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January 13 , 2009

Serious Fun

The Life and Times of Alan Gibbs


Biography of Alan Gibbs, one of New Zealand's most influential and controversial businessmen and Aquada amphibious car developer. When Sir Richard Branson drove the Aquada high speed amphibious car across the English Channel it was a watershed moment. At last, had the holy grail of amphibious transport been achieved? The developer of the car, New Zealander Alan Gibbs, has since gone on to unveil a range of amphibious vehicles, including the Quadski, Humdinga and Phibian. Businessman, inventor, merchant banker, philanthropist, art collector, adventurer and inveterate traveller, Gibbs’ life has been far from ordinary. The one-time socialist became a very active participant and free-market champion when New Zealand’s economy was transformed in the mid to late 1980s. These days he is also focussed on developing Gibbs Farm, his remarkable sculpture park on the Kaipara Harbour, in New Zealand. The Farm, which has works by Richard Serra, Bernar Venet, Anish Kapoor, Tony Oursler and Andy Goldsworthy, among others, is of international stature. Gibbs lives in London and has factories in the UK, Detroit and New Zealand. It’s a life, as biographer Paul Goldsmith engagingly conveys, that’s been a lot of serious fun.
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