Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cars of Adventure Bound with Alby Mangels

Back in the 80's, there lived a man who embodied all of the claims of Chuck Norris jokes in real life. His name was Alby Mangels, a Dutch born Australian adventurer who traveled the globe, making a series of documentaries along the way entitled World Safari. Back in the day (late 1990's anyway...) when The Travel Channel did not suck and aired programming like Lonely Planet, World Safari could be seen in a series called Adventure Bound with Alby Mangels. It came right after The Dukes of Hazzard at 4PM, giving me a solid hour and a half of influence when my brain was being shaped as a young'un. Although thankfully not specifically a car show, Alby had commendable tastes in automobiles. Whether it was powering through the Amazon in CJ5s while wearing an AMC t-shirt, driving a double decker International through the Coorong, or piloting a DAF through sub-Saharan Africa, Alby always got around in serious style. Hit the jump for a short list of some of the cars used on the show.

1. Jeep CJ5

Presumably sponsored by AMC, a trek was made across the Amazon jungle in an old CJ-5. From my memory of the show, there were numerous wheel bearing and shock failures on the trailer, resulting in a painstakingly slow pace.

2. DAF Dafodil

Driving over 3,000 miles across the African desert in a Dafodil Combi could be the true definition of adventure. Allegedly held together with wood and string and driven by rubber bands, I can only imagine with a DAF sounds like at full chat screaming through axle deep sand with the CVT wound all the way up. I wonder if Alby chose the DAF for it's rugged build and low price or just because he's dutch. Either way, DAF bought the car back and gave alby $10,000. Fair enough for a $200 DAF.

3. International Harvester Mk3 Hauler

Never near to the top of my list of adventure vehicles is this Australian International Mk3 Cargo Truck. Very similar to Allan Moffat's race hauler - Australia's first - this troopie was loaded up with gear, dogs, camels, horses, and people before it ventured into the Coorong in World Safari III.

4. Dodge Coupe Utility

Perhaps the best vehicle to ever grace Adventure Bound: the Dodge Coupe Utility featured on World Safari III. The old white ute was first seen pulling a camper - which was later pushed off a cliff, perhaps an omen for the Dodge - along the South Australian coast. Bounding through sand dunes with seldom more than three wheels touching the ground, the $50 doorless Dodge traveled the Aussie desert until it was 'mistakenly' run off of a cliff, later drug to a shallow grave by a resuscitated cat dozer.

5. Nissan Patrol

This poor L60 Patrol was crashed into a lone tree in the middle of a thousand acre field while chasing kangaroos in the dark, injuring all dogs and people inside to some degree.

6. VW Dune Buggy

A completely hacked up VW Bug provided excellent beachside transportation between windsurfing trips and horseback treks, again transporting women and dogs.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the cars of the Adventure Bound/World Safari series. If you like cars, adventures, or any combination of the above, you need to find some way to watch this show.


  1. The story is not just about the cars.
    The CJ 5 was driven by Paco and the photogapher.
    Alby never did that trip he was in Australia when this was filmed.
    You can find the truck supposedly blown up in Mozambique in South Australia.
    The DAF museum never bought the car of Mangels.
    Dodge "mistakenly" run off cliff.
    Cinematographer was at the bottom waiting for the shot.
    Nissan patrol crash was also staged.60 minutes. no one was hurt. But they did throw the dog out of the car at speed to get a shot.

  2. anonymous, you seem to be attempting to ruin childhood memories with your revisionist history. It doesn't matter who drove the cj5 or if the Dodge coupe was intentionally pushed to its death. Everything on tv is made up anyway. We need more old, underpowered, barely running heaps adventuring through the wilderness.

    A wise man once said "adventure is taking inappropriate equipment to far away places" and BB will celebrate that spirit as long as we're keeping our crappy old cars running.

  3. Hey-

    I found your blog while looking for a photo of Alby's DAF in action. I saw World Safari on TV when I was 12 and lived in Australia. Well, I'm moving to France in a couple weeks and have started looking at the car ads on line (one of my favorite things to do whether I'm in the market for a car or not) and found a DAF. My wife thought it looked like it wouldn't make it for our year trip around Europe and I wanted to prove how tough it was. However, we'd like to find something we can throw a bed in the back of and I ran across this thing. The exhaust placement is classic!!

  4. That Peugeot is incredible, you must purchase it!!

  5. Any ideas of a link to some video footage of albys L60/G60 Patrol