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May 22, 2024

Amazing Vintage Photographs Capture an Aquatic VW Beetle Floating Off Blackpool Beach in the 1970s

Back in the 1970s, hundreds would compete in the popular Blackpool to Isle of Man Race, an event which attracted much attention and sponsorship from the likes of Whitbread. Traveling from Blackpool Tower to the summit of Snaefell, Isle of Man, competitors would use many different – and often quirky – means of transport to beat the clock and be the first to arrive.

The competition had a comedic resemblance to madcap ’60s cartoon series Wacky Races, seeing participants travel via motorcycle, helicopter, hovercraft and cut through waves in aquatic cars back when health and safety rules were much different. It’s hard to imagine an event like this being on the cards today but many will still have fond memories of the race and those who competed.

Unearthed Mirrorpix archives, these brilliant images capture one entry back in 1973. Malcolm Buchanan and Bill Helmeage spent a month making a VW watertight and adding a propeller to enter their craft in the Unusual Entry section of the Blackpool to Isle of Man race.

A number of images show the men putting their craft through it’s trial run on the Leisure Lake at Mere Brow near Southport in May that year. Images show the Amphibian Volkswagen Beetle car driving into the sea and floats through water. Visitors watch on as the car drives through the area to the beach.

(Images: Mirrorpix, via LancsLive)


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