Rare Rides: The 2008 Cool Hydra Spyder, a Stylish Boat Car for the Discerning

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 2008 cool hydra spyder a stylish boat car for the discerning

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]

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2 of 19 comments
  • LifeIsStout LifeIsStout on May 20, 2021

    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).

  • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on May 21, 2021

    Two options are available for this vehicle: 1) Exxon tanker truck escort (on land) 2) Exxon supertanker escort (on water)

  • Tassos surprise surprise.A VW owner is selling a van on Cars and Bids today, and his name is "My VW Sucks"True Story, and no surprise either.Alfas are infinitely more unerliable (if that's possible).Enjoy!PS Tim,tomorrow your series is due for another glorious member of the Fix It Again Tony family of FIAT POS'sA Yugo.
  • Tassos Despite the incomplete results, this article was the most useful, by far, of all TTAC articles for the entire Q3
  • Jkross22 Pedestrian.... trapped.... in San Francisco. Man, there's a lot of truth in this article.
  • Arthur Dailey What the heck is an 'influencer'?And who would buy or do something because somebody on a social media site told them to or recommended/flogged something?Maybe I am just too old and cynical to understand those who actually are 'influenced'? But then I also never trusted or was 'influenced' by celebrity endorsements or product placements.However I did know and coach a teenager who became extremely wealthy because he set up a Youtube channel where people paid to watch him and his friends play video games.
  • Dukeisduke $8,000 for this rustbucket? It's a '73, not a '74 ("Registered and titled as a 1973…it looks like a ‘74 to me"), and anyway, mid to late '60s Alfa Berlinas are much more desirable.Even if you kept it in a garage and didn't drive it in the rain, it wouldn't stop rusting, it might just progress more slowly. This looks more like a parts car than something you'd drive. It needs rear main seals all over the car, so that oil leaks can slow down the rust, like all the oil on the underbody.