The car industry has always been a hotbed of innovation, with companies constantly offering new features to get an edge on their competition. And while that means we now have the pleasure of heated seats, powered windows, and amazing sound systems, on the road to those successful and popular advances were a few “innovations” that didn’t work out quite so well. Here are a few failed features you probably won’t see on the latest model.
In case you haven’t guessed from the name, the Amphicar is a car that is also a boat. Unfortunately the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” definitely applies here, because the Amphicar was neither a good car nor a good boat. One owner was even quoted by amphicar.com as saying, “We like to think of it as the fastest car on the water and fastest boat on the road”.
The inspiration for the amphicar was a desire to bypass traffic jams by crossing bodies of water, but it didn’t really catch on. One problem was that, if the owner didn’t keep up with maintenance, such as including 13 parts immediately after leaving the water, the car would leak. And although it was fitted with twin propellers under the rear bumper, steering on the water depended not upon a dedicated rudder, but the front wheels, which made it less-than-maneuverable, to say the least.
Nearly 4000 Amphicars were built and sold during its brief production run in the ’60s, and it still has a dedicated following despite its obvious drawbacks. While it didn’t really address the problem of traffic jams, it’s the perfect vehicle for anyone with nowhere to keep a boat, but lots of time for maintenance.
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