By on May 17, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride marks the first time we’ve featured an amphibious car in this series. It goes on land and on the water and ensures its owner looks very cool wherever they are.

And you can hardly tell it’s a boat!

The Hydra Spyder is a current model manufactured by Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International, or CAMI. The company is based in South Carolina and produces several different types of amphibious vehicles. Models include a tour bus, a search and rescue vehicle, a floating Ford Explorer, and a full-sized motor home. They also make one non-seafaring vehicle, the Biotrike. That one is a plug-in hybrid three-wheeler.

CAMI’s most successful product is the amphibious tour bus called the Hydra Terra, which sees tour duty in various coastal cities. But for the individualist who likes to direct their own land-to-water action, the Hydra Spyder is the way to go.

In production since 2006, the Spyder is a two-door cabriolet. It can drive directly into the water, where it tucks in its wheels to create the required flat hull for boating. CAMI ensured the Spyder had plenty of power on land and sea via a 450 horsepower Chevrolet 6.2-liter LS3 V8. Paired to a five-speed manual, the Spyder is kind of a Corvette that goes in the water. Top speed on land is claimed at 125 miles per hour, as well as a cruising speed of 46 knots (52.9 mph) in the water.

The hull is filled with foam, and the car’s outer shell is made of a lightweight aluminum alloy to keep weight to a minimum. As a result, the Spyder weighs 3,300 pounds despite its generous proportions. Inside the white and blue trimmed nautical interior are the various required boat controls, a four-spoke steering wheel, some old Ford switchgear, and space for four passengers. The exterior is a CAMI original design, though its headlamps were donated by a 2000s Mercury Cougar.

Today’s Rare Ride the Nautical Nonsense is for sale in Missouri, and the dealer notes it’s one of just six Spyders from the 2008 model year. With 170 miles on the odometer, its ask is $182,000.

[Images: YouTube]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

19 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 2008 Cool Hydra Spyder, a Stylish Boat Car for the Discerning...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    $182,000. Wow…I’m guessing hard drugs are legal in the state of Missouri? Either that or massive head trauma caused by the evil flying carp of the Mississippi River.

    One of six from 2008. Rare doesn’t mean valuable. It kind of looks like something cobbled together from three blokes from England, given a man’s name, and then would eventually sink in a canal or a loch somewhere in the UK.

  • avatar
    Cicero

    I guess the fact that you can park it in a fountain is kind of a plus.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    You gotta be impressed by the single rubber door seal! Come on. This thing reeks of precision manufacture. It doesn’t look like a boat, but does it handle like one? The world needs to know.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      This is a good application of walk-in bathtub technology. Boat on the water, hot tub on land? Now you’re talking.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        Who knew those annoying Flex-Seal informercials would have a product that came in handy?

      • 0 avatar
        NigelShiftright

        “Boat on the water, hot tub on land? Now you’re talking.”

        Someone else was there first.

        https://www.core77.com/posts/85242/Steven-M-Johnsons-Bizarre-Invention-129-The-Hot-Tub-Convertible?utm_source=core77&utm_medium=from_title

  • avatar
    Mike-NB2

    The only way I could own something that looks this bad is if I was blind, and if I’m blind then I probably wouldn’t drive nearly as much as I do now so I wouldn’t need this. Catch-22 with a good outcome.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    This looks like something you would see on the front cover of the Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog. For some reason I keep getting these in the mail on a monthly basis, I’m certainly not in their demographic. About a decade or so ago they were featuring a completely rebuilt World War II PT boat for a cool million dollars-just the thing for discriminating drug runners. I certainly would not want to try for 125 mph on Land with it or on the water for that matter. It’s obviously a toy for someone with more money than they know what to do with.

  • avatar
    ajla

    For the asking price I could buy this and have money left over to entertain Tilted Kilt waitresses.

    https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2000/sunseeker-superhawk-50-3712481/

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The intersection of “car” and “boat” on the Venn diagram makes my wallet tremble.

    If I am throwing away money on watercraft, this is me right here:

    https://youtu.be/E41kFAL0UUo

  • avatar

    With the front end obviously designed for watery excursions, motoring up to 125 mph would most likely exhibit a ‘bit’ of floating front end fun making the car quite dangerous at that speed. Agree with thought of this being a toy for someone with more money than they know what to do with.

  • avatar
    chris724

    “a cruising speed of 46 knots (52.9 mph) in the water”

    Wow, this is no Amphicar.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    I would love a practical amphibious car. Something based on a Wrangler. This segment would benefit from electrification to simplify and bring down costs. One issue is cars and boats have different smog restrictions and the more stringent applies.

  • avatar
    NigelShiftright

    Needs a bumper sticker which says “I Don’t Know What To Do With My Money”.

    Actually, now that I think it over, it doesn’t.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    The doors and mirrors almost look cribbed from a last-generation Fox Mustang, circa 2004.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Strong work on finding this oddball.I never even knew it existed. Incidentally,I enjoy perusing Gateways website. They have such detailed pics / descriptions of their inventory.

  • avatar
    LifeIsStout

    As weird as it sounds, I recognized the headlights right off as being from the final generation of Mercury Cougar. I bet quite a bit of the bits come from Ford (side mirrors may be as well).

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    Two options are available for this vehicle:

    1) Exxon tanker truck escort (on land)
    2) Exxon supertanker escort (on water)

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Land Ark: I remember watching them do this to a couple trucks on Spike TV PowerBlock – I don’t think it...
  • cardave5150: I seem to remember reading somewhere that the “tarted-up Yukon” program was originally...
  • dukeisduke: The “Built In Texas by Texans” thing was originally used on a sticker in the back window of...
  • 28-Cars-Later: MR. BURNS: We did twenty takes, and that was the best one.
  • mopar4wd: Yeah the brakes were not great on these. A marina I worked at in the early 2000’s had a couple of...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber