This swimming sportscar is perfect for Cumbria's very wet summer.

The Lakeland Motor Museum has a new star attraction and the perfect vehicle to cope with a wet summer - a swimming sportscar.

One of the most unconventional vehicles ever produced, the Amphicar was made in 1966 with a top land speed of 70mph.

This swimming sports model could be converted into a seaworthy boat at the flick of a lever and reach 10 knots on water thanks to twin propellers.

The Amphicar's engine was mounted at the rear of the craft, using its front wheels as a rudder. A second gear lever engaged forward or reverse drive.              

Driving with the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission, the same engine powered reversible propellers once in the water.

The two-door cabriolet was created by a German engineer called Hans Trippel who wanted to bring “car-boats” to the masses. But there was little demand and fewer than 4,000 were ever made. Most Amphicars were sold in the United States.

Chris Lowe, curator of the Lakeland Motor Museum, said: “With so few Amphicars ever made it means our example is highly prized and offers a rare chance to see one of these unusual vehicles close up.”         

In the 1960s the Amphicar was marketed as the 'sportscar that swims' and a marketing stunt sent a small flotilla safely across the English Channel.

One was even driven by a former owner of Belle Isle – the largest of Windermere’s 18 islands – making it a regular sight gliding across England’s largest natural lake!

Chris said: “We’ve heard many anecdotes from visitors to the museum who used to see one of these unusual vehicles driving around the Lake District and cruising along the waters of Windermere."