Amphicars Return to Celina Lake Festival

It’s a Car…It’s a Boat…It’s an Amphicar!

Amphicars, the only civilian amphibious passenger automobile ever to be mass-produced, will visit Grand Lake again this year during the Celina Lake Festival, July 28-30, 2023.  The International Amphicar Owners Club is scheduled to participate in the annual Amphicar Splash-in at the Celina Lake Festival on Friday evening, July 28th, and the Grand Parade on Saturday, July 29th. Always a crowd favorite; everyone loves seeing these little vehicles drive on land and then splash into the water and become a boat.

3,878 Amphicars were built in Germany from 1961 to 1968. Of those cars, 3,046 were imported into the United States. It is believed that less than 600 sea-worthy still exist today. The Amphicar has a top speed of 7 mph on water and 70 mph on land. An Amphicar is moved in the water by its twin nylon propellers. A special two-part land-and-water transmission built by Hermes (makers of the Porsche transmission) allows the wheels and propellers to be operated independently or simultaneously. The “land transmission” is a 4-speed-plus-reverse unit similar to those found in old Volkswagen Beetles. The “water transmission” is a 2-speed offering unique to the Amphicar featuring single forward and reverse gears. In the water, the front wheels act as rudders.

All Amphicars are convertibles originally offered in only four colors: Beach White, Regatta Red, Lagoon Blue, and Fjord Green (Aqua).  You will find many today that have been customized with paint and accessories. Some of the more unique ones include one adorned with Pink Flamingoes, one painted to resemble the Bat Mobile, and another to resemble a huge Rubber Ducky. When new, an Amphicar sold for between $2,800 and $3,300, depending on the year. Currently, you can find Amphicars listed for sale with prices ranging from $35,000 to $99,000, depending on the condition.

Each year 30 to 40 International Amphicar Owners Club members bring their vehicles for an appearance at the Celina Lake Festival. You will begin seeing the cars on Tuesday and Wednesday of the festival week as they drive around town and cruise along the lake. Their official festival appearances include a Splash-In on Friday evening, and you can also see them on Saturday as they participate in the Grand Parade.  Other events during the Celina Lake Festival include Fabulous Fireworks over the Lake, a Collectors Car Show, Craft Fair, a Kids Fishing Derby, the Lake Festival Pet Show, the Lift-aThon, and great live music from Another Round and 127 North. Click HERE for more information and for the complete schedule of Celina Lake Festival events. For a complete listing of summer festivals and celebrations in the Grand Lake Region, check out Seemore.org.

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