If you’re looking for a car that doesn’t mind getting its feet wet then you might want to head over to eBay before January 13 where this one-of-a-kind amphibious vehicle is up for sale. The Dobbertin HydroCar was designed and built by Rick Dobbertin and changes shape at the flip of a switch, transforming from land mode to water mode in a matter of seconds. Although Dobbertin says his HydroCar is fully functional, it hasn’t been fully tested, so he recommends the vehicle as more of a collector car rather than a daily driver.
The HydroCar’s amphibious capabilities come courtesy of its two articulating sponsons (or pontoons) that run the full length of the vehicle. On land, the sponsons are raised to form the vehicle’s fenders, but when entering water a flip of a switch will lower them almost eight inches (20 cm) to transform the vehicle into a tunnel-hulled watercraft.
While the four test-launches the HydroCar has completed have all resulted in improvements, the craft is still short of the 60 mph (96 km/h) Dobbertin says it should be capable of surpassing. However, with Dobbertin citing the cold weather in upstate New York for restricting attempts to carry out another test launch before spring 2011, it seems any further improvements will be the responsibility of the eventual buyer.
Dobbertin spent over 18,800 hours over a period of nine years designing and building the HydroCar, but says he is being forced to sell due to a lack of funds resulting from the global financial crisis.
Update (Feb 6, 2012): The Dobbertin Hypercar has been relisted on eBay with a buy it now price of US$149,000.
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning