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Sea Cars at Cleethorpes & Elsewhere in Bygone Times

Sea Cars at Cleethorpes
What exactly is a Sea Car ? A good question, let’s have a look at a wonderful c1920s photograph

Firstly, my thanks to LJ for sending for sending in this intriguing photograph, note the Clock Tower in the background .

Dating back to the 1920s it’s really quite fabulous and a social and local history gem but the question is . . .
What exactly was it and what exactly could it, and did it, do ?

The suggestion is obvious, an amphibious vehicle, it can be driven on the beach, into the sea and then turn into a boat.
Presumably it was a private commercial venture, if so who owned it, how much did it cost to have a go in it and what did ‘having a go in it’ actually equate to ?
I’d really like to find out about the drive system and to get some concrete information on exactly what the Sea Car did and for how long.

If anybody knows anything at all about this wonderfully atmospheric piece of local Cleethorpes History then please do leave a comment

Yours on terra firma


  1. v said,

    January 25, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    Cleethorpes Land and Sea Car co was registered in June 1924. The car benefitted from improvements to motor vehicle and boat inventions. There was an initial investment of EIGHT THOUSAND pounds in £1 shares. There were several investors.
    ( I am surprised that it is 1924 as the lady’s outfit looks earlier to me . )
    If my aging memory serves me correctly, Rod, one of your post-ers on here wrote something about an land/sea vehicle in Cleethorpes but perhaps an army one from a later date ?

    The photo is an excellent resource. There is another social comment here though and one which we used to mention even to Year 1 pupils aged 5 that a day at the beach was an occasion for best clothes in those days.

  2. Amiguru said,

    January 25, 2013 @ 1:26 pm


    Correct. Yours truly mentioned seeing the DUKW that used to ply Cleethorpes beach post war here:

    Utilityvehicledesignedin1942with frontwheeldriveandtwinrearaxle; aka DUKW

  3. Rod said,

    January 25, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

    that’s absolutely superb !
    Cleethorpes Land and Sea Car Co that really is a great find.

    I’m staggered at the cost - £8,000, I think youcould buy a terraced house in Lincolnshire for about £100 then!!

    I wonder how th einvestment turned out, what was the ROI ?

  4. V said,

    January 25, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Regarding £8000 and ROI ( not republic of Ireland ;) ) ;

    My grandfather, a Lancashire Calico Printer was earning £2.00 a week about this time ( £104.00 a year ) and was relatively well paid. So an investment of £8000 is indeed staggering.

    The Commercial Motor Vehicle Archive 19th Oct 1926 tells of an ‘’extraordinary amphibious vehicle owned by the Land & Sea Car Co Ltd, Cleethorpes. It was known as a sea car and was a boat / coach. It could tour the prom and then drive into the sea for a cruise.

  5. L&P said,

    January 26, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    The sea car was demonstrated at various UK resorts and exhibited t the 1924 Motor Industries Show. A metal boat on a car axis with a prop drive for when in the water

    I’ve sent Rod an image of the news clip with the report.

    Most interesting off all is the existence of a 1931 newsreel clip at the British Pathe Web Site which shows the vehicle entering the sea near Cleethorpes, venturing out by the pier and then returning. The drive mechanism can be clearly seen on the stills view of the news reel on the same site. I’ve sent the web site link to Rod, if you want to locate it yourselves then it’s at and the film is called ‘Queer Craft’, the Cleethorpes section starts at around 55 seconds into the film.

  6. veronica said,

    January 26, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    British Pathe is one of my favourite websites for its insight into social history and this reel is fantastic! TY .A brilliant piece of source material. Love it.


  7. Rod said,

    January 26, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

    just fabulous, many thanks indeed and here’s the clipping you sent . . .

  8. Paul Rowe said,

    January 28, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

    Boss Rod! (Suggestion) Perhaps you could write a very interesting article about the only car that was manufactured in Grimsby the Lloyd! I’ve been told that they were very fine vehicles.

  9. Rod said,

    January 28, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    thanksk for that, I’ve just written it on a postit - I’m on the case . . .

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