Leno and Dunham Race the World's Fastest Amphibious Cars
On a recent episode of CNBC's hit show Jay Leno's Garage, host Jay Leno raced ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham in the world's fastest amphibious cars. Screaming across the open waters of Castaic Lake, the pair were surely a site for spectators, each in a WaterCar Panther. These fantastically fun specialized vehicles hold the world record for being the fastest amphibious car, one which functions as both a road and water vehicle.
Resembling a retrofitted Jeep, and handling like one on the road, the WaterCar Panthers can reach a top speed of 60mph once they hit the waves. Owning one of these bad boys will set you back a cool $155,000 but they're definitely worth it. As Leno said mid-race, "all right, this is stupid fun."
The race took place just northwest of Los Angeles on Castaic Lake, a reservoir of the West Branch California Aqueduct. Sitting at 1,500ft above sea level and nestled within the mountains, it is truly a stunning place for the two-mile race. The Panther is made in Southern California and features a fiberglass hull which makes it great for fresh and salt water. It handles like a car and is a lot of fun to drive. "It just feels like a car that's floating on top of the water," Leno said.
Leno has featured many unique vehicles on Jay Leno's Garage, a show which is a testament to his passion for car collecting. Though Dunham and Leno were neck-and-neck for most of the race, Leno pulled ahead at the end and won by a nose.
Operating like a giant jet ski, the WaterCar Panther can be driven from the shore into the water and switched into boat mode. This lowers the frame and raises the wheels up, allowing it to float. Then the water-jet motor takes over and it's all smooth sailing.
To catch more auto-fun, tune into Jay Leno's garage, Wednesdays at 10pm EST on CNBC.