5k: 1974 Maki Amphibious Car
Typically when we run out of our DT repository of arcane knowledge of automobiles, we turn to our friend the internet and start searching for more information…but this latest car has us in a bit of an information black hole. Its a 1974 Maki M28 Amphibious Car/Boat, for sale in Dewitt, MI – on ebay bidding at $3800 with 3 days to go.
All we could find about the Maki is that it is an amphibious boat/car that is legal for street use, was allegedly manufactured in Italy and assembled and sold in Canada. We aren’t so sure about the Italian roots – the best we could find for Maki was either a Japanese style of sushi or a variety of ring-tail Lemur (King Julian is a Maki!). There was a “Maki Engineering” that entered a handful of cars Grand Prix racing in the mid 1970s, but we doubt there is any connection with this boat. As King Julian says: “Yes, we all like chaos and mayhem. But we need orderly chaos and nice mayhem.” This car gets the Zombie proof badge because everyone knows Zombies can’t swim.
The Maki is powered by a Tecumseh single cylinder 2-stroke engine (probably an OH160) putting out 16 horsepower into an undisclosed automatic transmission. Power can also be put to the twin props in the rear during maritime operation. Expect a road limited top speed of 45 mph and sea speed of 7 knots.
Inside the Maki is all business – a single gauge mounted behind the steering wheel and life-preserving seat cushions. There is a video on youtube showing this exact same car for sale around a year ago (previous owner or current owner didn’t sell – we aren’t sure).
We still aren’t quite sure what to make of the Maki – it is a unique car that would certainly get lots of attention -but we don’t know how much you’d want to drive this or float in it. Unfortunately amphibious vehicles typically take the worst attributes of boats/cars and combine them into a reason to own neither. But – if we needed a golf cart that could traverse large water obstacles – this would be our first choice!
See another amphibious lemur for sale? Email us here: email@example.com
And why would you need more than one gauge? You're only asking a car to float and a boat to drive. I can't imagine that you'd need anything more detailed than whatever it happens to relay. Hell, my lawn mower doesn't have a single gauge on it and it does just fine.
Does the gauge measure speed? RPM? Fuel? Temperature? As though you'd need any of this superfluous knowledge when you're cruising down an embankment toward a lake with a horde of zombies at your rear. You'll show them! You'll show them all!
The "undisclosed automatic transmission" looks to be a CVT from the engine bay pic. Probably centrifugal like a step-through scooter's CVT…or the Motocompo's!
The Maki is clearly the cooler, younger cousin to the Amphicar (everyone's favorite amphibious cult vehicle). This is he kind of vehicle you buy to give to your brother on his 40th Birthday (and have his wife ban you from all future birthday parties) or you buy it for your high school age kid and make them drive it to school (guarantees they won't speed, won't drown and won't have too many friends driving around with them). The level of craftmanship on this COAT (car/boat) is really impressive. I would love to know what the inventor was thinking when this came off the drawing board and into our world. Weird, wonderfull, beautiful and poetically stupid all at once. I'd love to be driving this COAT right now! Thanks for the write-up.
let me no when your denver ill be happy to let you drive this vehicle no joke i recently bought this vehicle
Excellent – send us an email with some more details and we'd love a photo of it in the water.
sounds good ill take it out on the lake and make sure it floats first. ill be happy to send you video
When i was 15 many years ago lol about 1980 i had one of these maki cars. Had a blast. Never did try it on water. My dad traded it on a riding lawn mower. Wish i still had that car/boat. Be curious what it would have been worth today.
I have one of these but no engine…also have another body of tue maki on my 67 vw beetle dune buggy!!!