Categories: News

an amphibious car “Made in France” at auction

Born in the 90s, the Hobbycar was full of ambitions. Unfortunately, it was a complete fiasco. Here is its turbulent history.

Created by François Wardavoir, ex-engineer at Renault F1 and by the financier Serge Desmarais, the company Hobbycar has designed a amphibious vehicle nice looking named B612. Made only of composite materials, it had a 90 hp original PSA 1.9 turbo diesel engine placed in central position which allowed him to reach 140 km / h on the road.

To navigate, it was equipped with two hydrojets allowing it to evolve at a speed of 15 km / h. The originality of this car is that it was primarily designed as a boat with retractable seats and an obviously waterproof shell.

Poor positioning

The number 1 problem of the Hobbycar was a crazy selling price which would correspond to the current price of 80,000 €, a famous brake on its distribution. The other problem is that she wasn’t really versatile with her boat quickdraw and its total lack of protection for passengers.

As a result, the company quickly fell into financial difficulty, only a few months after the car began to market. Bankruptcy was finally declared in 1995.

Alone sixty copies were assembled in the Thenay factory in Loir-et-Cher. During bankruptcy, a few unfinished copies were scattered, as well as the molds and tools.

Artcurial sale

It is precisely one of those who just changed hands during the last auction organized by Artcurial. Completed by its first owner, it then changed owners several times.

Revised in 2016, the Hobbycar has not surprisingly been driven and sailed very little. Estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 €, it finally reached the sum of 29,800 €. It is not very expensive for a small (very anecdotal) piece of French automotive history. In any case, we would be very happy to be able to test this Hobbycar on the road and on the water!

Notice to owners!

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