1985 - It's not really known exactly what caused the car to sink only in seconds. According to the owner "The car fell out from under us". I would guess a door accidentally got opened which sank the car only in seconds in The Stockbridge Bowl outside Boston, Mass in 1985. It was described to me by the owner. He stated that after the car went down, "it popped back up with the nose pointing straight up, briefly with the headlights still on, bobbed a couple of times and the slowly disappeared below the surface."
Early in 2003 - The owner was speaking with a friend and during the conversation he mentioned that he had sank an Amphicar in 1985 and was curious if it still existed. One person who was there had access to a magnetometer (he was on the crew that found the Titanic) and would be happy to give it a go. After some work it was found in 52' of water.
No way to know what condition it was it other than sending a diver down to physically look her over. The diver literally ran into the car finding it sitting upright. That water was 0-0-0 visibility. The worst possible conditions. This means that you can not see anything at all...not even your hand in front of your face. Between the silt and depth of the water, feeling by hand was the only way.
May, 2003 - The owner called me about a plan to bring it up. Where to hook onto etc. After a few conversations, a plan was devised. His crew decided to use lift bags and then donated them to a local rescue squad. These bags are be attached to the car and filled with air or diesel fuel to lift the car slowly.
June, 2003 - After 10 dives to attach the bags and ready the crew, the car was brought to just below the surface. The bags were repositioned so the car was hanging level. An 85' cable was attached to the tow hook on the car and a tow truck pulled the car towards the very same ramp it drove in on 17 years earlier. The car's front wheels touched the ramp and started to roll up and out of the water.
Unexpectedly the tires still had air in them! The pictures below show the car just as it came out of the water. The seats were still soft, the owner's wallet was still in the glove box and with only a simple wipe, the chrome still shined. The car is being restored to it's former beauty and should be swimming again very soon! As I find out more about it's progress, I'll pass on what the owner will allow.