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Amphicar BUYER

YEEEEE HAW!!!

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I just got back from a trip to Portland, Or. to get an Amphicar. We stopped by Alcatraz on the way back to Denver. smile.gif All went well until the Utah/Wyoming border on I-80. The the snow started and did not end until Cheyenne. We encountered blizzard conditions, hundreds of cars off the road and at least 2 fatalities. At one point I was running on the rumble strip to judge where the edge was. One pile-up included at least 20 Semis and a handful of autos. There was a semi trailer that was broken in half! It looked like the trailer slid sideways and got caught on the end of the guard rail, causing the truck to pull the front 20' off. The 360 mile trip took 15 hours on the road at 20 MPH or less. There were no rooms to be had and we had to keep moving in the 4 degree F air plus the 35-50MPH wind (wind chill at -20F).

About 20 miles West of Larimie at 7500' (1AM) I pulled over to speak with a gilrfriend who had sent several text messages voicing her concern. I set the phone on the console with her on speaker so I could drive. I pulled away from the shoulder at not much more than an idle. I had just said "We'er doing fine, slow but sure, full tank of fuel..." Then a gust of wind slammed into the side of the trailer pushing it sideways towards the 50' - 75' unprotected drop-off. I turned into it SLIGHTLY and tapped the thottle LIGHTLY (did not spin the tires or make the truck jump, very smoothly) to bring it back in line.

The ice was so slick that the trailer snapped back to the left with such force that it crushed the 1/4 panel on the truck (2003 F-250, crew cab 4x4, 6.0L Diesel = 6,000+LBs). Newton's law kicked in. The impact from the trailer to the left side of the truck sent us spinnig clockwise (towards the drop-off) with such force that it slammed me into the door. We made 2 1/2 full 360 degree spins stopping across both lanes. We both looked up the hill to see 2 semis side by side heading straight for us. I nailed the throttle and made a dash for the median. They missed us by about 10 seconds. That surely would have resulted in the worst scenario.

This whole time my GF was listening on the phone to us crash. Followed by the comments on the CB about what they had just witnessed. Once I got Dorinda to calm down, I looked at my nephew and we both had nothing to say. Both knowing full well we just missed our demise, first by inches and then by seconds.

It took over an hour to reach Larimie (20 miles) where we found a room. Got up this AM at 9AM (still only 4 degrees) and headed out. Truckers say road is "nice, but slick in spots". Great if you have 70,000lbs, no so great if you have a car on a trailer. We went 5 miles and the same gust of wind at the same 5 MPH sent us into a 180 then slammed us into the median embankment backwards at about 45MPH. (See photo) We had to be winched out. We finally made the next 20 miles to where it was dry and on home... quietly. Now keep in mind that truckers were flying by us at 70+MPH!!!

The Amphi didn't move. Be sure that you secure your cars properly. Had our Amphi moved or parted ways, the outcome would have surely been very different.

(Ron G - Keep this to yourself, there will be a article in an upcomming newsletter and a tip on properly tying your car down)

338024-stuck.jpg

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Dear John,Read the title of your post and i thought you were goin tell us about your new job....Glad your safe.KINDA fun tellin that story NOW,but at the shocked.giftime shocked.gif....Take care.diz smile.gif

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John, your experience will make a good article for our newsletter and I be mum. Please highlight Darryl finally being silent. grin.gif I am glad no one was hurt as it could have easily been disastrous.

I try to stress to people that tying down a vehicle is important just in case of an event like this. Many buy cheap 2000 pound tie downs or use just 2 tie downs. I have even seen some just drive their car into an enclosed trailer and not tie it down.

The Amphi looks fairly solid and a bargain for the $.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I try to stress to people that tying down a vehicle is important just in case of an event like this. Many buy cheap 2000 pound tie downs or use just 2 tie downs. I have even seen some just drive their car into an enclosed trailer and not tie it down.

The Amphi looks fairly solid and a bargain for the $. </div></div>

I hope that our story will change people's ways and cause anyone who tows to revisit their methods. This is my main focus with this story. Along with the tire webs, there is an 8000LB winch cable for safety. I will be adding 2 more webs for the rear. I see Amphicars tied down to the front bumper, just the tow hook and even worse to the rear bumperettes. One member uses small blocks of wood screwed to the deck. When asked "what if...?" he say's "I don't plan on crashing" DUH!!! Not many do I would guess. It's not the safety of the car, but you and those around you. Most don't think past the car. I have seen people without any tiedowns at all!

Here is a photo of the front wheel with the web. You can plainly see what forces were at work here. These are the 10,000# straps that were as tight as we could possibly get them. The U-bolts go thru the steel frame underneath. Before the impact the straps were vertical. Imagine if the Amphi was a 6,000+# Packard.

338087-web.jpg

Thanks for the new shorts, I can use them now for sure!

John "Slip slidin' away" Bevins

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John, I'm just glad your guardian angels weren't napping. laugh.gif And from the things you recently said you have survived, you have to have a whole fleet of them.

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What a Fun car...or is really a boat??? or possibly a landing craft??? At any rate every year the same guy gets stuck on some rocks in the middle of the Deleware river with one of these!!! This Spring he got stuck again while trying to impress some girlfriend. The car stayed in the river for four days before he could find a large tow truck with a long enough cable to pull him out of the river. He had to walk the cable out to the stranded car himself. It was a Big story on our local Philadelphia Action News Station. You know...

Funny story of the week!!! I wonder how the drive train faired after all those days in the river??? This is not the first time that the same guy got stuck in the water around here!!! They did a feature on him + the car on a local TV News Magazine!!! Sadly the car was very nicely restored before the last stranding!!! I hope you have a very long tow rope and a good automatic bilge pump??? Now do you get Car or Marine insurance???

Best of luck to you!!! Have fun!!!

Would you like to race my American Skier Ski-boat for the "Pink Slip"(454 HO Big Block)???

One last question...Can you waterski with this very unusual "Craft"??? shocked.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">(454 HO Big Block)???</div></div>

Wouldn't that be a 454 H2O Big Block? grin.gifwink.gif

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Shoprat, No that's only after he forgets to winterize it, it gets cold and the block freezes with a nice crack in the cyl. wall to the coolant jacket. blush.gif

or the boat sinks. frown.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What a Fun car...or is really a boat??? or possibly a landing craft??? At any rate every year the same guy gets stuck on some rocks in the middle of the Deleware river with one of these!!! This Spring he got stuck again while trying to impress some girlfriend. The car stayed in the river for four days before he could find a large tow truck with a long enough cable to pull him out of the river. He had to walk the cable out to the stranded car himself. It was a Big story on our local Philadelphia Action News Station. You know...

Funny story of the week!!! I wonder how the drive train faired after all those days in the river??? This is not the first time that the same guy got stuck in the water around here!!! They did a feature on him + the car on a local TV News Magazine!!! Sadly the car was very nicely restored before the last stranding!!! I hope you have a very long tow rope and a good automatic bilge pump??? Now do you get Car or Marine insurance???

Best of luck to you!!! Have fun!!!

Would you like to race my American Skier Ski-boat for the "Pink Slip"(454 HO Big Block)???

One last question...Can you waterski with this very unusual "Craft"??? shocked.gif </div></div>

Yes they are an extremely fun car, boat and landing craft! Any beach will do. grin.gif

That guy who got stuck is a friend of mine and fellow restorer (Billy). He was doing what all Amphicar owners do when asked for a ride. He opened the door and offered up a seat. They were just a couple of strangers. Every year there is a long list of vessels that get stuck there from small to very large. After he got swept into the rocks, He was on the cell phone to his wife saying "Everything is OK, the helicopter is on it's way..." and then the phone battery went dead! His only damage was where the rocks bashed the 1/4 panel in. The drive train is inside the hull, so no problems there.

Haggerty provides both marine policy and a land use policy. Same goes for licences, both boat and car are required.

I'd love to race you! Here's the rules.

- There will be only one person per team. (You and I)

- You must park your trailer in a legal parking spot (It's rude to leave it at the ramp)

- The race is from the top of the boat-ramp to a pre-determined location on the lake and back to the top of the ramp.

grin.gifcool.gifgrin.gif

Small children can get up behing an Amphi. I have a photo of this on the front page of our website. www.amphicar.com

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

- You must park your trailer in a legal parking spot (It's rude to leave it at the ramp)

- The race is from the top of the boat-ramp to a pre-determined location on the lake and back to the top of the ramp. grin.gifcool.gifgrin.gif </div></div>

John, Bill has been looking for a new stock to invest in. I think I am going to suggest the company that makes Crisco. Something tells me they are going to be selling a lot of it. grin.gif

P.S. Love the "cursor" on the Amphicar website.

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John, our woodie shifted in the trailer on our way out to the AGNM this summer. We were in IOWA running about 80mph, when an elderly person decided to go to a dead stop in the fast lane and turn around in the turn around lane marked no U-turns. This lady stops, a tractor trailer lays on the brakes and serves to the right to avoid her, we lay on the brakes and swerved to the left to avoid the tractor trailer and almost hit her. The lady then pulls out in the other lane and almost gets nailed from the other direction.

During the stop, the back end of the car shifted into the trailer about an inch to where the back fender caught the fender inside the trailer. It didn't do any sheetmetal damage, but it was enough to put a 1/4" scratch in the fender. Fortunately we had just bought our wide body trailer, and installed a new brake controller in the truck. Had one or both of those things not been done, we would've definately T-boned the lady that caused this mess, and really caused some damage. Our car was strapped tight, and the straps were crossed, but at 80mph, the car still shifted. Not alot, but enough to where the car was touching the inside of the trailer when we got to Northglenn. Because the car is so big, we had the car close to the right side so we can get in and out if it. If we'd have had the car centered in the trailer a little more, it wouldn't have happened.

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Guest my3buicks

maybe a moral on that story is to drive your rig at a speed that it can be controlled.

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Keith, I'd have to say no speed is safe on the highway nowadays when dealing with ignorant-inattentive drivers. Driving defensively is your only chance of survival.

Wayne

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">maybe a moral on that story is to drive your rig at a speed that it can be controlled. </div></div>

If it were only that easy! In your world, no one would be going anywhere with everybody sitting parked. There is NO speed other than zero that you can always control your vehicle. There are laws that so far can not be broken that dictate...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. </div></div>

In my case we were doing <5MPH and the wind push us off the road. Ex98thdrill was avoiding a errant elderly lady who should not be operating a vehicle. I would guess he was running with traffic flow. Your statement sounds feasable to youu, but it is a generality at best that can not be put to any practical real world application. The best thing to do is to prepare for the worst situation by having the proper equipment and experience. Those who can not handle the unexpected should be passengers or stay home.

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Coming home this morning, at the intersection near our house, there were two HUGE rolls of hay in the west bound lane and the far side of the intersection that some guys lost off of an open car trailer. blush.gif I bet they used rope and not strap tie-downs. It really is funny to see seven guys and cop standing there scratching their heads as to how they are going to get the hay back on the trailer without a forklift. crazy.gif They were making the turn to head down on the road that leads to our road and that is when they lost the load. At least no one else was involved and the rolls did not break.

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Keith,

Remember that in the civilized west we have speed limits of 70, 75 so around 80 mph might have been legal.

Speed doesn't really matter. Last night while waiting for a light to change I saw an idiot in a new Impala turn north just ahead of me on the street I was headed north on. It pulled to the curb and after all the traffic passed, made a U turn to go back out onto the east west street.

Did I mention that it was NIGHT, AND that the street was one way Northbound. What part of the ARROW didn't make sense to this idiot.

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OH,WAS THAT YOU??? (who passed "my" Impala? - line actually "borrowed - read stolen" from a Jackie Gleason Honeymooners sketch). Was what he did REALLY that bad? He did wait for ALL the traffic to pass (and I assume for the road to be completely clear). I have to admit to doing similar things on RARE occasions in the past - although I've NEVER driven an Impala. And remember he was going only ONE WAY on the one way street!!!...lol

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Guest

First, 1am is not a good time to be pulling anything. I'm sure you were bopping around in the cold loading that car all day.

Second, you were on the cell phone, so some brain cells were being occupied from their driving function.

Third, The REAL WEST is not a drive across Ohio...

The Winds is WY are bad all the time, summer, and winter.

You should have stop before night fall and got a good nights rest. I've been in junk yards all day, and then drove all night, after you have that meal in the truck stop, it's lights out.

I think you are going to have a few nights, waking up thinking about how dumb that move was for a $3,500 car.

I'm watching the "wild police videos" right now, waiting for the amphicar to go racing by.

don't try to live your whole life in one day.

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Yes John I was running with the flow of traffic. If I remember right, I think the posted speed limit was 75 so we may have been running a little over the limit, but not much. Although Tommy may be partially right about controlling the operation of your vehicle, but even when youre driving 55, when someone stops dead in front of you, like this lady did, you will still have to spike the brakes. We had enough control of our rig to where we were able to turn the truck to avoid hitting the tractor trailer. We had my Harley strapped across the nose of the trailer (inside) and it didn't budge. I think what got us was that the car was loaded to where it was offset a little bit to give us more room to get in and out of the car after it was loaded and unloaded.

...think about this logic.

If you pull out in front of a loaded tractor trailer and the truck hits you, it isn't the truck driver's fault because he couldn't stop the truck in time.

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Quote; "I think what got us was that the car was loaded to where it was offset a little bit to give us more room to get in and out of the car after it was loaded and unloaded."

This can also put more weight on the one side of the axle, tires, etc. With to many cars, for me cutting a side door in was not an option so I installed a winch. Don't have to worry about squeezing in and out of a 5" door opening either. Can haul non running vehicles also but the big plus is if you are somewhere and have a breakdown the car can be loaded safely and quickly. Two years ago I brought my Amphicar home from Ohio on 3 wheels thanks to a winch (and Amphicar Buyer).

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Yep we got a winch, but my father is too pigheaded to use it unless we can't get the car running. Like computers, he refuses to accept newer technology and that's where him and I get into some of the biggest fights.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">First, 1am is not a good time to be pulling anything. I'm sure you were bopping around in the cold loading that car all day.</div></div>

We were on our way home, "bopping around" is not a accurate description. 1AM traffic is much better than 1PM traffic. UNder normal circumstances we would have already been in a warm hotel for 2+ hours.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Second, you were on the cell phone, so some brain cells were being occupied from their driving function.</div></div>

It was on speakerphone sitting on the console. I had pulled over to make the call. At the time, I was not even speaking, I was paying attention to the traffic and road at the time. It had NOTHING to do with the events. The combination 35-50MPH wind gusts and ice that caused the problem.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Third, The REAL WEST is not a drive across Ohio...

The Winds is WY are bad all the time, summer, and winter.</div></div>

I'm not sure how you get to Ohio from Wyoming, I missed this part in Geography class. confused.gif I grew up driving in the snow here in the "REAL WEST" in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where we don't even close schools until we get 8"+ of snow. Snow days at work happen rarely. It takes a a foot of more of snow to shut things down around here.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You should have stop before night fall and got a good nights rest. I've been in junk yards all day, and then drove all night, after you have that meal in the truck stop, it's lights out.</div></div>

We sleep every night, never setting an alarm to be sure we get the sleep we need. This night there were no available places to park as ALL pullouts were over full with trucks and campers, no rooms were available (we stopped several times). I am not about to park on the shoulder putting us in harms way. You may be too old and decrepid to stay up past dark wink.gif, but we prefer to travel at night when the traffic is less. We usually are on the road by 9 or 10AM and shut down by 10-12PM. Two drivers, changing shifts every tank (about 4 hours) has worked out well for us during the 30,000+ miles (33 states) we have travelled together just in the last 3 years.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think you are going to have a few nights, waking up thinking about how dumb that move was for a $3,500 car.</div></div>

Nope, not even a second thought about it. We did what we had to do under the circumstances. Unless you were there in our shoes experiencing the same hardships and conditions, you can not assume what you would or could do. It always works on paper, but not always in the real world.

Our choices were to park on the shoulder hoping all the trucks flying by at 70+MPH would continue to fly by and not hit us, sit in the truck on a side road hoping we have enough fuel so as not to freeze (several people each year are found frozen in thier cars because of this) or move on during a time of less traffic keeping the speed at a safe minimum continuing to scout out for loging (which we finally found in Laramie). We made our choice and I would make the same choice under the same circumstances without so much as a second thought. We made the right decision... period.

I have been driving since I was 10 (farm boy) and cross country trips since I was 16. It was partly my skills, my ability to keep my composure under pressure and a some luck that we stayed on the road.

I will GLADLY pay $3500 for every Amphicar you can find me. Sight unseen!

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">don't try to live your whole life in one day. </div></div>

My life has always been lived one day at a time. When you're told you will die within a year (That was 39 years ago, by the way), you tend to live your life as if you have but one day to live (you may just have but one day but don't know it).

Every day is a gift, so live well, love each day as it it were your last.... it may very well be the last.

I do appreciate and respect your opinions, concerns and your well intentioned advice. icon_thumleft.gif However in this case it would not be the best advice for our circumstances. It may have been for you if you were in our shoes and without (I assume) much experience in driving in these conditions. For us, we did the right thing. peace.gif

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Guest

Yes, this is your Mother talking.....

It's funny you said all the campers were off the road parked.

I posted your story on my airstream group with some 2,200 members, and the head group leader quote is:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I seriously hope no one on this list is crazy enough to pull their trailer

> in such conditions..... anyone driving in that is a Darwin Award Winner

> candidate. </div></div>

I like driving at night, but you took a BIG risk.

I will note this airstream group is for "full time RV's".

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