AMPHICAR

San Diego Tips & References,  1 October 2003

 

A database of services, references, vendors, engine machine shops, painters, body men; well, you get the idea, all related to owning and repairing Amphicars in the San Diego region. Nothing fancy, just a list of tips covering real experiences. Is there a Triumph mechanic who is really good, is there a welding shop to avoid, who did your wheel alignment, where did you buy your tires, have you used a Tijuana upholstery shop? The good, the bad, and the ugly!

 

 

Category

Location

Reference

*

Amphicars

Gordon Imports Inc.
14330 Iseli Road
Santa Fe Springs, CA

562-802-1608 (voice)
562-404-1904 (Fax)
Email: gordonimports “AT” worldnet.att.net
Hugh Gordon

The only authoritative source for everything Amphi. Original parts, replacement parts, service, advice and restoration. Get a copy of their inventory / price list.
AMPHICAR OWNER BUSINESS

EP
2/03

Bilge Pump

West Marine
1250 Rosecrans
Point Loma area
San Diego, CA
619-225-8844

630 Bay Blvd
Chula Vista, CA
619-422-1904

Near exact replacement for original Amphi pump. (Not sure if in-stock at Gordon Imports at this time?) Mounts upside down like original “old style” Amphi unit. Brass body. Hookup and mounting almost identical. You need two additional fittings to thread into inlet/outlets (1 elbow/1 straight). JABSCO Self-Priming Pump (Water Puppy) Model # 18660-0121 (12V, 8Amp, 15A fuse, 6+ GPM) IMPORTANT! Buy the NITRILE Impeller #6303-0003 (not included). It is oil resistant. The one supplied is not, and it will seize in time.

PR
8/02

Body Shop
Supplies

Body Shop Supplies, Inc.

7473 Broadway
Lemon Grove
619-464-4131

Len McFadden

DuPont paint, fiberglass, epoxies, filler, abrasives, paint stripper. A bit grungy, but this is where the body guys buy their supplies.

EP
2/03

Brakes &
Suspension

Brake Pros
Pacific Beach
858-270-7631

I found a great brake guy who works at 'Brake Pros' (previously called Brake Depot) in Pacific Beach. His name is 'Angel' (talk directly to him only) and has done all the brakes and suspension work on all our cars---and had a great time with the Amphicar. He has developed shoes that are vastly superior to the original ones---they work great first time out the water! He also did the whole suspension (shocks/springs) and refers to a tire shop nearby for alignments.

RR
12/02

Chrome
Plating
&
Trim

Anobrite
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.anobrite.com

Pulling those fin trim strips is a pain. There's nothing holding them other than glue. The big problem is when a piece of the glue breaks loose; you bend the strip since the rest of the glue is still holding. I would recommend a custom made grabbing device that can pinch an extended area along the lower edge of the strip and lift the strip with a chain type hoist. That way you practically eliminate the "bounce" when the glue breaks loose and minimize the bending. It would probably help to heat the section of strip to soften the glue first. When all else fails, I found a place in Los Angeles that did an amazing job of perfectly straightening the bent strips and they re-plated all seven pieces plus an extra one that I had around. They charged about $400 for the whole deal and they came out looking perfect and original. The original finish is called "bright dip anodizing" It's a "not often done" and highly toxic type of anodizing. Most anodizers won't do it today. I think the hubcaps cost me about $60 each to have done but I'm not sure since it was part of a larger order. These guys had a $250 minimum charge so you don't want them to do one piece. Having them all done though, I thought, was a pretty good deal. They're kind of a one-stop place for all trim repairing.

JF
7/02

Coatings &
Finishes

Kel-Coatings
8646 Commerce Ave.
Suite A
San Diego, CA 92121
858-578-5812

This is a fine little shop for any powder coating needs. The guy loves Amphis and has an eye for Amphi rim restoration via powder coating - any color and texture.

JE
7/02

DMV

El Cajon

Have heard of problems using other DMV offices; EC office had no problem processing my paperwork.

·       Make an appointment at the CA DMV office; use their web site to set it up.

·       When you get to the DMV office, go to their START desk right away (don't stand in any START Desk line), tell them about the appointment, and be SURE they give you a ticket that starts with the letter "A" (for having an appointment, duh, but mistakes happen). Your wait time should be 15 minutes or so. Without an appointment, or if they accidentally give you a B through who knows ticket, the wait will be two hours or so.

·       Be ready to pay in cash or personal check; they don't take bank plastic.

·       CA has a provision for an amphibious vehicle class; they may need to look it up, but it's there in the code. OTOH, the body style is a "convertible" (little did they know). The DMV will issue you both the land and water documents (at least you don't need to deal with two different bureaucracies).

·       CA has more darn little costs than closing a mortgage; grin & pay. IIRC, my fees were around $400 total.

EP
6/02

Engine
Rebuilding

Speed Specialties
4781 El Cajon Boulevard
619-287-4500
San Diego, CA

I had a Spitfire engine rebuilt (starting in 7/8/02) by Speed Specialties on El Cajon Blvd., about four blocks East of Fairmont.  They're very, very slow, but another local Spitfire friend recommended them when I purchased his engine that they had recently rebuilt and balanced (complete job ~$2000). It looked like they did a very nice job with the motor, but I wanted additional performance modifications made, so I took it back. I now have some time on the engine, and it runs strong & smooth; I'm very happy with their work.

JM
7/03

Engine
Wizard

Tolley’s Foreign Car Service
7620 North Ave.
Lemon Grove, CA
619-461-3365

Currently semi-retired. Had entire overhaul in 1991. (13K miles) Engine runs perfectly to this day. Have never even turned a screw on the carb! Maintains freeway speeds easily. No modifications made. All original parts from Gordon Imports. He still works on a special appt. basis. Mention my name (Paul Riesland), and “Amphicar” to establish rapport. He worked on Amphis at the dealer when new!!!

PR
8/02

Junkyards of California

http://www.junkyards.com/directory2/index.html

A list of junkyards and recyclers. Start national and drill down to your local California town.

EP
12/02

Tools

Harbor Freight Salvage
http://www.harborfreight.com/

Okay, not the place to buy tools you need to make a living, but fantastic bargains on low & mid quality Chinese tools. Get all those vital, but low use gadgets that you know you need.

EP
6/02

Tools

Pat's Tools
560 El Cajon Boulevard
El Cajon, CA
619-442-0906

A dumpy hole-in-the-wall, attractive to bikers. That said, they have new & used tools for every craft imaginable. Stuff for machinists, truck mechanics, carpenters, masons, welders, etc. Grab a pry bar, a couple of sockets, some chisels; all at low cost.

EP
8/03

Transmission
Service

Sahli’s Exotic Autos
1691 Monrovia Blvd.
Newport Beach 92663
949-515-0989, ext. 3
Theodore Sahli
Email: Theosauto “AT” aol.com

15 years experience in Amphi transmissions; supplier to Gordon Imports.
AMPHICAR OWNER BUSINESS

TS
2/03

Triumph
Expert

El Cajon (
British Heritage
1433 Pioneer Way
El Cajon, CA
619-447-0025

Randy Zoller is a Triumph specialist. I [JM] don't know him personally or the quality of his work or anything else, but he's active in the local Triumph car club (but I am not, which is why I don't know more!)
I [EP] talked with Randy; although he specializes in restoring British cars, he was willing to talk to me about 1147 engine stuff. He recommends a shop next to him, Direct Sheetmetal, as great metal fab guys. He also would put an engine into his job queue at his preferred engine shop, but the $2k estimate for a very competent rebuild has me on hold for now.

EP
8/03
JM
7/02

Upholstery

Jim's Auto Upholstery
Convoy St. in Kearney Mesa
7902 Armour St.
San Diego, CA
858-268-8531

This is job shop that seems to do everything for anyone. Lots of classy cars in the lot. Some of the workers are craftsmen, some just basic laborers. Talk to the owner or foreman beforehand to get the craftsmen. I supplied my own upholstery kit and they did a great install for me. I'm sure they could start from scratch as well and still do a fine job.

JE
7/02

Upholstery
&
Convertible
Tops

Concours Interiors
1593 Monrovia Blvd.
Newport Beach 92663
949-548-2352
Richard Pirics

rpirics@socal.rr.com

http://www.concoursinteriors.com

I share space with Theo Sahli and do all of his interior and restoration work. I have done Theo’s own Amphi, plus 4 others in the past 2 ½ years. I do all interior parts, including seat reconstruction, like-original door panels, convertible tops and boot covers, carpeting and rubber matting.

TS
2/03

Upholstery
&
Convertible
Tops

Mr. Car Auto Upholstery
Mission Gorge area
4455 Twain Ave.
San Diego, CA
619-284-8129

Excellent work. Precise stitching. They matched my upholstery using photos, sketches, some patterns. (I had no original interior). Talk to owner. They also do or install convertible tops. Willing to let you install your own snaps after top has a chance to stabilize. All work can be done WITHOUT car being present. Very reasonable prices at the time (1992) Entire interior: seats, all side panels, map pockets ($500.00) My interior still looks new. He does the subcontracting work for the local Cadillac dealer. High quality.

PR
8/02

Welding

David K.
Champion Industrial Products
1016 W. Hoover Ave.
Orange, CA 92867
714-288-8334

I recently had a piece that was chipped off the aluminum tunnel side of the transmission re-welded by an outfit here in Orange, California, and they only charged me $30. I am not sure if they would do it again or whether they just did me a favor, but they were very nice.

EH
8/02

 


 

Unverified & Unknown

The following list is based on suggestions and referrals by various local car-club enthusiasts and other non-Amphi owners. This info was typically generated by asking a car buff something like “Nice car; where did you get your chrome plating done?”

 

Category

Location

Reference

*

Bearings

King Bearing Inc.
405 Vernon Way
El Cajon, CA. 92020-1932
619-442-8874

619-236-1411

 

EP
10/02

Body Shop
Supplies

Body Shop Supplies, Inc.

7473 Broadway
Lemon Grove
619-464-4131

Len McFadden

Claimed that they were looking into setting up a “cold” chrome plating technique, now that Master appears to have closed. Will check later.

EP
2/03

Body Work
& Painting

American Muscle Cars
Lakeside, CA

To Be Investigated. They did some fine body & painting on a friend’s Chevelle; don’t know what they might think of an Amphi.

EP
10/02

Body Work
& Painting

Carl Mayfield
La Mesa, Ca.
619-287-4971

 

EP
10/02

Body Work
& Painting

Elite Autobody & Painting
4949 Baltimore
La Mesa, Ca.
619-667-3788

General Body & Painting, but recommended by 2 antique car owners.

EP
2/03

Body Work
& Painting

Jesse Mendez
1135 Greenfield Drive
El Cajon, Ca.
619-447-3792

General Body & Painting, but recommended by 2 antique & sports car owners.

EP
6/03

Body Work
& Painting

Ron Batson
9962 Prospect Suite K
Santee, Ca. 92071-4270
619-449-3239

 

EP
11/02

Chrome
Plating

Advanced Finishing

1300 N Johnson Ave., #102
El Cajon, CA 92020-1653
619-401-2200

 

EP
11/02

Chrome
Plating

American Metal Processing

390 Front St.

El Cajon, CA 92020-4206
619-444-6171

 

EP
11/02

Clutch

Southland Clutch

101 East 18th Street

National City, CA 91950

619-477-2105

http://www.southlandclutch.com

 

EP
11/02

Coatings &
Finishes

Powder Coating & Sandblasting
R.W. Little Co. Inc.
3923 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA. 92110-2023
619-291-0790

619-297-3705

 

EP
11/02

Engine
Balancing

Dennis Bean

1866 Friendship Dr. Suite A

El Cajon, CA. 92020-1115

619-449-1736

 

EP
11/02

Engine
Balancing

Performance Supply
1145 Greenfield Dr.
El Cajon, Ca. 92021-3351
619-441-0593

 

EP
10/02

Engine
Rebuilding

Carquest (Mike Weaver)
4575 30th Street
San Diego, CA. 92116
619-280-1639

 

EP
10/02

Engine
Rebuilding

Don's Speed Center Inc.
3303 Hancock St.
San Diego, CA. 92110-4302
619-297-4597

 

EP
10/02

Engine
Rebuilding

Egge Machine Company
11707 Saloon Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA. 90670
800-866-3443

310-945-3419

Huge engine rebuilding operation

EP
10/02

Engine
Rebuilding

Motorwerks
1490 Island Ave.
San Diego, Ca
619-233-8875

Big engine rebuilding operation

EP
2/03

General British Auto Work

British Heritage Motorsports
1143 Pioneer Way
El Cajon, CA 92020
619-258-1116
Randy Zoller

Randy is the only mechanic that I allow to work on my car. He has done extensive repairs, from rebuilding the transmission to adding a complete interior. Heritage can work on any British car from MG to Rolls Royce. Concourse and race preparation done to perfection. Always available for great advice and emergency repairs.
Recommended by Mary Turner Trfiend@aol.com

Also highly recommended by Triumph owners.

EP
7/03
JM
10/02

General British Auto Work

British Parts Depot
2720 Main St
San Diego
Tel: (619) 544-0999
Fax: (619) 544-1067
Al

Email: Britpart “AT” pacbell.net

http://home.pacbell.net/britpart/home.html

I have been using this shop for over 2 years now. It is by far the most in depth service I have ever received. They have worked on all of my British cars, 76 Midget, 59 Morris Minor, 72 MGB. The owner and mechanic is extremely helpful in providing extensive information on any subject in dealing with the care and maintenance, and upgrading of my vehicles. I have found their work to be very complete and through. I know of no British garage that can even come close to this one. I would recommend them to anyone.
Recommended by Thomas E Stewart

EP
12/02

General British Auto Work

Harloff
7445 University Ave.
La Mesa, CA
619-461-3600
Robert Nobles

There is always an MG or two (or three) there receiving tender, loving care!

EP
12/02

General German Auto Work

Autohaus Stebel
885 E. Washington
El Cajon 92020
619-444-1115

“Mercedes? Borgward? Porsche? Ja, I fix!”
Well, it’s a Teutonic atmosphere, the guy has confidence, and they have been at the same location over 20 years.

EP
2/03

Glass,
Custom

Bob Oliver

619-420-7999

 

EP
11/02

Mechanic

?

Ed Myers knows an Amphi-friendly wizard mechanic.
(Ed: hint; who & where?)

EM
10/02

Painting,
Pin-stripe

Alex Olivera
1265 Avocado Blvd.

Suite 104-504
El Cajon, CA. 92020-7783
619-589-1500

 

EP
11/02

Painting,
Pin-stripe

Neala's (at your location)
619-589-2169

 

EP
11/02

Parts

Broadway Auto Electric
7825 North Ave.
Lemon Grove, CA.

91945-1825
619-461-4555

Generators, Starters, Regulators

EP
10/02

Parts

Meets Early Auto Parts

29885 Second Street

Lake Elsinore, CA.
92532-2402

Tel (909) 674-5171

 

EP
11/02

Parts

NAPA Superstore

Convoy Court

San Diego, CA

NAPA's biggest San Diego stocking location. They had the serrated U-joint bolt tool!

EP
7/03

Parts

Old Cars and Parts
9945 Prospect Ave.
Santee, CA. 92071-4318
619-449-0551

 

EP
11/02

Parts,
British
Performance

A.P.T.

595 Iowa Avenue, Unit C
Riverside, CA 92507

909-686-0260
800-278-3278

http://www.aptfast.com

 

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

Equality Plating

8172 Center St.

La Mesa, CA 91942-2914

619-464-1515

Recommended by several car-show enthusiasts.

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

Keystone Automotive Plating
San Diego, CA
619-436-4646
or at 2060 India St.

San Diego, CA

619-232-7585

 

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

Lemon Grove Plating
1400 Cleveland Ave.
National City, CA

91950-4297
619-474-4424

 

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

Master Plating
2109 Newton Ave.

San Diego, CA 92113
619-232-3092

http://www.masterplating.com/

Several recommendations. I have seen their work & it looks nice, but they may have closed down due to environmental problems

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

Precision Plating

1488 Pioneer Way, #11

El Cajon, CA 92020-1633
619-442-5066

 

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

San Diego Metal Finishing

8775 Olive Lane, #1

Santee, CA 92071-4166
619-449-0222

 

EP
11/02

Plating,
Chrome

Specialized Processing

581 S Marshall Ave.

El Cajon, CA 92020-4293
619-442-0663

 

EP
11/02

Radiators

Kirk's Radiator
1754 Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, Ca. 92020-1244
619-562-8383

Been there >30 years.

EP
11/02

Suspension

National Spring Co. Inc.
1402 North Magnolia Ave.
El Cajon, CA. 92020-1622
619-441-1901

 

EP
11/02

Transmission
Rebuilding

Donald Wang

DRW Transmission Specialties
10728 Kenney St. Suite B,
Santee, CA 92071
619-258-4240

http://www.drwtransmission.com/

 

EP
10/02

Welding &
Frame Work

True-line
210 W Bradley Ave.
El Cajon, CA 92020
619-258-1800

 

EP
11/02

 


 

Cruise  Reviews

An attempt to identify and review every local swimmin’ hole.

 

County Lakes Conditions 619-465-3474

Weather Forecast (National Weather Service) 619-289-1212

Beach and Weather Conditions (San Diego Lifeguard Service) 619-221-8884

 

Name

Salt / Fresh

Location
(with Thomas map grid)

Review

*

Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Carlsbad
Snug Harbor Marina
4215 Harrison Street
1106 G7

http://www.californiawatersports.net/

EP
12/02

Anaheim

Tustin & Miraloma
Orange County
769 H1

Open when Santa Ana River Lake is closed. Launch fee is $8 ($18 for fishing). Two little islands in the lake.

EH
2/03

Big Bear

Big Bear Marina
500 Paine Road
Big Bear Lake, CA
(South Shore, Gibraltar Bay)

Marina & snack services. Launch ramp fee is $10. Lake elevation is 6,750’! 909-866-3218
http://www.bigbearmarina.com/launch.html
http://www.bigbearlake.net/maps/boatingmap.asp

EP
4/03

Big Bear

East Public Launch Ramp
Big Bear Lake, CA
(North Shore, East End)

Off Ca 38, immediately West of Stanfield Cutoff bridge. Fee unknown. Lake elevation is 6,750’! Open April 1 through November 30.
http://www.bigbearinfo.com
http://www.bigbearlake.net/maps/boatingmap.asp

EP
4/03

Big Bear

Holloway’s Marina
398 Edgemoor Road
Big Bear Lake, CA

(South Shore, Metcalf Bay)

Marina & RV park with boat & jet-ski rentals, lake cruises & private launch ramp. Lake elevation is 6,750’!
909-866-5706 or 1-800-448-5335 http://www.bigbearboating.com
http://www.bigbearlake.net/maps/boatingmap.asp

EP
4/03

Big Bear

West Public Launch Ramp
Big Bear Lake, CA
(North Shore, Windy Point)

Off CA 38, about 2 miles East of the dam. Fee unknown. Lake elevation is 6,750’! Open April 1 through November 30. http://www.bigbearinfo.com
http://www.bigbearlake.net/maps/boatingmap.asp

EP
4/03

Crystal
Lake

Yermo

Crystal Lake Estates is a PRIVATE lake of about 50 acres surrounded by double-wide mobile homes out in the desert. My neighbor owns a vacation home there. Use is by invitation only

EH
12/02

Cuyamaca

Sunrise Highway
South of Julian
1176 E6

http://www.lakecuyamaca.org/

EP
12/02

El Capitan

Lakeside
1231 E6

This is a nice long lake. When full, it stretches over five miles long. Makes for a nice full Amphicar’ing day! You approach the lake from the South, passing over a very steep grade (you literally climb over the edge of the dam.) From the ramp end, you head north until you see the other end. You are usually going with the wind. It is not advisable to make any landings at the far East end, as this is the Barona Indian Reservation land. Heading back, especially in late afternoon, there can be pretty good winds. With top and windows up it’s blast to go crashing through the waves in this direction. During summer it’s especially refreshing; cools the car down considerably. Most of the lake has steep side canyons and there are not really any exits other than the launch ramp, but the mountain views are great. There are the occasional fishermen in various alcoves. Since the lake is long and narrow, it is advisable to watch one’s rearview mirrors; crafts sometimes speed by you. At this writing (Feb 2003) the lake is very low and closed to boating. When the level returns this is one great place to go. Also, there is an excellent photo op spot a short distance before you arrive at the ramp. You are high up and can get nice panorama, zoom, or action shots of your car if you like. http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/elcap.shtml

EP
12/02

 

PR
2/03

Henshaw

Lake Henshaw
409 J8

http://www.lakehenshawca.com/index.html http://www.lakehenshawca.com/tariffs/index.htm

EP
12/02

Hodges

San Diego
1149 F3

My favorite local lake. Although there are no decent places along your voyage to go ashore (possible for an emergency, but frowned upon by rangers) it can be the most enjoyable. The best time is definitely BEFORE 11:00am. After that the winds kick up and one could get wet! It is so nice because you can meander through canyons, go around hills, etc. The lake is pretty large. On glass-calm water I was able to go real fast! Impressed my passengers (me too!).

Things that I avoid: Don't get too close, or go fast, past any fishermen in ANY lake. They don't think the Amphicar is so cute. I go by real slow from a distance, give a brief wave (some don't wave back) and keep moving. It also helps avoid wrapping their line around your props. I know a prize-winning sport fisherman from work. He is big-time in the sport. He likes the Amphicar a lot, but says the other guys generally don't. He has defended us many times. They seem to think that the cars are gross polluters with lots of bilge oil. I told him that, for the most part, they are very clean and well maintained. (Everyone listening?) As long as we keep our distance and speed down, there shouldn't be a problem. CURRENTLY CLOSED (Low water) http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/hodges.shtml

PR
12/02

Irvine

Irvine

I like Irvine Lake, but the launch is dirt and their entry fees are erratic; sometimes I get in for free, and other times they charge me per person (it cost me $29 once to get in!).

EH
12/02

Jennings

Lakeside
1232 E4

Boating on weekends only. Further information regarding hours, hour changes, closures, etc. may be obtained by calling the Helix Water District at 619-466-0585.

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/parks/camping/lake_jennings/lake_jennings.html

http://www.hwd.com/reserv/index.htm

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/parks/services/fishing.html#jennings

EP
12/02

La Jolla
Shores

San Diego
2000 Avenida de la Playa
1227 G5

This is a beach launch into the surf!!! Calmer than most area beaches so there are days when it is quite flat and an easy launch and return. A little wave action is fun, both going out and coming in. However, the area is a preserve so all you can do is go straight out for a quarter mile and then parallel the beach.

http://www.sannet.gov/lifeguards/beaches/shores.shtml

EP
12/02
SR
3/03

Miramar

San Diego
1209 G3

Home of the annual San Diego Amphicar Swim-In!
Nestled in Scripps Ranch area of San Diego off Highway 15, Lake Miramar is a small body of water surrounded by picturesque canyons and trees. The lake has a dozen cul-de-sacs for private anchoring, however there is also a walking/biking/rollerblading path 2/3 of the way around the lake and the locals often yell praise and wave to Amphicars. Local fishermen don't find Amphi very amusing, but most tolerate them if you keep your distance. The Rangers like Amphi, but don't tolerate splash entries. The lake is over-populated with waterfowl (ducks) and fishing is rumored to be very good (though I've never actually got a nibble much less a bit). Crowds often gather in the parking lot and on the ramp in hope of getting a ride. Cameras frequently pointed at Amphi from every angle. A $5 launch permit is required, as is the typical boating safety gear and registration. Open Saturday through Tuesday for boating from 4:00 AM to sunset. Overall, Lake Miramar is an easy to use casual day outing place with all the amenities (snack bar, bathroom, bait & tackle shop) that has a 5 mph speed limit - perfect for Amphi! (Note: Lake is closed until January 2003 for water treatment facility maintenance.) http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/miramar.shtml

JE
12/02

Miramar

San Diego
1209 G3

I will NEVER go down a ramp for a launch (high or low speed) without checking first. I was on Lake Miramar years ago. All went well. Two days later, the local news station wanted to do a spot on my car. Besides them rushing me (which led to a torn convertible top), they wanted to film a high-speed dive. Well, what could go wrong? I was just there two days before and the ramp was fine? I did the dive, and caved in the hull under my engine about 4 inches!!! Apparently, the lake operators had lowered the lake level by 12 feet since I had been there. The underwater curb (found on most ramps!) that stops boat trailers from rolling into the drink too far, was just below the surface. The Amphi rolled over this and came down hard on the bulbous hull portion just missing the props. I didn't know yet that I had done that. Then, (you thought this was over?), the film crew wanted to film an exit. I proceeded to exit the water and had a head-on collision with that curb so hard, that the front suspension broke a chunk of the concrete away. (Yeah! Amphicar!) The hull rang like a bell and hurled me into the windshield. All that was damaged on the car was the grease fitting on the tie rod end. Nevertheless, I had learned something new about ramps.  http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/miramar.shtml

PR
12/02

Mission Bay

Dana Landing
San Diego
2590 Ingraham Street
at Dana Landing Road

1268 A3

 

EP
12/02

Mission Bay

De Anza Cove
San Diego
2800 East Mission Bay Drive, near the intersection of Clairemont Drive
1248 D6

 

EP
12/02

Mission Bay

San Juan Cove
San Diego
900 Santa Clara Place
at Mission Boulevard
1267 J1

 

EP
12/02

Mission Bay

Ski Beach
San Diego
2900 Ingraham Street
at Vacation Road
1268 B2

 

EP
12/02

Mission Bay

South Shores
San Diego
404 Sea World Drive
1268 D3

Launch hours may be restricted.

EP
12/02

Morena

Campo
1297 D5

Call 619-478-5473 for up-to-date recorded info. http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/parks/camping/lake_morena/lake_morena.html

EP
12/02

Murray

San Diego
1250 F7

I lived up the street from Lake Murray as a kid from 1963 on. It is a nice lake with many branches or “fingers”. You get good variety in a small space, being that the lake is not one of the larger local lakes. The winds don’t usually kick up too high there. Sometimes the water gets real calm in the late afternoons. There is a nice ramp with nearby picnic grounds, restrooms, bait shop, and snack bar. Access is easy; right off the I-8 at the Lake Murray Blvd/70th street exit. There is a road that goes almost all the way around. This is accessible by bicycle, pedestrian, roller-skates, etc. Back in the ‘60’s you were allowed to drive this road by car, but it’s now blocked off. This lake has lots of land-able shore, but beach landings are not permitted. Best to keep some distance away and speeds down when passing fisherman in their boats.  Nice centrally located lake.

http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/murray.shtml

EP
12/02

PR
2/03

Otay (Lower)

Chula Vista
1332 A3

This is an excellent LARGE lake. It is very user friendly, with a nice wide multi-lane launch ramp. As you enter the water if you veer right, you can head towards the dam. This is nice, and they allow you to get pretty close. The lake extends for miles in several branches. Vast expanses and mild breezes make for a real nice Amphiventure! This lake offers nice picnic grounds, good vistas, and good photo spots. The Olympic training facility is located nearby. There are quite a few places one could land and go ashore. (I don’t know how strict they are about shore landings, as I have never done one there.) The beauty of this lake is its interesting location. You can take Otay Lakes Road heading East and end up at Highway 94 in Jamul. This is a beautiful scenic route and perfect for an Amphicar drive. For East County residents, this is a good choice. Or, the conventional route that goes West to the 805 freeway. This lake is usually not very crowded. One can exit the water and take care of Amphi-duties: drying, primping, bilge plug removal, etc. with ease. This is my personal favorite second only to Lake Hodges.

http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/lotay.shtml

EP
12/02

PR
2/03

Poway

Poway
1170 H4

http://www.ci.poway.ca.us/lake_poway/lake_poway.html

EP
12/02

Puddingstone

San Dimas

This is quite nice. Concrete boat ramps, shaded convenient picnic areas, cheap ($6.00) launch fee per vehicle.

EH
12/02

Salton Sea

Bombay Beach
410 L5

Bombay Beach Marina

 

EP
12/02

Salton Sea

Desert Shores
410 G5

Desert Shores Marina

 

EP
12/02

Salton Sea

Niland
411 A8

Red Hill Marina
760-348-2310

EP
12/02

Salton Sea

Salton City
410 H6

West Shores Boat Launching Facility
760-393-3052

EP
12/02

Salton Sea

Salton Sea Beach
410 G5

Salton Sea Beach Marina
760-395-5212

EP
12/02

Salton Sea

Salton
410 J3

Salton Sea State Recreation Area
760-393-3058

EP
12/02

San Diego Bay

Bayfront Park
Chula Vista
(End of Marina Way)
1329 H2

The City of Chula Vista operates Bayfront Park, with a public launch ramp, fee unknown. This site is immediately next to the huge, very up-scale, private Chula Vista Marina (550 Marina Parkway, 619-691-1860).
http://www.cvmarina.com/index2.ivnu

EP
4/03

San Diego Bay

Glorietta Bay Park
Coronado
(1715 Strand Way)
1309 A1

Glorietta Bay Marina, 619-435-5203.

EP
4/03

San Diego Bay

Old General Dynamics
Convair Plant
San Diego
1288 G1

The GD Convair plant is closed, the 100’ wide concrete ramp not maintained, private property at top of ramp, locked gate land access. Historic launch site for WWII Catalina flying boats. Emergency use only; ‘tis better to trespass than sink.

EP
4/03

San Diego Bay

Pepper Park
National City
(Take Tidelands Ave. to South end of Goesno Place)
1309 G5

Fee unknown.

EP
4/03

San Diego Bay

Seaport Village
San Diego
1288 J4

Not a launch site, but I had to include this site. The San Diego Seal Tours, 619-298-8687, offers a $24, two-hour bay tour ride on Hydra-Terra amphibians (really ugly). Might be fun to just follow their route!

http://www.historictours.com/seals/

EP
4/03

San Diego Bay

Shelter Island
San Diego
(2210 Shelter Island Drive)
1268 C3

Easy access to the Harbor, on Bay side of Shelter Island, facing North Island. This is in the heart of San Diego’s yacht clubs. Usually the harbor is calm with a few waves from big boat wakes. Lots to see including subs, aircraft carriers, and the Star of India. (Be aware of new security zones near naval vessels, bridge pylons and piers!) Looking at the Coronado Bridge from below is quite a sight! The entrance to the ramp is not well marked so it is easy to miss. The Harbor has few beaches and ramps, so emergency landing places may be hard to find. Located next to Shelter Cove Marina, 2240 Shelter Island Drive, 619-224-2471
http://www.marina.org/cgi-bin/mra_website.cgi?marina=SHELTER_COVE_MARINA

EP
4/03
SR
3/03

San Diego Bay

USCG Station
San Diego
1288 H1

Not public, but a well-maintained concrete ramp with gated access to Harbor Drive. If you’re in trouble, use the ramp & explain later.

EP
3/03

San Vicente

Lakeside
1212 A3

Located in the foothills off Highway 67, Lake San Vicente is a medium to large size lake complete with an island in the center. Caution: VERY steep hill before lake entrance, so be sure your brakes work perfect before you attempt entry/exit. Check concession stand for seasonal boating activity -some days of the week are for water skiing only, other days all boaters are welcome. A $5 launch permit is required, as is the typical boating safety gear and registration. No speed limit except near launch ramp, so waves are sometimes pretty terrific (especially on the far side of the island). Beach landing is permitted and glorious, as are the facilities for picnicking/BBQ's. San Vicente is a large lake to explore with many cul-de-sacs and remote alcoves. Fishing is also rumored to be good. This lake does not have the Amphi fan fair of other lakes due to the launch ramp configuration and the serious nature of the typical boater/fisherman, but the Rangers like Amphi. It is well worth the adventure to see if you can make it all the way around the island. http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/vicente.shtml

JE
12/02

Santa Ana River Lake

Tustin & La Palma Drives (near junction of 55 & 91 Freeways)
Orange County
769 J2

Open when Anaheim Lake is closed. Launch fee is $8 ($18 for fishing). Slightly bumpy concrete ramp. Picnic tables nearby. It's a decent size, larger than some I've been in. The day we went, crowds were light and we had plenty of room to maneuver and play. There's nothing to see though. It's just a big hole in the ground filled with water. It's a fisherman's lake; I'm sure most who go there don’t have scenery on their minds. It's freeway-close, and easy to get in and out.

EH
2/03

 

JZ
2/03

Silverwood

Hesperia
(off Hwy 138, about
10 miles east of I-15, in the Cajon Pass, which is between San Bernardino
and Victorville.)
San Bernardino County

 

The setting is very pretty, with pine trees surrounding the lake and a distant view of snow capped mountain peaks. There is a multi-lane, smooth concrete launch ramp, as well as picnic areas, camping, and sandy beaches.

The weather was brisk (as was to be expected in this mountain area), with the water choppy due to the winds. This made for some interesting splashy excursions in the lake.
I paid $4.00 to launch (not sure whether this is the full cost since I had already paid other money to camp overnight as well), and I was mobbed by more interested parties than I had seen in a while. I guess Silverwood Lake does not get many Amphicars visiting!

EH
4/03

Sutherland

Ramona
409 H11

http://www.sannet.gov/water/recreation/sutherland.shtml

EP
12/02

Wohlford

Escondido
1110 J2

Nice lake, but out of the way compared to others in the area. Friendly rangers who helped during a TV filming. I was there when a squall whipped up 2 foot waves.

http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/visitors/lakes/wohlford/index.html

EP
12/02
SR
3/03

 


 

* Contributors:

EH

Ed Howard

edsonh2000 “AT” yahoo.com

EM

Ed Myers

LiverPhd “AT” aol.com

EP

Ed Price

edprice “AT” cox.net

JE

John Edelstein

amphipoda “AT” yahoo.com

JF

Jim Freise

jfriese “AT” mindspring.com

JM

Jeff McNeal

spitfire “AT” ohms.com

JZ

Jim Zuliani

JimZ “AT” esystem.com

PR

Paul Riesland

Spr58_”AT” hotmail.com

RR

Rick Rosiejka

captainrr “AT” Thefuture1.net

SR

Steve Reich

Sdreich “AT pacbell.net

TS

Theo Sahli

Theosauto “AT” aol.com

 

 


 

Swimming  Hole  Photos

 

Lake Murray, June 2003

 

 


San Diego Amphibians

 

Amphipoda

 

Dick Brunner

 

Hugh Gordon

 

Ed Myers

 

Ed Price

 

Dave Punaro

 

Steve Reich

 

Paul Riesland

 

Rick Rosiejka


 

Patrick Sullivan

 

Allan Woodcock

 

Jim Zuliani