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Car and Driver: This Crazy, One-Off Amphibious Corvair Pickup Can Be Yours

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-How wild were the 1960s? Not only did automotive giant General Motors launch a whole lineup of air-cooled, rear-engined, flat-six-powered cars, vans, and pickup trucks, but two of its engineers created an amphibious variant. And they almost succeeded in getting it put into production.




Witness the Corphibian, a charmingly batty ​one-off that actually seems to have had a fighting chance at becoming a production model. Built by Chevrolet engineers Richard E. Hulten and Roger D. Holm, this seafaring Corvair was based on a brand-new Rampside pickup with a 65-hp engine and automatic transmission.




The two engineers started a company, Hulten-Holm; rented a garage in Pontiac, Michigan; and got to work. They lengthened the Loadside’s rear by two feet, making room for the hydraulic system hung off the rear of the engine that powered the twin propellers and electrically-operated rudders. They sealed off the undercarriage, installed engine and rudder controls in the truck bed, and got to floatin’.




Judging by this home movie taken during Corphibian development, the result was pretty successful, both on land and in the water.



According to Hemmings, Hulten and Holm spent two years on a development program with General Motors, attempting to get the Corphibian approved as a production vehicle. Eventually, GM declined, citing the small demand and high costs of such a project, and the only Corphibian ever built went into storage with just 120 miles on the clock.


The Corphibian was discovered by amphibious vehicle enthusiast Wally Wheeler in 1993; it was sold, restored, and now shows a mere 157 miles.








So, you want to get your hands on a working one-off from a crazy time when GM engineers dreamed of driving their pickup trucks into lakes, successfully? Mecum will auction the Corphibian in Kissimmee starting January 15, 2016. Bring your floatation vest.


This story originally appeared on Road and Track via Boldride.


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