© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
In August of 2012, two amphibious crafts were demonstrated to the U.S. Coast Guard in Barrow, Alaska for potential use on arctic missions. These included the tank-like Arktos made in British Columbia and the Amphib Alaska made in Ketchikan. These high-tech machines are only the latest in a string of amphibious vehicles that have cruised Alaska's land and waters over the past several decades.
|Photo courtesy of Candy Waugaman|
Nick Rauch had his own Amphicar, as did Ivan and Oro Stewart, the original owners of the iconic Stewart's Photo Shop in Anchorage. In June of 1968, Nick, his 11 year-old son Phillip, Ivan and Oro drove their Amphicars down the the Yukon River from Eagle to Circle City. Their adventure is chronicled here.
Several military amphibious craft have passed through Alaska, including a Studebaker M29 Weasel (seen here in the 1947 Fairbanks Winter Carnival Parade) and an Army alligator used in the Aleutians during WWII. A Ford GPA Seagoing Jeep ("Seep") driven by Frank and Helen Schreider traveled from Alaska to the tip of South America from 1954-56. Australian Ben Carlin drove a Seep from Tokyo to Anchorage in 1957 during his around-the-world trip.
I'm not sure if Paul Satko's Buick-powered "Ark of Juneau" qualifies as a true amphibious vehicle, but this tale of the Satko family's 1938-1940 adventure in it across the U.S. and then north to Juneau is well worth a read. Apparently the Buick engine still rests on a beach near Juneau.
|from Popular Science Monthly October 1928|
|Library of Congress|
Anyone know of other amphibious vehicles that reached Alaska?