WaterCar Panther is Basically an Aquatic Wrangler

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2014 WaterCar Panther has Jeep-like styling, a big Honda V6 connected to a four-speed manual, and a top speed of 45 mph on the water.

According to Jeep, the water fording capabilities and sealed body openings and electrical connections of its Trail Rated vehicles allow them to drive through “overflowing creeks, streams and deceivingly deep rainstorm puddles.” We’ve experienced their prowess in the water numerous times and have always come away impressed. However, Jeep vehicles aren’t designed to go over water the way this Jeep-ish vehicle known as the WaterCar Panther can.

Although it looks like a mashup of a JK Wrangler and a YJ Wrangler Renegade, the WaterCar Panther was developed over the course of 14 years and not based on an existing vehicle. The engine, on the other hand, is familiar. The Panther gets down the road with the help of a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter Honda V6 and a four-speed manual gearbox. On the water, that big six powers a marine jet-drive unit that enables the Panther to sprint to a top speed of 45 miles per hour.

jk-forum.com 2014 WaterCar Panther

Worldwide Auctioneers, which will put this amphibious craft on the auction block on September 1, states that “conversion from land to water takes less than 15 seconds, achieved by simply driving to the boat launch, placing the transmission in neutral, then pulling a knob engaging the jet drive.”

jk-forum.com 2014 WaterCar Panther

This particular Panther is the first Panther being offered for sale to the public (normally, a fully turn-key Panther has a starting price of $172,000). Despite the fact that it’s a 2014 model, it’s only spent 20 hours on the water, which explains why the interior and its quilted red seats are in such good shape. As the following video shows at the 0:16 mark, the Panther also does pretty well on sand.

We’re not certain how the Panther would fare on muddy terrain, but cleanup sure would be easy – as long as there was a body of water nearby.

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*Courtesy of Road & Track and Worldwide Auctioneers.

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK-Forum.com and Ford-Trucks.com, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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