Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Part Jeep, Part Porsche - Amphibious, Too

Posted September 27, 2011 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Wendell Fletcher, an admirer of Porsche innovation and mechanicals, decided to build an amphibious Jeep around an air-cooled Porsche 356 four-cylinder engine, bolting the Porsche drivetrain and suspension to the aluminum tub. He made it light enough (1,475 or 1,490 pounds, depending on your source) to be transported by air and added a special transfer case and front differential to make it four-wheel drive.

To make it swim, he adapted the jet-cooling principles of aircraft engineer Otto Koppen (one of the men responsible for the Ford Trimotor and the Ford Flivver), which Fletcher Aviation already had applied to its FD-25 Defender. The system doesn't appear to have worked well at all as a propulsion device, which is likely why many references to the Flair note that the simple turning of its wheels propelled it in the water.

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