FOUNTAIN VALLEY—There have been a many number of amphibious car models, but they don’t compare to the Evinrude Lakester – a concept first revealed in 1970 which combined, more or less, a car and a boat into one. Some might be familiar with the concept of the amphibious car (the German manufactured Amphibicars can still be ridden at Disney World today), but the Lakester took the boat-and-car-in-one idea to a whole new level.
Described by some as a kind of boater’s dune buggy, the Lakester could be seen as the ultimate recreational vehicle of its era – even though the idea was perhaps a little strange. On an original pamphlet describing the vehicle/vessel, the Lakester was called “the beaterized dune buggy.” While the Amphibicar was both able to drive on land and in water simultaneously, the Lakester was essentially half car/half boat. The boat was modeled to slip into the car’s shell, giving operators the ability to launch the boat into the water by removing it from the car.
Oh, and remember the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile? It turns out that the Lakester was designed by none other than Brooks Stevens, an acclaimed auto designer who conceptualized the Wienermobile and the Jeep Wagoneer.
Considered America’s best marine expositions at the time, Boat, Travel & Outdoors Show and Sports & Boat Show commissioned Stevens’ creation. The car was actually a promotional endeavor for boat show promoters, but the result has really come to stick in the minds of both auto and watercraft enthusiasts over time.
Some might be wondering how this imaginative creation drove/steered? It turns out that the Lakester likely did not have the ability to be drivable.
In an article by Jalopnik.com, it states, “There’s not a whole lot of technical details about any of it, really. While the concept may have been drivable, I’m doubtful the boat could have actually been removed, as seen in the drawings.”
Evinrude, of course, is still a major player in the boating world and has manufactured some rather top tier vessels over the years. Perhaps that technology has changed, Evinrude would consider revisiting this technology? It might come in handy as sea levels continue to rise on the coast. Regardless of whether The Lakester makes a comeback, it will probably not be long forgotten.