So, you think your modified pickup can go anywhere, huh? Well, how about the middle of a lake?
That’s exactly what the Chevrolet Corphibian could do. “The” being the operative word.
In 1961, a couple of engineers at the automaker got the bright idea that the new, and itself unique, rear-engine Corvair Rampside pickup would make a great platform for an amphibious vehicle. So they started a company and went to work, with Chevy on board with their project.
Over two years, they added a fiberglass hull, propellers driven by a hydraulic pump attached to the Corvair’s flat-six engine, and put throttle and rudder controls in both the cabin and the bed…which was outfitted with a snazzy set of deck chairs, of course.
As a testament to their engineering and fabrication skills, the wild ride worked, but Chevy didn’t see a market for it and passed on putting it in production. The one-of-one prototype survived, however, and will be cruising over the block at the upcoming Mecum Auction in Kissimmee, Fla., this upcoming January.
Its current owner, David Caserta, tells FoxNews.com that he bought it from a Chevy dealer in 2004 and put on display at the marina he operates in Indian Lake, Ohio. He says it was in great shape when he purchased it, and it only needed a few small cracks in the fiberglass filled in, some fresh paint, and a tune-up. A Corvair mechanic in Michigan who knew the guys that built it did the work.
Caserta never drove, or sailed it himself, but says it runs great. Having spent its life mostly as a conversation piece, it has just 157 miles on the odometer, but that’s on the road. No one knows exactly how many nautical miles are under the hull.
Mecum’s pre-auction estimate for the Corphibian is $75,000-$100,000, but examples of the far more common Amphicar from often sell for more than that, and good luck getting a load of plywood across out to the island in one of those.