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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, been wracking my brains as I am looking for a lightweight, rear or mid-engined four wheel drive soft top (or removable roof) vehicle that will hold four people and some luggage.

Any ideas? Is there such a beast?
 

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4wd generally means front engined.

best you can get will be something like a Toyota Townace, import MPV 2.0td, mid engine 4/rwd and you can get them with 2 large sunroofs, certainly not light tho
 

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VW beetle karmann cabrio!


** edit- just realised you want 4wd, bug is rwd. dont think there is such a machine. freelander 3 door but thats obviously front engined, you'll have to give up on something!

m.boxwell will be along with some weird rear engined, awd trike that runs on dandelion juice in a minute no doubt!
 

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SLARTIBARTFAST said:
OK, been wracking my brains as I am looking for a lightweight, rear or mid-engined four wheel drive soft top (or removable roof) vehicle that will hold four people and some luggage.

Any ideas? Is there such a beast?
Mid or rear engined is surely the worst layout for lugging stuff. You may have to comprimise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think streetboy is on the right track. I am looking for something I can make as a car/boat. An amphibious car. Been thinking about this for a long time, ever since seeing an Amphicar, number plate WET 7, back in the 80's.Top Gear gave me the kick to really start to think seriously now.It needs to be 4wd to pull itself out of the river/sea, and most 4wd cars have engines at the front. A boat needs it's engine to be rear or mid mounted to allow the light prow to lift & tackle waves etc. that the Solent will hand out.I was thinking of a LWB Suzuki Samurai & moving the engine back a bit, unless there was a car that was built like that already to save me the trouble!I know Tim Dutton does one, but he want £10K for his kit, then I need the car!This is a project for next year, as I need to do a lot of planning - propulsion in water, sealing prop shafts/steering/suspensio. Building the hull. What to do with exhaust, air intake, cooling, brakes. And not making it look stupid!
 

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there is always the Gibbs Aquada. that is the amphibious car that Richard branson drove across the english channel. its does about 100mph on land, and 25knots (30mph-ish) in the water.

if that is out of your price range, then you could get the VW Transporter Synchro. going back to top gear on sunday night, it is the same model van as richard hammond used, but has 4 wheel drive and a 1.9liter, rather than 1.6 diesel engine mounted in the rear. just make sure you waterproof it better than he did though!
 

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Streetboy - sorry to have to tell you this, but that VW is only rear wheel drive.

The Gibbs Aquada cost £75,000 and is now out of production. Gibbs still exist, however, so if you asked them nicely...

It's only two wheel drive however. Their prototype Humdinga was a four wheel drive beastie though. I don't know what became of that!

Right, Slartibartfast: I've found the ideal thing for you. It's a rear-engined, all wheel drive trike that runs on dandilion juice.

Actually, no, but there is a vehicle available that you can build yourself from plans, based on the mechanicals of the trusty Range Rover:










From what I can make out, the engine is repositioned so that it is further back in the car, thereby getting the required balance right.

Even better, the makers claim you can build one for £3000 - including buying the original Range Rover - which means it isn't going to cost an astonomical amount of money.

Here's the web site:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah I have been looking at that, but you need a metal fabrication shop and some serious welding equipment, plus a barn, to start thinking about it! The kit for a built chassis & bits is £10k, and it seems to ride very low in the water so I wonder how it would do in the choppy Solent!That Transporter sounds good though, must keep an eye out for one.
 

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the toyota townace/mitsubishi delica are the only mid engined 4*4's i know of, im sure you can she pleny of weight from them if required, both powered by diesel engines, 2.0 in the toewnace and 2.5 in the delica, £2k should buy either
 

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that website was a good find there Mike. thank you! i would like one of those myself, as i live on the large Taw-Torridge estuary, so could have lots of fun!
cheers, dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
They are certainly meaty looking, those Schwimmenwagens (they are actually called something like that!) but they sit very very low in the water.

I would love one of these http://www.amphijeep.biz/home.html but again, £10k and then get a doner car!

AndBurg, good idea those, and poss easier to find then a 4x4 Transporter.
 

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AndBurG said:
the toyota townace/mitsubishi delica are the only mid engined 4*4's i know of, im sure you can she pleny of weight from them if required, both powered by diesel engines, 2.0 in the toewnace and 2.5 in the delica, £2k should buy either
I nearly bought a Delica before I bought the Lexus, I have no use for such a vehicle, we don't even have kids but there's something about them that calls my name.......!
 
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