Life for Americans after World War II was supposed to be filled with open roads and open waters. The roads, more often than not, were for getting to work. And the water? That was pure leisure time. This “water-mobile” of 1947 was imagined to provide the best of both, with an enormous (and, one imagines, fuel-guzzling) six-wheeled amphibious vehicle.
From the December 1947 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine:
The millions of ex-GI’s who watched wartime amphibious craft climb dripping up the beachheads will recognise the substance of dreams of their own in the “Vacationer,” an amphibious luxury cruiser proposed by industrial designer Robert Zeidman for practical peacetime use. The new civilian amphibian is a descendant of some of the Navy’s experimental vehicles, not the Army’s familiar DUCK. It promises a sustained highway speed of 55 mph and a respectable 10 to 12 knots afloat. Efficient land speed was the first consideration in specifying power; the excellent showing on water is due to improved lines and to the twin screws in tunnels, driven by the twin motors in the stern. Twin rudders give maximum manoeuvrability.
It’s pretty incredible that this vehicle could have been seriously proposed given its size. It had a stove, oven, shower, dishwasher, sink, fridge, freezer, bathroom and a lot of seating. It was supposed to be 10m long and sleep up to six people.
The interior really is something to behold, with plenty of room to put your feet up. But, alas, this gigantic retro vision of the future is relegated to the tomorrows that never were. And given the amount of gas it would have needed, that’s probably a good thing.