer performance in the water.

March threw himself into researching every amphibious vehicle in the world and discovered that amphibious vehicles are much more popular in Europe. To his astonishment, he realized that of all the vehicles ever built, no one had successfully built a true high performance amphibious vehicle.

That's when it hit him - why not combine his love of high performance cars and boats into a single, high performance amphibious car? By using many of the shelf parts for performance cars from hot rod shops, he managed to do what many people would think impossible and he built his own car. Better than that his car would not only float but perform brilliantly in the water, even leaving a few speed boats behind.

March wanted to build a four-seater, yet still keep the car sporty looking. The 2002 Camaro was the ideal starting point. He purchased a Camaro fiberglass funny-car shell body, added hundreds of labor hours and he had a great looking Camaro car/boat plug. He built the molds from the plug and proceeded to build the first parts.

March built a lightweight stainless frame to mount the suspension and motor to and fit it to the body. In order to get good performance in the water he made the wheels retract up into the body using hydraulics from a low-rider car. Other challenges of building the car including squeezing the flat four motor and marine jets into the rear trunk area and getting the doors to hold the water at bay by using an aircraft style lock to achieve a water tight seal.

The WaterCar got a lot of attention when it was finished not only from passes by who saw a brand new car drive straight into water, but also from several media publications. So much was everyone's desire for the WaterCar, March decided to start producing the WaterCar in limited quantities.
 

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Did You Know?

The First Mass Produced Amphibious car was the Amphicar. It was built in Germany from 1961 to 1968. Total production was 3,878 vehicles.

 

 

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