Australian Ben Carlin traveled around 17,780 km by sea and 62,744 km by land in his modified Ford GPA, passing through 38 countries.
On this day in 1958, Australian Ben Carlin completed the first and so far only trip around the world in an amphibious vehicle in history. He allegedly came up with the idea of such a journey while he was serving in the army during World War II. The amphibious vehicle that drew his attention was the Ford GPA (the amphibious version of the Ford GPW i.e. the famous Jeep).
Carlin acquired a Ford GPA, which he then upgraded for the purpose of a long journey. He increased its size by installing a rudder, adding more equipment and additional fuel tanks. He and his wife gave the vehicle the humorous name “Half-Safe”.
The first attempts at a long journey using such a vehicle were unsuccessful for Carlin and his wife, but they did not give up. In 1950, they succeeded in crossing the Atlantic Ocean, starting in Canada. Ben Carlin traveled the world for almost eight years, gathering little by little the means to continue their journey.
In total, Carlin traveled around 17,780 km by sea and 62,744 km by land, passing through 38 countries. On this day, in 1958, Carlin arrived in Montreal in Canada, marking a kind of completion of his trip around the world in “Half-Safe”. According to the Guinness World Records, it was the first and only circumnavigation using an amphibious vehicle.