Amphibious car sets sail at Great British Car Journey

Dutton Surf

Is it a duck? Is it a boat? Is it a car?  It’s all three. It’s a Dutton 4WD Surf – an amphibious vehicle can be seen in Great British Car Journey.

Like all the cars in the UK’s award-winning interactive car museum’s collection, the custom-built amphibious car is in full working order – on land and water!

Great British Car Journey’s director Andrew Talbot took the Dutton 4WD Surf on its maiden voyage recently when it entered the river and travelled upstream before returning to dry land.

He said: “I have spent a lot of time on the Derwent in my kayak and I’m confident that this is the first amphibious car to have ever travelled on the river. Being in the Dutton was an altogether different experience from being in my kayak or even a normal car, but it was fantastic. I loved every minute of it.”

Now named the ‘Derwent Duck’ by the museum team, the craft was built by British inventor Tim Dutton at his factory in Littlehampton. Tim has been making the only successful amphibious car in the world since 1989 at a factory that used to make lifeboats.

No more than seven of the amphibious cars are made each year and a number of them have appeared in high profile TV programmes like Hunted and Britain’s Got Talent where it was driven in the opening sequence by Simon Cowell and David Walliams.

Travelling on water at a top speed of five knots powered by jet propulsion, the Dutton Surf is designed for lazy days on the river rather than powerboating. On land, the Dutton 4WD Surf operates like a normal car and is fully road legal with a top speed of 85mph.

The craft, when not on the Derwent, can be found in the museum’s 150-strong collection which celebrates the weird and wonderful, and best and worst, of British car design over the last 100 years.

Commenting on the Derwent Duck’s addition to the exhibition, Richard Usher founder and CEO of Great British Car Journey, said: “Tim Dutton is yet another example of a British engineering pioneer and we are delighted to have the Dutton 4WD Surf in our collection. Like many of the cars in the collection, it’s a real talking point.”

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