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One if by Land, Two if by Subaru

Robert Emslie October 11, 2010 For Sale 14 Comments

The Amphicar never really made it big, floatation and Tom Sawyer river rafting being less popular attributes than the number of cup holders and on-road competence. But while that car failed to float many people’s boats, one DIY garage monkey thought it a good enough concept, to turn his Subaru Justy into a topless water moccasin.

When you have a automotive project that’s kind of odd, and you complete it, the natural thing to do is sell that one off so you can afford the next one. That’s what the builder of this dual-engined Suboataru claims to be doing. Perhaps the next version will be an under-water Submarinaru.

No asking price is listed in the craigslist ad, and when I emailed the seller to see what he’d think was a fair price, he responded that he didn’t really know, and was just testing the waters to gauge interest.  He also provided greater detail to the issue with the front seal leak in the Subie three cylinder. It appears that it has sucked in enough lake water to require post-cruise oil changes, and any further boat-like behavior really should wait until the engine is watertight. If you’re jonsing to see this yellow non-submarine in action, there’s plenty of You Tubery of it making its way at its 8-mph top speed, powered by a Kawasaki Jet Ski engine.

This home-built is too much fun, although much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, it’s probably not going to be a draw with the ladies. Still, with GPS navigation systems directing drivers into lakes and across non-existent bridges seemingly weekly, having a car that’s also a boat isn’t as crazy as it might seem. Since the builder is unsure of his creation’s value, maybe we can help him out some. Click on the image below to go to the ad, and then vote on what you think he should be asking for it.

Rub-a-dub-dub. . .

  • Alff

    Justy… isn't that the one that came with a SeaVT?

  • God, I am the only person that has said less than a thousand? Maybe its my fear of water, but to me, this thing is not radical. If it was an Outboat, that would be cool, but Justy? Nah.

  • Justy? well I suppose making an amphibian from a Geo Metro would have been just ridiculous.

  • Sodus Suboataru selling sans seal soundness.

  • OA5599

    I like Toyboata better, except that it isn't seaworthy.

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  • P161911

    I was expecting the water drive system to be powered by the rear drive shaft. I'm rather disappointed with a separate water jet engine.

    • Yeah, at first I thought that would be the only justification for using the Justy. Hey, turns out a Metro would have worked just as well.

      Strange times.

  • Neat!

    Now make it fly.

    • Alff

      Most amphibious cars get a rap for being neither very good cars nor very good boats. By using the Justy, half the job was done for them.

  • anonymouse

    "The car is also registered as a boat"
    right, read: "no problems whatsoever at the dmv!"

  • Shawn Pisciotti

    As the builder and owner of this car… I know you all are wondering…..Does it leak water into the interior….Yes,some..Yes the seats stay dry..There is bilge pumps behind each seat to assure it doesnt take on much water. It also has a fish finder on the dash…lol I thought it would be good fit…lol Any questions,you can post to this board,as I will be a member to it soon…or feel free to email me through or ….Thanks Shawn R Pisciotti

  • Shawn Pisciotti

    As the owner and builder of this car..I will answer some questions for you. This particular justy was originally an automatic AWD car. The person I bought the car from converted it to a FWD stick. I didnt realize it wasnt AWD until i got the car home. For the $325 I paid for the car,I really didnt care.
    My original intention was to hook the rear drive shaft to a 12" prop. I originally built the car with a 4 1/2 horse briggs engine to drive the prop,but not enough power to turn the prop in the water. Then I had the idea of using a jet-ski and all of its mechanical components to make this car move in the water. Yes,this car is registered as a car and as a boat.I drive it from my house to the water and in the water legally. I had to jump through some hoops at NY dmv to make this happen.

  • Shawn Pisciotti

    As the owner and builder of this car..Alittle more info for ya…The 3 cyl engine is taking water in the front main seal. Ive been trying to figure out where the water was coming in for quite some time,and someone in a Subaru Justy forum told me this was the cause. After some more investigating,I found he was correct. This requires me to change the oil after every water adventure. Over the winter and early spring,I plan to repair the leak and I have a few minor issues to resolve. The car was built over the period of 4 months by my self. I have always wanted to create an amphibious car and this past summer I decided to do it. Shawn

  • Rick

    It definately took a lot of genius to take a factory built vehicle and turn it into boat/car. It also took a lot of balls to drive it into the water for the first time. Keep up the good work!



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