The “Corphibian” is part Chevrolet Corvair Loadside, part boat, and completely awesome.
The one of a kind Corvair Loadside is a product of two innovative GM engineers who wanted to build a vehicle to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle – the original Beetle that could float on water. Some say that the two engineers, Richard E. Hulten and Roger D. Holm – were most likely inspired by the 1960’s Amphicar Model 770 which was powered by a Triumph four-cylinder. And like the Amphicar, the Corphibian is a rear-engine vehicle.
With projects like the Amphicar costing millions to develop, General Motors opted to not heavily invest in a product with such a niche market, so the two engineers took it upon themselves to start up a short-lived company called Hulten-Holm and Company and build the Corphibian on their own. Hulten and Holm then rented a garage in Pontiac, Michigan, where they transformed a brand-new Loadside Corvair from Mathews-Hargrave Chevrolet.
Ken Hand, president of the Corvair Society of America, is full of knowledge on the Corphibian. Hand notes that the Loadside was chosen over the Rampside because it would be less work to waterproof, and was the lightest truck with the best balance that they could acquire.
Hulten and Holm began by extending the read of the Loadside by two feet, to make room for the hydraulic reservoir and motors that turned the twin propellers mounted behind each rear wheels along with electronically controlled rudders behind each of the propellers. A hydraulic pump was then mounted to the stock flat-six cylinder engine to provide the required pressure. After all this work was the done, they sealed off the underside with a fiberglass “underpod.”
Pretty neat stuff, huh? Well, if you’re sitting there reading this and thinking to yourself, “I must have this,” you’re in luck – the Corphibian will be for sale at the Mecum Kissimmee auction next month.