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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The Evinrude Rooney Lakester was both a boat and a car-but not at the same time | Hagerty Media

The automotive fringes have always been obsessed with the potential for duality. How else to explain the seemingly endless efforts to combine one mode of transportation with another, from the short-lived Amphicar 770 swimmer to the Terrafugia Transition flyer? Such was the case with one of the weirdest of the wet, the Evinrude Rooney Lakester.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/the-evinrude-rooney-lakester-was-both-a-boat-and-a-...
14 REPLIES 14
RokemRonnie
Detailer

" followed closely by its claim of using “Volkswagen running gear." It’s difficult to see, exactly, how a Volkswagen platform could package a rear-mounted outboard-based drivetrain, "

The VW Beetle is rear-engined, ideally suited if you want to use an outboard engine to drive the car.
Perhaps the reference to VW running gear, though, refers to the Beetle's platform chassis and suspension.
SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

It has some surprisingly good lines, considering how insane it is. Still, I see the step pad on the running board, and try to imagine the wife trying to step into that thing from the side. Never gonna happen.
Tinkerah
Technician

Put me down as another who will defend its aesthetics. And my wife would be sporting enough to get in it, at least once.
TonyT
Instructor

This could now work with electric wheel motors. The hydrostatic unit could drive an alternator that charges the batteries, allowing the carapace to be moved under it's own power when boatless. Quick, let's cut up one of them Prius' real quick! Somebody call Ian Roussel and have him get the torch ready!
deckerbilt
Intermediate Driver

I really like the out-of-the-box thinking and it even looks pretty cool, though dated. However, an amphibian still makes more sense as you drive off one boat ramp and up another. Seems to me with America's love affair with 4x4's and boats that a combination that could drive off and onto a beach would be a big success. When you figure a person might spend $50k on a truck and another $50k on a boat, why not buy an amphibian for $100k and have greater convenience.
Papa-tony
Intermediate Driver

Soooo...

Ya launch the boat and leave the immovable car chassis blocking the launch ramp?

I bet after 10 minutes the chassis would be rolled into the water and sunk by the others waiting to launch!
CJinSD
Advanced Driver

I had a toy version of this car-boat when I was a kid. It was about a foot long and functioned both on the floor and in the bath-tub.
Pdxcarguy
Intermediate Driver

One would hope or prehaps dream...
That perhaps a Evinrude employee some how got a hold of the prototype after its boat show days...
And its yet to be discovered in a Wisconsin barn (or boat house)...
Punk
Detailer

I really like this design - in concept. My question is how you drive the 'car' part away after you launch the boat and then bring it back to rejoin the two? Seems like a niggling detail...
drhino
Instructor

No comment at all about the subject of the story. The author of the story, however, deserves mention. I can’t list all the fantastic “turns of phrase” included. Excellent writing, witty- but not trying too hard. Perfect balance of facts with a dose of snark. I will now seek out more from Mr. Benjamin Hunting.
Vintageboater
New Driver

The name must be a typo...surely this this thing was called the Evinrude Looney Lakester! Evinrude no doubt got a lot of marketing mileage from the publicity over this zany idea.
JohnH
New Driver

Check this out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkrLQeyWBMs
I used to see it sitting in front of a Henry's Auto Sound in Stantom. CA.
Zephyr
Instructor

I want it! I'd settle for just getting the boat half - it's way better looking than any boat that size made today.
Reinhold_Weege
Advanced Driver

In a lakefront community, such as the one I live in, this could work really well, even with its faults. You'd drive 1-2 miles to a public launch (or even better, a more private HOA launch) and disconnect. Two guys could push this into a nearby parking spot. Return from the water and reverse. Add a "trolling" motor for maneuvering on land and it gets even better. Sounds time consuming right? I guess you've never watched someone back a boat trailer into a launch the first few times.

That said, I already have enough expensive and space-consuming hobbies, so I'll pass.