Aquatic ATVs? At Least One Version Was Once Made in Michigan
Have you ever ridden in an amphibious car? Apparently, there are a few driving around near Lake St. Clair.
I was scrolling through Facebook and stumbled across a post from ALL-Seasons Hunting & Fishing Outdoors that appears to show a number of amphibious cars enjoying a ride on the lake:
While my search for some sort of amphibious car event in the area ultimately failed, it did lead me down a rabbit hole of information about cars that are safe to drive in the water.
Were They Invented in Michigan?
That was my very first question. Had I somehow missed this piece of history? The answer is no.
The first amphibious car, called the Amphicar, was created by German industrial designer, Hans Trippel. He debuted the Amphicar, which looks very similar to the above-pictured cars, in 1961. They came with navigation lights and all mandated flags but, ultimately, production ceased in 1965.
However, Michigan did make its mark on the amphibious car industry with the debut of the Gibbs Quadski. It's less of a car and more of an all-terrain vehicle that can switch to an amphibious vehicle with the hit of one button.
The ATV, which looks like a combination of a jetski and four-wheeler, retailed for about $40,000 and was created by Gibbs Sports Amphibians from 2013-2016. The Quadski had a 175-horsepower BMW engine allowing it to travel at speeds up to 45mph both on land and on the water, according to a 2012 article from Mlive.com.
Today, Gibbs mostly supplies parts for the existing Quadskis and their website doesn't seem to indicate that they'll be making new ones in the future. However, a quick Google search does turn up a few dealers across the country.
If you love being on the water but, can't afford a $40k ATV even when they were in production, check this out. It's an adorable Airbnb Houseboat: