Aquada [SIA 13]

Maker and role
Gibbs Amphibians Limited, Manufacturer
Production date
2004
2021
See full details

Object detail

Accession number
2021.49
Production period
Description
Gibbs Aquada SIA (Sale Intent Amphibian) 13, high-speed amphibian, 3 seat private light vehicle. The Aquada is teal in colour.

The front of the vehicle has a large windshield with one wiper. Printed in black on the bottom proper left corner is “STARGLASS / E9 43R-000462 / AS1 M-6 DOT 497 / 2”. At the front of the vehicle is a black and silver hood ornament featuring the Aquada logo, which reads, “GIBBS / aquada”. Beneath this is the registration plate, “BX53 OFP”. On either side of the front of the car is a headlight and orange indicator. Below the number plate is a tow hook. On either side of the bonnet is a small metal eyelet for attachments. On either side of the car is a small orange light below the black side mirrors.

Both front tyres have a silver hub with the Aquada logo in the centre. Embossed on the proper left tyre is, “PIRELLI / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / DOT XT NM XKA6 4802 / P6000 / AUSTRALIA – CANADA – USA CODES ONLY / MAX LOAD 750 kg 1 1653 / AT 350 KB 1 51 P.S.I 1 MAX PRESS / P 215 / 65 R 10 / STANDARD LOAD / E3 0251047 / I 012 K4658 / 231041B215-5 / 1081/A / PIRELLI / TREADWEAR 180 TRACTION A / RADIAL / TUBELESS / P6000 / 215/65 R 16 98 W 169”.

Embossed on the proper right tyre is, “PIRELLI / P6000 / PIRELLI / P6000 / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / AUSTRALIA - CANDA - USA CODES ONLY / MAX. LOAD 750 kg [1653 / LBS] / AT 350 kPa [15 [P.S.I] MAX. PRESS / P 215 / 65 R 10 / STANDARD LOAD / MADE IN GERMANY / R4660 / 23104/3215/5 / DESS. 1081/A / RADIAL / TUBELESS / 215/65 R 16 98 W / 1638”.

The vehicle has no doors, instead there are two black foot steps, one on either side. The car is roofless, exposing the interior, consisting of three grey seats placed in a row. Embossed on each seat is, “aquada”. Each seat has a black seatbelt, with “PRESS” engraved on the seatbelt clip. Between the central and proper left seat are two dials, indicating heat and fan. On the interior of each side of the vehicle is an open pocket and “GIBBS” embossed.

The dashboard extends across the front of the interior, with the black and grey steering wheel placed in the centre. The Aquada logo and a horn symbol are embossed into the centre of the steering wheel. On the left-hand side of the steering wheel is the indicator, the right hand has the ignition and window washing switch. Behind the steering wheel is the temperature gauge, the speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge.

On the left-hand side of the dashboard are two cupholders. Beneath this is an open pocket and a covered auxiliary power outlet. Next to this is a hub where there is an open pocket with “JABRA” etched into the interior. Attached to the hub are three rectangular buttons, one reading, “LAND / WATER”. Beneath this is a small light. Next to the hub is a panel with buttons reading, “LENCO / DOWN / BOW / UP / DOWN / BOW / UP”.

On the right-hand side of the dashboard is the gear box, which reads, “P / R / N / D / 4 / 2 / 1”. Beneath this are three rectangular buttons, with a small light below this. Next to the gear box are two black cupholders. Beneath this is a white CD player which reads, “AquaTronics / MS-100 / 8x OVERSAMPLING 4 X 30 WATTS / […]”. The CD player is covered with a black lid. On one side of the CD player is a small black button and on the other side is an open pocket. On the top of the dashboard is a red engine switch, covered by a removable piece of upholstery.

On the far side of both sides of the dashboard are the side mirror adjusters. Along the top of the windscreen are three visors and the review mirror. A sticker on the left-hand visor reads, “WARNING / GIBBS / 01-01-1196-AA-W0”. This is repeated on the proper right visor. A sticker on the central visor reads, “WARNING / CAUTION / CAUTION / CAUTION / FUSE BOX / BOAT STEER CAPABILITIES / WILL REDUCE AS THROTTLE / IS CLOSED / BOAT STEERING WILL BE OST / COMPLETELY IF ENGINE IS CUT / GIBBS / 01-01-1245-AA-GB / MAST LIGHT IS NOT / ACCESIBLE ON WATER / READ THE HANDBOOK AND OBSERVE ALL WANRINGS BEFORE OPERATION”. The top corners of the windshield have a handlebar to assist entry and exit into the vehicle.

Along the floor of the interior are several foot rests, and a black mat which has “aquada” embossed. Located in the middle is the brake and accelerator and a lever which reads, “PUSH / TO / RELEASE”. Next to this is a white maker’s plate which reads, “AQUADA CORPORATION LTD / [...] / 1750 kg / 1750 kg / 1- 750 kg / 2- 1100 kg / 1, 4% / 01-01-0759-BA / D / Max. 3 [person symbol] = 225 kg / Max. [person symbol] + [bag symbol] = 284 kg / 01-01-0759-BA”.

The rear of the vehicle has grilles and a spoiler. A black cap reads, “aqua / digital / Made in Germany”. Next to this is a black antenna. On either side of the rear is a small metal eyelet for attachments. Each side has a black mesh grill next to the seats. A silver fuel cap is placed on the proper right, behind the seats. On the back of the vehicle are a series of red, orange and clear lights on each side, with another small red light below. Black mesh covers the back, with “GIBBS”, “aquada” and the Aquada logo embossed in silver. A silver tow hook is placed in the middle, above the yellow registration plate, which reads, “BX53 OFP”. Beneath this is the exhaust pipe and a fan. A sticker next to the fan reads, “WARNING / GIBBS / 01-01-1196-AA-W0”.

Embossed on the proper left tyre is, “PIRELLI / P6000 / PIRELLI / TREADWEAR 180 / TRACTION A / TEMPERATURE A / P6000 / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / DOT XN 9H XKA6 0603 / AUSTRALIA - CANDA - USA CODES ONLY / MAX. LOAD 750 kg [1653 / LBS] / AT 300 kPa [44 P.S.I] MAX. PRESS / P 225 / 60 ZR 16 / STANDARD LOAD / E3 0251933 / N 012 B7 / 21243. 45 / 1081/A 6017 / RADIAL / TUBELESS / 225/60 ZR 16 98 W”.

Embossed on the proper right tyre is, “PIRELLI / P6000 / PIRELLI / TREADWEAR 180 / TRACTION A / TEMPERATURE A / P6000 / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / DOT XN 9H XKA6 3702 / AUSTRALIA - CANDA - USA CODES ONLY / MAX. LOAD 750 kg [1653 / LBS] / AT 300 kPa [44 P.S.I] MAX. PRESS / P 225 / 60 ZR 16 / STANDARD LOAD / E3 0251933 / N 012 4 / 21243. 45 / 10 1081/A 6014 / RADIAL / TUBELESS / 255/60 ZR 16 98 W”.
Brief History
The Aquada is a high-speed, 3-seater private vehicle developed in the late 1990s by Gibbs Amphibians (Inc.,1994). It is capable of speeds over 160 kilometres per hour (100 mph) on land and 50 kilometres per hour (31 miles per hour; 27 knots) on water. The change to operate the vehicle in the water is with the click of a button by the driver. In four seconds, the wheels retract, and a jet powered by the vehicle’s engine is engaged to propel the Aquada through water.

Gibbs Amphibians spent years on research and invested significant finance to create a marketable product. This took place from 1996, after the company purchased and further developed the intellectual property for a wheel retraction system designed by New Zealand marine engineer, Terry Roycroft. Gibbs Amphibians went on to incorporate suspension into the wheel retraction system, invent a water-jet engine and make advances in the design of the Aquada’s body. Over 300 patents were filed as part of the development of the wheel retraction system, which are retracted up into the bodywork of the vehicle.

The Aquada was first showcased on the Thames in London in 2003. It was to be marketed as a leisure product achieving unseen amphibious speeds and was shown this way when Richard Branson set a record in 2004 for crossing the English Channel. However, it remained a limited production concept vehicle when the Land Rover Freelancer V-6 engine used in the Aquada was discontinued. This was along with not reaching safety standards in North America because of the exclusion of airbags, which were being set off in water when the vehicle would hit a wave. It remains a significant example and proof of concept to inform later Gibbs Amphibians products. 45 in total were made to test the market, with Time Magazine calling it one of the best inventions of 2003. MOTAT’s is one of these 45, being manufactured in 2004.
Marks
STARGLASS / E9 43R-000462 / AS1 M-6 DOT 497 / 2 Printed
GIBBS / aquada Maker's Mark
BX53 OFP Mounted
PIRELLI / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / DOT XT NM XKA6 4802 / P6000 / AUSTRALIA – CANADA – USA CODES ONLY / MAX LOAD 750 kg 1 1653 / AT 350 KB 1 51 P.S.I 1 MAX PRESS / P 215 / 65 R 10 / STANDARD LOAD / E3 0251047 / I 012 K4658 / 231041B215-5 / 1081/A / PIRELLI / TREADWEAR 180 TRACTION A / RADIAL / TUBELESS / P6000 / 215/65 R 16 98 W 169 Embossed
PIRELLI / P6000 / PIRELLI / P6000 / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / AUSTRALIA - CANDA - USA CODES ONLY / MAX. LOAD 750 kg [1653 / LBS] / AT 350 kPa [15 [P.S.I] MAX. PRESS / P 215 / 65 R 10 / STANDARD LOAD / MADE IN GERMANY / R4660 / 23104/3215/5 / DESS. 1081/A / RADIAL / TUBELESS / 215/65 R 16 98 W / 1638 Embossed
aquada Embossed
PRESS Etched
GIBBS Mounted
JABRA Engraved
LAND / WATER Printed
LENCO / DOWN / BOW / UP / DOWN / BOW / UP Printed
P / R / N / D / 4 / 2 / 1 Printed
Aquarians / MS-100 / 8x OVERSAMPLING 4 X 30 WATTS / […] Printed
WARNING / GIBBS / 01-01-1196-AA-W0 Sticker
WARNING / CAUTION / CAUTION / CAUTION / FUSE BOX / BOAT STEER CAPABILITIES / WILL REDUCE AS THROTTLE / IS CLOSED / BOAT STEERING WILL BE OST / COMPLETELY IF ENGINE IS CUT / GIBBS / 01-01-1245-AA-GB / MAST LIGHT IS NOT / ACCESIBLE ON WATER / READ THE HANDBOOK AND OBSERVE ALL WANRINGS BEFORE OPERATION Sticker
aquada Embossed
PUSH / TO / RELEASE Printed
AQUADA CORPORATION LTD / [...] / 1750 kg / 1750 kg / 1- 750 kg / 2- 1100 kg / 1, 4% / 01-01-0759-BA / D / Max. 3 [person symbol] = 225 kg / Max. [person symbol] + [bag symbol] = 284 kg / 01-01-0759-BA Maker's Plate
aqua / digital / Made in Germany Engraved
GIBBS / aquada / [Gibbs logo] Mounted
WARNING / GIBBS / 01-01-1196-AA-W0 Sticker
PIRELLI / P6000 / PIRELLI / TREADWEAR 180 / TRACTION A / TEMPERATURE A / P6000 / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / DOT XN 9H XKA6 0603 / AUSTRALIA - CANDA - USA CODES ONLY / MAX. LOAD 750 kg [1653 / LBS] / AT 300 kPa [44 P.S.I] MAX. PRESS / P 225 / 60 ZR 16 / STANDARD LOAD / E3 0251933 / N 012 B7 / 21243. 45 / 1081/A 6017 / RADIAL / TUBELESS / 225/60 ZR 16 98 W Embossed
PIRELLI / P6000 / PIRELLI / TREADWEAR 180 / TRACTION A / TEMPERATURE A / P6000 / TREAD: 1 RAYON 2 STEEL / PLIES: + 2 NYLON / SIDEWALL: 1 RAYON / DOT XN 9H XKA6 3702 / AUSTRALIA - CANDA - USA CODES ONLY / MAX. LOAD 750 kg [1653 / LBS] / AT 300 kPa [44 P.S.I] MAX. PRESS / P 225 / 60 ZR 16 / STANDARD LOAD / E3 0251933 / N 012 4 / 21243. 45 / 10 1081/A 6014 / RADIAL / TUBELESS / 255/60 ZR 16 98 W Embossed
Credit Line
Gibbs Amphibians Limited. 2004
2021. Aquada [SIA 13], 2021.49. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).
On display?
On display

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