Brooks Stevens Evinrude Lakester

Car of the Day #92: 1970 Brooks Stevens Evinrude Lakester

Brooks Stevens Evinrude Lakester
Brooks Stevens Evinrude Lakester • Brooks Stevens / Evinrude

I wish I could write you a few thousand words on the majesty that is the Brooks Stevens Evinrude Lakester prototype, but can’t. 

Like an expertly-prepared lake trout, this design study was merely a flash in the pan.

It was dreamt up by Brooks Stevens Design Associates, the Wisconsin firm who styled the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, Jeep Wagoneer/Jeepster, and the (dreadful) Excalibur neo-classic, among other designs.

Forget autonomous cars or electric hypercars: the Lakester is essentially a holster for a boat. :/

• source unknown, Popular Science

True story: I used to captain a small passenger ferry and nobody died under my watch, thankyouverymuch

I’ve used boats, boat trailers, and boat lifts…not to mention have spent way too much time snickering at Haulover Inlet hooligans…but I can’t quite figure out how designers imagined the “car” part of the Lakester would have stayed on the boat ramp once the boat part was detached… 

In period, Popular Science covered the Lakester, saying, 

“You back this dune buggy down to the water’s edge and suddenly it gives birth to a 14-foot fiberglass boat. After the cruise or waterskiing, when you’re back ashore, an electric winch hauls the boat aboard its wheeled partner.
“Dune buggy and boat are powered by the same 50-hp outboard motor. The buggy has standard Volkswagen running gear and an infinitely variable hydrostatic gearbox of the type used on high-powered garden tractors. The prototype, a brilliant orange and pearlescent model, appeared at the San Francisco Boat show in January (1970). Created by Brooks Stevens, the Lakester is expected to sell for around $2,500 when it becomes available.”

How does the drive system work? The steering? I haven’t a clue. If I had to guess, I’d say that the full-size vehicle was either a styling model or prototype without the ability to undock—after all, there are no photos of it in the water.

Shame. Looks like it would’ve been a good time, provided it actually worked as intended… 


Thank you to my supporting members: Ben B., Brad B., Chris G., Daniel G., Damian S., Daniel P., Drew M., Ingrid P., Karl D., Luis O., Michael J., Michael L., Michelle S., Mike B., Mike L., Mike M., Richard W., Sam G., Sam L., Wiley H.