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An Incredible Journey


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Table of Contents

Preface by Peter ReischChapter 1 - Bitter pills, new plansChapter 2 - Four wheelsChapter 3 - The oil road to BaghdadChapter 4 - The lizard huntChapter 5 - Where the dead crowd close to AllahChapter 6 - Dust to dustChapter 7 - Foreign devilsChapter 8 - UrlajatChapter 9 - Hungarian Afghans, Bavarian AfghansChapter 10 - Closer to IndiaChapter 11 - KashmirChapter 12 - End of the first stageChapter 13 - The land of the smiling BuddhaChapter 14 - The Agency comes to callChapter 15 - Deep in the jungleChapter 16 - Folk festival at Inle lakeChapter 17 - Special deliveryChapter 18 - Dead prince and living princeChapter 19 - Honour the yellow robeChapter 20 - Laughing with SimbaChapter 21 - Two motorcycle fiendsChapter 22 - Success at lastChapter 23 - Held up in HanoiChapter 24 - Old Mr. Lai ShiChapter 25 - Motor car versus evil spiritsChapter 26 - In China it's differentChapter 27 - A war zoneChapter 28 - What Marco Polo sawChapter 29 - ShanghaiChapter 30 - Problems for the foreign visitorChapter 31 - "Yuku michi" in the land of delightsChapter 32 - The long goodbyeChapter 33 - Crossing AmericaChapter 34 - The collectorChapter 35 - Mexico to Salzburg: disaster strikes!Chapter 36 - Epilogue: the story continuesAppendix - Some notes on the Steyr 100 car

About the Author

Maximilian Felix Gottfried Reisch (1912-1985) made his first pioneering long-distance journey when he was still a 20-year-old student in Vienna in 1933. Together with fellow-student Herbert Tichy on pillion, he rode a 250cc Puch light motorcycle from Vienna to Bombay, crossing Iraq, Iran and Baluchistan (as documented in his book "India - The Shimmering Dream"). In another break from his studies in 1935, Reisch undertook a motorcar expedition into Asia which became the round-the-world trip documented in this book. After the war, Reisch worked in the family wholesale grocery business, but by the 1950s he was again pushing back the boundaries of motor travel with journeys to the Middle East and the desert regions which so attracted him. Max wrote his adventures in a racy personal style which in no way obscures the carefully recorded details of the world he knew.


Max Reisch's story telling is detailed and his style is an easy read, conversational and witty, aided no doubt with brilliant translation by Alison Falls. She brings the German text to an English audience, ensuring it remained free-flowing and exciting. This journey certainly was incredible and totally absorbing 80 years on; fully capturing the essence of adventure with pre-war cultures (many of which have disappeared) all enjoyed from the seat of a small Austrian motor car. A real `Boys Own' adventure featuring two young men who took a camera and drive around the world. - Grant Ford, Freelance. Reisch and his travelling companion, 19-year old Helmuth Hahmann, took the (literally and metaphorically) rough with the smooth along the way, and their approach to the locals was clearly one of respect and interest. That approach is explained thourghout the book and today's trustafarian travellers could do well to take note. Numerous visits to collect visas, source fuel, repair the car, and be feted at numerous soirees add to the story's flavour, making this far, far more than just a travelogue. Plaudits should be given not only to Reisch, whose enthusiasm brought the journey to fruition, but to translator Alison Falls, who has managed to preserve the trip's flavour without the stilted prose too many translated books suffer from. The result is an uplifting read ideal for both those with wanderlust, and those with an interest in cars. - The book, An Incredible Journey: The Lost World of the 1930s Circled by Two Men in One Small Car, captures all the excitement of the journey including crossing torrents on rickety ferryboats, sinking over the axles on forest tracks and encountering strange and fascinating people and places. The enthralling text is backed up by a wealth of fascinating historical photographs taken during the adventure. The book will hold the attention of the reader as they discover a very different world of that of today. - Irish Vintage Scene. First published in Austria in 1984, this story of a remarkable overland journey is now available in English in a 288-pages softcover book. With its very good selection of black and white photos of people and places they came across, this is a fascinating account of a true motoring adventure! - Classic Driver Monthly. The 288-page paperback, with lots of great black and white photos, is a terrific adventure story and fun read, and worth a spot in the library of any classic car enthusiast. - Classic MGa wonderful book ... To be honest, the book is as delightful and interesting as a record of a lost world as it is a motoring journal ... I review a lot of books; this will remain one of my favourites. Hagerty Classic Cars newsletter

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