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Minn. Amphicar club takes dip in Bryant Lake

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A once-popular car that drives on both land and in water dove into Bryant Lake in Eden Prairie Monday as gawkers gathered at the boat launch, the Star Tribune reports.

Manufactured in the 1960s, amphibious cars called Amphicars were built in Germany for the U.S. recreation market, according to the newspaper. More than 3,000 Amphicars were imported between 1961 and 1967, even President Lyndon Johnson owned one.

The company eventually folded and only about 400 vehicles in the country remain.

The dual-purpose vehicle, which maxes out at 7 mph in water and 70 mph on land, is No. 16 on TIME Magazine's "50 Worst Cars of All Time."

"The standard line is that the Amphicar was both a lousy car and a lousy boat, but it certainly had its merits," the magazine reads.

The nearly two dozen members of the St. Croix Valley Amphicar Club are part of a loyal following in Minnesota, the Star Tribune says.

One enthusiast in Duluth, retiree Tom Maruska, is rebuilding his fourth Amphicar. One of Maruska's restorations sold for $124,800 in 2006, a world record.

The newspaper has video and photos.

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