Amphibious DUKWs Sold at Auction

Ride the Ducks of Seattle goes out of business: WWII surplus and later GMC DUKWs sold
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Ride the Ducks has been a long-standing tourist attraction in Seattle, Wash. A combination of financial struggles including a significant crash in 2015 resulting in a lawsuit and the loss of business due to COVID-19 forced the company to close. The WWII surplus DUKWs and later versions were sold at auction in July 2020.

Ride the Ducks has been a long-standing tourist attraction in Seattle, Wash. A combination of financial struggles including a significant crash in 2015 resulting in a lawsuit and the loss of business due to COVID-19 forced the company to close. The WWII surplus DUKWs and later versions were sold at auction in July 2020.

Ride the Ducks Seattle never recovered financially after a devastating 2015 crash on the Aurora Bridge that killed five people and injured more than 60. After it closed, the popular tourist attraction filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a statement to local press, the company said when it closed, the financial impact from the crash was “too much for the company to overcome” despite efforts to hold the manufacturer of the amphibious vehicle involved in the crash accountable.

*DUKW Tour Vehicle in Philadelphia Sinks: Two Dead

A lawsuit, which was filed in 2016 on behalf of 42 people who were injured or killed in the crash, named Ride the Ducks Seattle, Ride the Ducks International (RTDI), the city of Seattle and the state of Washington as defendants.

“While the COVID-19 situation certainly accelerated our decision, we were faced with a set of financial realities that were inescapable,” the statement said.

The physical property was sold in an online-only auction conducted by the James G. Murphy Co. of Seattle. Below are the auction company’s descriptions and realized prices. Note that most of the DUKWs were not, in fact, WWII vintage, rather “stretch Ducks” based loosely on the WWII design. 

Prices reported do NOT include the 13% buyer's premium charged by the auction company.

*DUKW BUYER'S GUIDE

*Popularity of Surplus Amphibious Vehicles

*U.S. Army DUKW found 67 years later

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