Amphibious vehicles make a splash

This week, owners of more than 50 of these amphibious vehicles brought their World War II-era military transporters, jeeps and vintage-style cars to Switzerland?s St Blaise for their annual European gathering.

Fitted with colourful sun umbrellas and decorated with flags, a motley crew of vehicles carrying families -- including babies and dogs -- drove off the port and glided smoothly into the water, before moving across Lake Neuchatel.

For many of these enthusiasts, it is the dual-function of the vehicle that has drawn them.

Foley was driving an amphicar, a 1960s German-built cabriolet which was also the only civilian amphibious vehicle to be mass produced. Nevertheless, only 3,878 were ever manufactured.

Besides the amphicar, the Germans also manufactured the amphi-ranger, a 4x4 in the 1980s, while the French built the hobbycar in the 1990s.

This year it is Switzerland's Lifeguards Club of the Low-Lake which is hosting the group as part of St Blaise village's 1,000 anniversary celebrations.


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