50 years of Dutton Cars

Annual report from Tim Dutton Jan 02 2019


2018 came as a bit of a surprise with sales of the Surf increasing year on year, we had expected some amphibiers would have changed their plans and gone for the new Reef. This increase in Surf sales forced us to put the Reef on the back burner for 2018. We are now up to date with Surf delivery so 2019 will be the year of the Reef.


The January 2019 London Boat Show has been cancelled due to poor attendances at Excel over the last few years. We have always used exhibitions as our main form of paid advertising. Our first exhibition was 1970 when Peter Filby rented a field in (we think) Hindhead in Surrey. Of course the 1982 Motor Show at the NEC Birmingham was the most talked about as we had just won the court case bought by Ford Motor Co who spectacularly failed to stop us using the name Sierra. Our court costs were £20,000, the best £20K we could have spent on publicity, the story being reported all over the World. Even cartoons appeared in the national press (as below), we think no other car company has ever been the centre of such attraction in cartoons. It was particularly amusing that just by chance our exhibition stand was next to the Ford exhibit at the NEC Birmingham. This year we will be celebrating 50 years of vehicle manufacture and will be exhibiting at the National Kit car show at Stoneleigh Warwickshire May 05 and 06. Later in the year at the Southampton Boat show September 13 to 22

Dutton Dutton

1982 cartoons salvaged from our 1992 factory fire


It was sad to hear of the closure of Kit Car Magazine especially as it was the first magazine in the World to be dedicated solely to kit cars. Luckily we still have Total Kit Car and Complete Kit Car magazines to promote the UK specialist car industry


Our court case from over a decade ago still brings incredulity from our customers when they hear our side of the story involving the sale of an old Commander sold in 2005. This story has virtually fallen off the radar but we still need to set the record straight. The Judge in Carlisle Paul Batty QC was severely criticised by Lord Justice Moses (great name) in the Royal Courts of Justice in London where in our appeal his lengthy criticism of Batty is summed up with the Lords findings:-

In our judgment, this offence did not cross the custody threshold. It was both wrong in principal and manifestly excessive. In those circumstances, we shall quash the sentence.

It then goes on again referring to Batty :- We turn then to a further matter that does give us more concern.....

And it goes on and on - if anyone who wants to read the entire appeal email us and we will send you the PDF
  • Dutton is the oldest car company in the world to still be wholly owned by its founder
  • To put this into context, Dutton was the first company ever to seriously 'productionise' kit car manufacture resulting in building 8000 cars between 1969 and 1989 in 20,000 ft sq spread over 4 factories and a main road showroom in West Sussex
  • The first amphibious car Dutton made was in 1989. No other company comes anywhere near us for longevity. Even the most famous amphibious car ever - the Amphicar - was only built for 2 years then the company hemorrhaged for a further 2 years in a desperate attempt to sell off the remaining stock
  • Dutton is the Worlds only company in series production with amphibious cars (despite what you see on the internet)
  • After trading for years as Tim Dutton Amphibious Cars Ltd we thought it would be rather fun to re-use the 50 year old company name of "Dutton Cars Ltd" (same company just a name change)

Dutton Dutton

First prototype (1989) based on Dutton Sierra drophead, note the use of steel bumper / chassis (never again) alfresco exhaust and a bemused Tim Dutton

Southampton Boat Show
Very successful Southampton Boat Show 2019  
TV WITH DUTTONS:- Celebrity Hunted with Stanley Johnson and Georgia Toffolo Ch4 Oct 13 9pm. Great British Canal Journeys with Sheila Hancock and Giles Brandeth Ch4 before end 2019  

Dutton Dutton Dutton
  Tim Dutton - Woolley  
Picture of the Month

What are the chances? An amphibious caravan passing an amphibious car...

Picture of the Month

20 mph, 5ft drop and no slipway...

Picture of the Month

Most modern cars are designed to last 11 years. This Dutton Mariner is over 20 years old and still going strong.


Picture of the Month

On the way to Brittany.

Picture of the Month

Brittany Northwestern most region of France. The annual Amphib meeting, Over 75 amphibs attended August 2019. The Reef was easily faster on the water than all the Amphicars, GPA's, DUKW's, Searanger and others.

Make contact
To make contact with us please email    factory@timdutton.com Tel 01903 713313 we don't always hear the phone so quicker to email

UK Pound drops 10% to 15% due to Brexit
For export sales now is the time to take advantage of this temporary "blip" in the UK exchange rate as it has dropped against most major currencies

We buy dead 4WD Duttons
We are eager purchasers of all 4WD Duttons regardless of their condition including part built kits
Send us full details/photos and price

Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Burma, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dubai, England, France, French West Indies, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Monaco, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Southern Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, USA, Wales

And some Military stuff..

This is not the total of all our cars sold, customers have bought more than 1 Dutton, there are repeat orders and many are sold into the same location

We have been manufacturing amphibious cars longer than all the other companies in the World added together - including Amphicar - this unparalleled experience over 30 years and 260+ sales has allowed us to produce 4 entirely different models - the Mariner up to 2000, Commander up to 2006 and the current Surf and Reef

We take customer privacy seriously and will NEVER disclose customer names or addresses or cold-call them so please don't ask

A Brief History of Tim
Article reprinted from February 2016 Complete Kit Car Magazine, see HERE
Sunday Observer

48 year old advert from our Archives

As true today as it was in the early 1970's...Note £345 for an entire kit!


Built to last

We recently received this from a customer who bought a Dutton in 1972; now over 70, he still uses the B type (if his son is not borrowing it...)



Note WW2 Dutton shed in 1972, and the good old days when E Type Jaguars were simply thrown away when not needed...


47 years old and still going strong

Reef in full Production



REEF delivery & production

Delivery is now late Spring 2020

We are quite happy to accept a deposit and incomplete order form as a firm order so you can get a production "slot", final spec can be added closer to the delivery date

We attempt to keep some deck/hulls in stock:-

We have one white Reef hull in stock - if ordered waiting time is reduced by 2 weeks

IMPORTANT:- if we quote a delivery time from a general enquiry it is only valid at the time we quote, delivery times can easily vary drastically depending on pressure of work, however once an order has been received then the delivery date is fixed
SURF delivery & production

Delivery is now late Spring 2020

We are quite happy to accept a deposit and incomplete order form as a firm order so you can get a production "slot", final spec can be added closer to the delivery date

We attempt to keep some deck/hulls in stock:-


IMPORTANT:- if we quote a delivery time from a general enquiry it is only valid at the time we quote, delivery times can easily vary drastically depending on pressure of work, however once an order has been received then the delivery date is fixed
Stock cars
For the first time ever, we have managed to catch up with orders and now have some cars in stock.
See the "new - used" page for further details.
UK Slipways & launch sites

A comprehensive list of UK slipways and launch sites that you can use for your Dutton is now available from BOATLAUNCH.CO.UK. giving details of over 940 British coastal and inland slipways. Please click HERE to access their site.

Note that the site also gives tide predictions.

Duttons 1969 to 1989

With well over 8000 Duttons driving around the World and despite not making them for over 30 years we are still here to help owners. Got a TECHNICAL problem? then contact Tim for assistance. Please note we have NO documentation or spares on these early Duttons (and don't forget to join the Dutton owners Club)
Duttons in Norway & Canada

Duttons have now been registered for road use in Norway and Canada, this joins the ever increasing list of Countries where you can register the Dutton

Dutton in Norway


A day in the life..... cars being completed, customers and visitors cars and our two demo cars.


Our "fleet" of two demo cars.


Monday morning, Jimny donor for Surf, and Fiesta donor for Reef.

Dutton goes electric

Tim Dutton is currently building five electric powered Surfs for a European Customer. The 'E Surfs' will be used on canals that have strict emission regulations and will be powered by 48v water cooled electric motors.


The photo above shows the motor coupled to the same jet that's used for conventional Surfs. The batteries will be on an overnight charge before the cars are driven to the canals during the day. If the batteries go flat on the water, the petrol engine can be run to give enough power back to the motor through a 48v converter.

TOP 15%

A staggering 85% of all cars (all makes) fail the IVA test first time. The Dutton passes. We are so confident that the cars we present pass first time that if for any reason they don't we will re-test at our expense


TOWIE ITV2 The "lads" drove around Basildon and local lakes.


CHANNEL 4 SHOW "GADGET MAN" aired September 02 featuring the Dutton SURF


Tim also featured in an earlier episode of 'Scrapheap Challenge' on Channel 4.

Female Comedienne JO BRAND has a new tv programme on DAVE TV where she does weird stuff to do with water. Jo spent a whole day at our factory filming in the Dutton Surf, this was shown recently and is viewable on here and shows Jo and Tim having fun before heading for France in a Surf.

To view the video click HERE



Click HERE to view Video (5min)

Three Men Pic 01

2006 Channel Crossing Video now available. Click HERE to view (4min).

The Dutton. It is neither the car that thinks it's a boat nor a boat that thinks it's a car. It has the invincible superiority of knowing that it is both
"Boris Johnson Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"
"AutoExpress Magazine"
NEW WORLD RECORD 2 Duttons cross English Channel Nov 2006, see AMPHIBIOUS RECORDS link on "PRESS" link above
No Beach Out Off Reach
Factory Factory
lathe-003 hull-to-deck-002
Part Completed jet bodies Hull and deck meet up
2nd Dutton ever made, this Dutton P1 based on the Mk1 Sprite was built in 1969 and is still going strong today. Photographed in 2005 to celebrating the 25th year of the Dutton Owners Club (search DuttonOwnersClub to find out more) . With well over 8000 cars made already the DOC look forward to you joining them with your Dutton Amphib.
Specifications liable to change without notice.
DUTTON is a registered Trade Mark.