Land -Water Vehicles That That Are Worthwhile.

With all of the trouble in Detroit today, Gibbs technologies, is a company just starting out, that will produce amphibious vehicles that travel both on land and water. This may conjure up the image of some chug along car-boat that is really neither, as has been the case in previous attempts.

Others, such as Porsche and Ford, have already attempted it. “But the compromise between land and water was never resolved,” said Gibbs, the new owner. “Typically, they went 7 mph (11 km) in the water and a bit faster on land, but 7 mph in the water is not fun when people are whizzing by you.”

The vehicles he intends make will travel up to 40 mph in the water and 110 mph on land.

Gibbs said that a big technological advancement involved developing a way to raise and fold the wheels while they remain connected to the driveshaft, during the process of converting the vehicle from land to water use.

The vehicle sits on a complicated computer-run suspension system that must do many different things, often at the same time. Designing that was a tough engineering task for Gibbs and business partner Neil Jenkins.

Plans are to produce 3 models: • The Quadski, looking like a jet ski or an all-terrain vehicle depending on whether the wheels are up or down, is scheduled in 2010. • Preproduction on the Aquada, a 3-passenger sporty car, is planned for late 2010. • A rescue and emergency vehicle is slated to be ready for customer evaluation in a year.

Gibbs and Jenkins think their versatile vehicles will catch on in a big way because the amphibious car has a practical side. It's great for commuting. Midtown Manhattan traffic backed up? Well, jump onto the East River with your Aquada. “If you look at major cities of the world, they are all on water,” Jenkins says.

Gibbs says he and Jenkins have invested millions of their own money in this venture, “and fortunately we have a lot of money left over."

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