Gliding across Sydney Harbour in an amphibious car

Photo and content © Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018
By Lara Vella • TODAY Sydney reporter 9:53pm Jan 31, 2018

It’s not often you get to feel like you’re in a James Bond film, but taking a spin in this extraordinary car comes pretty close.

This is a 1966 Amphicar. It’s a German-designed automobile taking you straight from the road and across Sydney Harbour.

And it’s quite remarkable how incredibly buoyant – and bizarre – you feel bobbing along the water in a floating car.

Speed isn’t her main asset, only tracking about 11km/h in the water.

But she sure is a head-turner, with white-wall tyres and a striking canary yellow making sure she’s the star attraction as we putter past Sydney’s ferries and delighted kayakers.

So exactly how does a car float on water?

Jason Fischer is the Operations Manager at the Gosford Classic Car Museum – the vehicle’s new home – and says it’s simply a matter of switching the gears into “boat mode.”

“The car is obviously shaped like a boat underneath, and the propellers are in the back,” he said.

During the 1960s, almost 4000 Amphicars were manufactured, retailing for about $3500. Now they’re worth upwards of $120,000.

Most sales came from the United States, including one purchased by former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In fact, one of his favourite pranks was to drive the car straight off a bridge, claiming the brakes had failed, as his terrified passengers clambered for the doors.

As we glide across to Shark Island, we cop a couple of big waves thanks to some very curious ferries coming a little too close for comfort, and there’s really not much you can do except hope a strong grip and stronger stomach will keep you afloat.

But as I look out at the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from the leather passenger seat of a car, with my hand gently touching the soft waves, I have to admit, it’s one incredible ride that I’ll never forget.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

Gosford Classic Cars manager Jason Fischer loves his job

Jason Fischer, workshop manager at Gosford Classic Car Museum, one of the largest privately owned car collections in the southern hemisphere, gets to drive cars including Ferraris and a Fiat Jolly as part of his job.


Check out the full story:

Successful first month for Gosford Classic Cars

It’s been an exciting month at the newly opened Gosford Classic Car Museum, with over 13,000 people from all over Australia and indeed the world through the doors since opening on May 28th. With over 300 vehicles on display, from vintage classics to modern day supercars, patrons have been delighted with the range and versatility on display.

A visit from Mike Whitney and the Sydney Weekend crew was a huge highlight, and it’s been fantastic to see the looks on people’s faces as they walk through the door and are blow away by the sheer size and quality of the collection.

The Aussie Invader III jet powered car which competed for the World Land Speed Record in 1996, piloted by Australian Roscoe McGlashan to a speed of 1026km/h has been hugely popular, as have other feature cars including the Ferrari Hypercar collection.

Visitors have been eager to share their childhood memories of family Holdens and Fords with our staff as they’ve come flooding back, and the general feedback has been fantastic.

The Museum will continue to evolve, with a turnover of approximately 20 cars per month, ensuring there’s always something new and exciting to see.