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Is The Watercar Panther the Ultimate Vehicle?

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On: Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 5:51PM | By: Karen Cook

Is The Watercar Panther the Ultimate Vehicle?

It’s 7:30 in the morning. Traffic is backed up on the interstate in Tampa, Florida. A lot of it is stuck on one of the many bridges that crisscross the bay. The water is so beautiful though with the sun glinting off the empty blue expanse. Wait a minute! It’s empty! No traffic down there at all. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a car than ran in the water too? Boy, getting to work would be a breeze!

This idea isn’t new. “Engineers” have been toying with designs since 1750. Most of these were vehicles with wheels and sails and were powered by air on the road or in the water. Significant advances were made in World War II when necessity demanded the ability to travel almost anywhere in the same vehicle. It wasn’t until the 20s, however, when technology progressed far enough to make an amphibious vehicle more practical for recreational use. Most designs from this decade either put wheels and axles on a boat or put a hull on a chassis. Either way, they didn’t take off.

Modern engineers have been much more successful. It is now possible to purchase your own water car. The Watercar Panther is available to anyone who needs or wants this kind of versatility. It comes with a Honda V6 VTEC engine and a 250-hp outboard motor, also from Honda. This gives the “car” an 80+ mph capability on the road and the “boat” 40 mph in the water. The 4-speed manual transmission is standard.

The body is made of lightweight fiberglass and is stuffed with 32 cubic feet of closed-cell Styrofoam which has been approved by the Coast Guard and is touted to be unsinkable. (This stuff wasn’t available when the Titanic was built.) The interior seats four, has a retractable windshield, and the seats are made of stainless steel covered in marine vinyl so it doesn’t matter how wet they get.

Considering the myriad of places you can take this little gem, it’s a steal at the starting price of $75,000. For those more appreciative of higher end gadgets, you have a range of choices adding up to a top price of $135,000.

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