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1996 Dutton Marina 1.8L Twin-Jet Amphibious Car


  • Low mileage example of Dutton’s cult classic
  • 1753cc diesel engine with 5-speed manual transmission
  • Recently subject to a new cambelt, new bearings and outdrive work

The Appeal

Perhaps the world’s most prolific manufacturer of Amphibious cars, Tim Dutton of Dutton Cars started off producing a wide range of fabulous kit cars, before moving into the amphibious car market with the Marina and the Commander - based upon the Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Samurai, respectively. Production ended in 2022 - but these quirky little water-going motors have proven to have a marvellous flair for longevity. 
This example is a particularly early Mariner, with a 1.8L Twin-jet spec taken from the Fiesta, and all of its inevitable reliability firmly in hand. The car has recently been subject to some extensive work, has a valid MOT until August 2024, and still carries a quintessentially retro colour scheme. What’s not to love?

The History and Paperwork

  • Built in 1996, setting this Mariner as a very early example
  • First registered in May 1996
  • The car went through two keepers before reaching the vendor
  • It has been in its current ownership since June 2018
  • Currently indicates 12,926 miles, which the vendor believes is authentic
  • The car has recently been subject to:
    • A new cambelt around 3 months ago
    • New oil for the outdrive pump
    • New bearing for the front passenger wheel
    • Outdrives stripped and serviced with new cables, seals and bearings
  • Sadly we’ve not been informed of any paperwork supplied with the car

The Interior

  • Custom interior by Dutton Cars, built for waterproofing and durability
  • Angular lineage of the Fiesta Dash is still intact
  • All dials and instruments are clean and easy to read
  • Echopilot compact sonar
  • The car’s interior options are all reportedly in good order
  • The car’s vinyl seats are in good condition with no rips or tears
  • The vendor does note that the rear plastics are a little loose, however
  • The floors look solid and present no issues
  • The doors - with their suitably heightened sills - are in good order with no faults to report
  • Ultimately, it appears to be a clean and nicely-kept example throughout
  • As expected for an amphibious car, there is no boot to speak of
While there’s naturally very little provision for luxury in an amphibious car, this Mariner does carry all of the mod-cons you’d expect of a mid-90s Fiesta. The Dutton Indicator panel takes pride of place, while the custom seats really set it all apart. As far as a water-going car goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find better. 

The Exterior 

  • Lightweight, Dutton-designed plastic shell
  • Sonar equipment looks in good order
  • Impressive blue and orange colour scheme sets a quintessentially 90s tone
  • The bodywork is in excellent order throughout for the car’s age
  • We can’t see any significant signs of paint loss or unseemly gaps
  • The car’s seals are reportedly all watertight with nothing of concern to report
  • The glasswork, trims and lenses are all in good, clean condition
  • The wheel arches and suspension all look solid
  • The car is sat on its original Ford alloys, which present well
  • These are shod in a full set of Technic Tyres
The Mariner is a particularly impressive-looking amphibious motor - with a tall stance and curved bow, it’s fair to say that it looks the part. The bright orange decals really finish this quirky water-going vehicle’s appearance, and the entire car is in good, clean condition with only the lightest signs of wear on display. 

The Mechanics 

  • 1753cc diesel engine 
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Twin-jet propulsion system when in the water
  • The engine bay presents well with no significant faults to report
  • We understand the car to be driving very well both on land and in water
  • The car has recently been subject to:
    • A new cambelt around 3 months ago
    • New oil for the outdrive pump
    • New bearing for the front passenger wheel
    • Outdrives stripped and serviced with new cables, seals and bearings
With its deceptively simple mechanics, this Mariner shares much of the tight-handling, laid-back nature of the Fiesta it’s based upon. We’ve not been informed of any mechanical issues, and the recent mechanical work has left it in what appears to be superb fettle.


These twin-jet Mariners are particularly rare, and we’ve no doubt it’ll be quite the curious oddity for any enthusiast - be it on land or waterway. 


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1996
  • Make Dutton
  • Model Mariner
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer
  • Engine size 1753
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Lymington
  • Location International
  • Country United Kingdom

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