Man beats the traffic of Shermageddon with car-boat

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by Adrianna Hopkins

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 12:23 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 10 at 5:17 PM

(WHAS11) - The Sherman Minton Bridge closure has been such a hassle, most people are trying to avoid the interstates at all costs. Well, this Kentuckiana man is too, but the way he's getting across, you just have to see to believe.

"For me it doesn't affect my daily commute... My practice is in Indiana. I live over here, but it just has not been a problem so far," said Cardiologist Dr. Steven Filardo. "My commute is so nice and panoramic... and about 4 minutes."

Dr. Steven Filardo's car is quite the attention getter.

"The unique thing is it has all the features of a car... and of a boat. It can go in the water as well. It's a 1966 Amphicar. There were about 3800 made. They estimate there's somewhere between 350 and 600 left."

So this is Dr. Steven Filardo's big secret for how he crosses the Ohio river in 4 minutes without the bumper to bumper, slow moving traffic. This is why his commute is so serene.

"I come in it at Cox's Park and i go out at Duffy's Landing," he said.

He said purchasing this car is the most irrational thing he's ever done. 

"First time you actually got this thing in the water..." asked WHAS 11's Adrianna Hopkins.

"It was a little nerve wrecking," he said. 

But also the most practical for this cardiologist who has patients on both sides of the river -- especially during rush hour.

"We can leave a downtown hospital and get to an Indiana hospital in a relatively short amount of time. The scenery is so nice when I get there to my patients, I'm relaxed."

Steve says he remembers seeing this car as a kid and always wanted one like it. And after some online hunting, his father found this car in California. He bought it for less than $40,000 and it only has about 26,000 miles on it. It's in great condition, gets about 30 miles to the gallon. It is a bargain in more ways than one.

"It fit for a lot of reasons. It helps with the commute... it was the right car at the right time," said Filardo.

It's registered as a classic car, that just so happens to float. And it has to meet all of the Coast Guard's requirements.

"It has a horn, have to have a throw, fire extinguisher."

"When you come out of the water, everybody loves it. Young, old, people want to sit in it and get their picture taken. People like it." 

The model of this car is called a 7/70 -- it goes about 7 miles per hour in the water and 70 miles per hour on land. It's a smooth -- dry -- ride.

"Halfway across the Ohio, I pull switch on bilge pump and there's never any water in it which is reassuring."

So if you're ever stuck in traffic, and you see a car in the water... boating across the river below... It's just Steve, who's probably set the car to cruise control, and is smiling because he finally has the car he always wanted. And doesn't have to sit in traffic.

"It makes the drive nicer, it makes it much more enjoyable." 

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