The International Amphicar Owners Club (IAOC) is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the last production model year of the Amphicar. Amphicars were manufactured in Germany for the Amphicar Corporation of American from 1961 to 1968. The total production run consisted of 3878 cars, of which over 3,000 were shipped to the United States. Although, it cannot be verified the last Amphicars were probably built in 1965 or 1966, since sales just were not meeting expectations. Interesting that the cars were shipped without the year of manufacture stamped on the VIN plate, so the dealer would stamp the date he sold the car. So in effect, he was selling a new car even though it might have been built two years earlier. The IAOC VIN registry highlights this fact when you see VIN Numbers and model years all over the map. There are a few cars registered as 1968 hence, the “Last production year- 1968”.
To celebrate the last model year, the IAOC is putting on its 50th Anniversary Swim-in in Celina, OH, July 26-29, 2018. Celina has been the home of the National Swim-in for the past 15 years. It is located on Grand Lake St. Mary’s which is the largest hand dug lake (13,500 acres) in the United States, dating back to 1800’s when it was a reservoir for the Miami and Erie canal system. Celina, OH, a small town of 10,000 residents is within 10 miles of the geographical center of all Amphicar owners in the club.
According to Jim Golomb, President of the IAOC, "We hope to have 75 to 100 Amphicars attend this special Swim-in. If we get at least 72 Amphicars, we will be able to claim the Guinness World Record for the most Amphicars in one location. In conjunction with the Lake Festival committee, we are planning a number of events for the community and for the attendees. We have two public service events planned. The first is our 13th Annual visit to the Otterbein Retirement Village to give rides to the residents and families. For the second activity, we will be giving rides to the general public for a donation which will benefit the C.A.L.L. Ministries, a local food bank. We are also planning a number of in-water events for the club members, including the Royal Flush Poker game, where 104 plastic balls (two decks of cards)are put out in the lake each with 'card suit and number', plus two wild cards (rubber duckie). There is a 10,000,000 dollars grand prize for the car that comes up with a natural Royal Flush. Another popular in water game is the 'Bobbing for Booze' where one of the club members, George Randall, who owns a chain of liquor stores, supplies over 400 mini bottle of spirits and wine. We put little lift rings on each bottle so they float. The object of the game is to see how many bottles you can collect. A new game this year is “Scrabble”, where we have tennis balls with letters and point values so you collect the balls and try and make a word with the great point value."
The Swim-in has historically been the weekend of the Celina Lake Festival which brings thousands of people to town for a car show, carnival, craft fair and fireworks. The Amphicars will line up at the “Hot Hole”, a local boat ramp which features a small lagoon where people line the banks to watch the Amphicars splash in. On Saturday, the Amphicars lead the parade through Celina capping off a great weekend of talking Amphicars, swimming with the cars and sharing the cars with the local community.
On Sunday a group of Amphicars will head to Port Clinton on Lake Erie for three more days of swimming with their Amphicar as they tour the Bass Islands including world famous Put-in-Bay.
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