Part Boat, Part Car, All Awesome: The HydroCar
Cars that transform seamlessly into boats are one of those concepts that no one, save perhaps for film studios and computer graphics gurus, can get right. There are actually a lot of car-boats out there, if you're willing to look, but most of them are cheesy, sleazy and not really great at being a car or a boat. Really, you're better off towing your boat to the water, even if it means giving up the ability to evade the police or highway pirates when reaching the shoreline.
But for $775,000 and eight years worth of work, I think the HydroCar might have a chance at being a solid car-boat. At least it sure looks more menacing and water-ready than any other vessel I've seen. Like this hunk of crap middle-aged-crisis-mobile, for instance:
No, the HydroCar isn't just for perving on drunken co-eds when you're 55, it looks like it's pretty good for world domination as well. In fact, if I were an evil villain with my eyes set firmly on world dominion, I'd definitely have at least one HydroCar in my garage (or dock).
Compiling nearly 19,000 hours of labor over nine years, Rick Dobbertin and his crew developed an 762-hp vessel that transforms from car to boat with the flip of a switch. The transformation involves moving plantoons that serve as fenders for the car and lower into floating plantoons in the water.
The car has appeared in a variety of magazines, including on the cover of the January 2004 Popular Mechanics. Unfortunately, it appears as though that's about the only place it belongs. While you could probably guess that the car isn't a "daily driver," the vessel's official description claims it's more of a collector's item than something to be driven regularly on land and water. In other words, though it looks more serious, it's about as useful as every other car-boat out there.
And to that I say: What the hell's the good of a boat-car that you can't actually drive? If I wanted a collector's car, I'd buy a real collector's car. What I want from a car-boat is something that drives on land and water without breaking down.
The team behind the HydroCar has tested it, though, so the buyer should at least be able to get it out on the road/lake once or twice before it breaks down into a steaming heap of aluminum. And it's being sold as kind of an all-out-of-money, abandoning-my-baby, need-help-finishing project, so you'll probably need to put some work into it before you're able to fully enjoy its projected 60 mph top speed on the water.
The Dobbertin was up for sale on eBay for a while with a "Buy It Now" price of $777,000. It seems to be gone, so either someone bought it or the guy gave up trying to unload it on an unsuspecting fool.
The eBay description got into way more detail than we're willing to give this glorified circus vessel. Because the only thing you really need to know about any car-boat, is how it works. And you can see that in the video below: