The Mini Cooper Yachtsman

Discerning fact from fiction is a major hazard of the information age. When the always serious BMW Group Public Relations Department issued a press release about the all New Amphibious MINI Cooper Yachtsman to launch beside the Hudson River at the New York International Auto Show, the document went to the save file.

Only later did the April 1st date obviate the fact that this was an April fools prank — which BMW played to the hilt by displaying the not-quite seaworthy Yachstman at the Auto Show. And yet the amphibious Mini Cooper is still not for real — never going nearer to the Hudson than the Convention Center display floor.

Not that amphibious cars are so outlandish. Throughout the 1960’s Amphicar of America sold a German built two-seater with an English Triumph engine. Unfortunately a high price-tag of the Amphicar 700 and consumer skepticism swamped the company by 1969.

Among the numerous amphibious vehicles currently being promoted — the Humdinga SUV/4WD by Gibbs Technologies — is a sport off-road winner. For the jet-set scene stealer there’s the sexy $175,000 Hydra Spyder with a Corvette LS2 450 Horsepower engine and a Berkley Marine Jet with power trim and steering package.