Saturday, 22 October 2011


Sadly I cannot find where I came across this gem, but gem it is.  One of those early experiments at creating a car that can drive on water, or is it a boat that can sail on land?  This is an American attempt from the twenties or possibly early thirties and I wonder if it worked?  I note that the woman has a chauffeur but she has both hands on the wheel, typical!  You can bet when the tyre requires changing he does that bit!  This idea has proved successful once or twice.  A good car that could be used as a boat did succeed to some extent in the sixties but I doubt many were sold.  Of course you will recall the DUKW from the second world war.  This also came from the States as a vehicle was required to aid transporting troops from ships on to shore quickly.  An American engineer took the base of a lorry and added a boat, this became successful and the DUKW transported many men during the war and can still be seen around the coasts occasionally.   A DUKW was chosen to land Churchill and all the senior officers on the day the PM was allowed to cross over to France in 1944. One was in use at Portobello Beach in Edinburgh during the fifties to give trippers a short ride on the Firth of Forth, for ten shillings I believe.  The price is why we never got on it!  Hmmm I wonder if the lassie in that car/boat ever got onto the lake?  Did it sink perhaps?



Mike Smith said...

You cut a dashing figure in that uniform, Mr H...

soubriquet said...

Dear Mr A. Luddite.

I'll bet you three pickled onions to a cocktail cherry that the vehicle pictured is a Peugeot, and is in England.
Made by an English lunatic, not an American one.
Mind you, if I told you how I know, I'd have to reveal my sources, and a future blog post would be compromised. Most of my future blogposts are compromised anyway, as I usually forget the bright ideas I have whilst falling asleep.

The DUKW was an ungainly thing based on a six-wheeler truck, but the Germans had a neat little amphibious thing called a Schwimmwagen. the Americans were so impressed by them that they built an amphibious jeep.
Somewhere or other, I have a book by a bloke who, just after WWII, in a moment of craziness, made a bet that he could cross the atlantic in an amphibious Jeep.
In fact, he enjoyed risking his life so much that he carried on all the way to Australia. "Half Safe", I think the book was.

Yep. "Half Safe", by Ben Carlin. The Jeep's a permanent exhibit at his old school, in Australia these days.

FishHawk said...

Methinks Soubriquet is right. For that looks like a French tri-color flag behind the vehicle. Considering what a good driver you became, along with being surrounded by water, that might be the sort of vehicle you should get?

Relax Max said...

I thought the same as Soubriquet, though not in as much boring detail. I didn't mention your obvious errors in observation due to my breeding and courtesy. But you may be sure I noticed the steering wheel was confederate AND had a French flag, I began to think France and not "America." Then, of course, it is obvious the water is not American either. Don't know anything about duck-Ws or the like. Another dead giveaway that this is not American-made is that there are no wings or rockets.

Carry on.

Adullamite said...

Mike, Thank you Mr Mike!

Soub, Peugeot? I suppose it didn't work...

Fish, Typical Yank, looking at the flag first!

Max, Thank you sir.