Hi! You have reached our decidedly low-tech section of the web that will be
telling the history-in-the-making of the restoration of our 1964 Amphicar. Enjoy,
and please email us with any comments or suggestions here.
If you want to see a big version of any of the pictures, just put your mouse
pointer on the picture, right click on it, and choose "view picture" (at least
this works for Netscape!)
Check back often, as I am an updating fool!!
P.S. If you need 8-track tapes, check out wife Kathy's web site -
Kate's Track Shack
After a trip of 1000 miles from Arlington, TX, we arrive to pick up our
new Amphicar! We purchased it on Ebay, and it was pretty much
in the condition as described. It was stripped and sandblasted in
1974, and stored since.
Here is the car sitting in the storage waiting for me to come and get
Somewhere is the desolate badlands of Illinois.
Man, was I beat. 1000 miles from Illinois to Texas with most of that done in one day, and it rained all the way. The best part was in OKC, OK, where the road was repaved, but not striped yet. Night-time. glossy road, no striping, and the weight of the amphicar made the jeep's headlights a little higher than normal. Kathy was a little quiet during that part of the trip!!
As is obvious in the picture, the driver's quarter is long gone. The tire
you see under the steering wheel has the engine sitting on top
of it! The right rear quarter was removed, and a new one was
welded on, but only roughed in. The right rocker panel was also removed,
but it was only tacked in place. The left rear lower quarter was removed,
and never completed (the replacement quarter was in the car). There
is not a straight fender on the car. Whether stuff was stacked against
the car, or the sandblaster damaged it is unknown, but all the panels
are badly dented, including the back. Oh well, beating out a dent is
easier than rust repair! The entire car is covered with surface rust,
and it is completely in pieces. The original interior is all there, but
it is so dry-rotted that it splits when I touch it. The mechanical pieces
include what is purportedly a rebuilt engine.
How many Amphicar parts can you spot in the trunk?
Fortunately the rust is almost all just surface, and is easily
sanded off. We used the interior of the car to hold parts on the
way home. Everything made the trip home ok (except for one hubcap
on the jeep, which is now decorating the interstate somewhere).
Kathy has informed me that she wants to take it swimming in spring 2003!
The previous owner got the fender welded on, but it
was severly warped in the process. Also, if you look closely at
the rocker, they started to weld it on, and then just stopped mid-weld.
The doors sticking out of the engine compartment are pretty straight.
There is a big hole in the passenger door where rust was cut out, and
the bottoms are a little crusty, but definitely fixable. You can also
see the small section missing on the quarter, and the hole where rust
was cut out under the rear bumper.
Below are some pictures showing the progress so far . I have been busting
my hump on it. Thank goodness the weather here in Texas has been
warm, and I have been able to get out and work on it quite a bit.
We had no problem getting the car title taken care of, but the folks at
the Fish and Wildlife boating registration office had no idea
of what we where talking about when we asked what we would need to
get it titled and registered as a boat. I think it is straightened
out, but until I have the boat title in my hands, I will keep my fingers
Here is the roughed in passenger side. I am still working
on getting rid of the waves on the front fender. Block and sand,
block and sand. Ugh. Perfection cannot be achieved, but I will make
it look as good as I can! Word of advice...DON'T use an industrial
grade sandblaster on a car. Everything is warped. Even the nose of the
car is warpy. The hood is in good shape!!!
The door has been patched, and I think it turned out very well. Everything
lines up well, and I am expecting no problem with the seal.
Quarter and rocker are all welded up, and looking pretty good!!
Oh, and the front and rear seats are at the upholstery shop. The guy was
pretty excited to be working on Amphica rseats. He wanted to come
out and see the car. They are going to strip and repaint the seat
frames when they have them apart.
Another view of the progress so far. The front end
is looking pretty good, and I am getting ready to install the quarter.
I have straightened up the very jaggy cut left by the previous body
man (probably 20 years ago...yikes!), and have derusted, sealed and
painted the inner fender while the opportunity presents itself.
It is starting to look like a car again!! My goal is to get it in the paint shop by January 2003.
Oh, in the background you can see my kids hot-rodded "Power Wheels®".
It is a junky Barbie Beach Patrol jeep that we picked up for 5
bucks at a garage sale. I have cut out under the hood, and installed
a tractor 12 volt battery. That makes it fast, but then I installed
another 12 volt battery. Woohoo!! They can pop wheelies now. I had
the kids do a flying run on the driveway, and I clocked it at 10 mph.
Twice as fast a stock, and they think a lot more fun. Sure does wear
out the tires though.
Well, it is cold and rainy outside today, so I am stuck in the garage.I decided to start tackling some of the interior rust. Boy, what fun! Sand sand sand and sand some more. And, since I am inside, and the amphicar holds water very well, I cannot wet sand. So, time to break out the brown sandpaper!
As you can see, I am working on the top well area right now. No major problems, just surface rust. Oh, and the lip where the convertible top screws down need to be straightened. Looks like the previous owner stacked up stuff on top of it, and bent it down. Nothing the channel locks won't fix right up!
Much fun later, and here is the first pass at the primer. Looks mucho better already! Guess I know what I will be doing the rest of the week!
Oh, and here is part one of the cleaned up engine compartment. I was a busy boy today!!