Floating Fiesta has right kit to ford the Channel

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The Independent Online
Ford Fiesta owners now have the solution to Channel tunnel delays and ferry strikes: they can drive to France.

Tim Dutton, a kit-car manufacturer based in Worthing, West Sussex, is selling a £2,500 conversion kit which turns the runabout into the amphibious Dutton Mariner. Buyers seeking sea-going authenticity can buy add- on extras including a compass, bilge pumps, navigation lights and rope cleats.

He said: "When you consider it costs the same to build up a basic Dutton Mariner as a "normal" car it leaves the competition standing - or should that be sinking?"

Mr Dutton says that he plans to celebrate the launch of the Mariner by driving across the Channel to France, but points out that the vehicle is best suited for drivers who have to make regular short journeys across a lake or river.

He also offered the reassurance that special attention had been paid to the waterproofing.

When drivers enter the water, they knock the car into reverse and jet pumps come into action, speeding the car through the water. On land, the car is propelled by a normal engine.