It’s a Small World (1951)

It's a Small World

Totally unbelievable. Around the world by land and sea in a WW2 amphibious jeep.

Ben Carlin first encountered the ford GPA amphibious Jeep whilst in the army during WW2. A seed was planted and in the late 40s he picked one up and set about modifying it so that despite being designed for calm water, he could take one onto the open sea. In July 1950 and newly wed, he and his wife Elinore set off from Halifax, Canada and 31 days later arrived in the Azores. The jeep carried all their provisions and whilst crossing the Atlantic they were completely alone, navigating by the stars. The jeep towed a specially designed bowser that floated, even with 7000 gallons of petrol in it! Onwards to North Africa and then overland across Europe, Turkey, The Middle East and India. Eventually, via South East Asia the Jeep made it to Japan. Back into the northern Pacific and a  sequence of island hopping (including an unplanned landfall on the USSR’s Siberian coastline!) along the Aleutians they eventually made it to Alaska. Back down the Alcan highway and after trundling into Halifax they had completed what the Guinness book of records agrees was the first circumnavigation of the globe by amphibious vehicle. If they hadn’t filmed it why would anyone believe that this actually happened!

1951  and 1964 •  Ben Carlin •  colour 16mm •   49 mins