Amphibious Dobbertin HydroCar

goes under the ebay hammer

By Darren Quick

23:36 January 4, 2011

The Dobbertin HydroCar on a test-launch

The Dobbertin HydroCar on a test-launch

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.


The center body section of the vehicle is covered with a 5086 marine-grade aluminum skin built around a space fame and roll bar constructed from 304 stainless steel, while the frames within the articulating sponsons are constructed from 6061 aluminum. It is powered by a fully dyno-tuned World/Merlin all-aluminum roller-cammed 572 cubic inch Chevrolet engine, which produces 762 hp at 5,800 rpm and 712 lbs of torque at 4,200 rpm.

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 has his sealegs

The HydroCar isn’t Dobbertin’s first amphibious car, having built a 32-foot long stainless steel amphibious vehicle known as the Dobbertin Surface Explorer out of an old milk tanker that traveled through 28 countries, logging up 30,000 miles (48,280 km) on land and over 3,000 miles (4,828 km) on the open sea. He also designed and built two hot rods that were awarded Hot Rod magazine’s car of the year.

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.

The HydroCar is legally titled as a custom made boat in New York State and is listed on eBay with the Buy It Now price of US$777,000, which includes a custom-built trailer to transport the HydroCar.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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