Culture & Art

Wet & Wild

Think the Maseratis and Rolls Royce’s occasionally darting across Brickell Avenue are rare? Think again. Below we delve into the history of a truly collectible automobile.
Text by Ryan Jarrell | Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami Museum | September 26, 2018 | Culture & Art

We know what you’re thinking, and no: That simply beautiful automobile in black & white didn’t just take a wrong turn on Rickenbacker. Shot in the early 1960’s on Virginia Key, the archival vehicle was an Amphicar, one of a number of eccentric sea-worthy vehicles developed during the muscle car era. Created by a German company, the vessel sported 11 inches of ground clearance and twin 12-inch rear propellers activated by an on-dash switch. With only 5,000 ever produced, it’s impossible to tell exactly how many maneuvered through the byways and baysides around town, but our attractive tropical surrounds and post-war boom period meant that more than likely quite a few of these truly all-terrain vehicles graced our shores. Another fun fact about the Amphicar? It was a favorite of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who loved to prank houseguests by pretending his brakes weren’t properly operating and driving straight into the nearest body of water;