AN AQUATIC car maker will see one of his amphibious vehicles appear in the opening sequence of Britain’s Got Talent.

Tim Dutton, from Worthing, made a bespoke vehicle for Simon Cowell and David Walliams to drive to the auditions for the latest series of the ITV talent show in Manchester later this year

The amphibious Dutton Surf was made and painted with a Union Jack at Tim’s factory in Littlehampton.

Tim said: “They’ve already filmed the sequence and it’s going to be in the titles for the new season.

“We’ve manufactured around 260 of these cars in the last 20 years. We make six or seven a year.

“They need an MOT every three years, and they’re just like a normal car on the road. But when you see a slipway or a bit of beach, you pull a lever between the two front seats to engage the jet at the back, and then off you go. You don’t need to stop – you can just head straight into the water.”

Tim has been building the cars – based on the Suzuki Jimny – since 1995. They often appear on TV, most recently in the Channel 4 show Hunted – featuring, as Tim put it, “Stanley Johnson and some girl called Toffo from Chelsea”.

He recently made a car to be used in new Richard Hammond series, but there is one programme he refuses to loan a car to. He said: “I would never make a car for Top Gear. The producers asked me to do it once, but I said ‘absolutely not’. They would have blown it up or made it sink or catch light or something.”

Tim has had more than his fair share of aquatic adventures himself.

He said: “I’m the only person stupid enough to have crossed the Channel twice in an amphibious car. It takes about six hours. I wouldn’t want to go again. It was so boring.

“Your foot’s down on the pedal the whole way and you’re going full throttle dead straight for six hours.

“The first time I did it there was a storm and about a metre swell. But the car’s like a cork – it bobs up and down with the waves.

“The cars are fully waterproofed. They have a speedboat hull and big rubber seals, so there’s not many places where the water can get in. It’s the same design since 1995 so clearly it works.”

Tim used to employ 80 staff working at factories in Lancing and Worthing. He and three employees now manufacture the cars from a factory in Littlehampton, which is fitted with its own slipway for easy access to the sea.