How 16-year-old ‘female Indiana Jones’ Aloha Wanderwell travelled the world in a Model T Ford

She was the first woman to drive around the world, travelling 75,000 miles across 43 countries in a Ford Model T when she was still a teenager.

Idris Galcia Hall, from Winnipeg, Canada, was just 16 when, in 1922, she answered a newspaper advert asking for ‘Brains, Beauty and Breeches – World Tour Offer For Lucky Young Woman… Wanted to join an expedition!’

The advert had been placed by Polish adventurer and inventor Captain Walter Wanderwell, whose real name was Valerian Johannes Piecynski.

Impressed by her sense of adventure, the captain quickly signed her up after meeting her and gave her a stage name which stuck: Aloha Wanderwell.

Aloha became the star of what became known as the Wanderwell Expedition and, during their magnificent tour through countries including Egypt and India, the pair fell in love.

During the American leg of their expedition, the couple  married – after Wanderwell had divorced his first wife Nell – and they went on to have two children, Nile and Valri. 

The innovative couple also released a documentary titled With Car And Camera Around the World, making them internationally acclaimed.

But then tragedy struck when, in 1932, Captain Wanderwell was shot dead on his yacht in Long Beach, California, and his killer was never found.

The main suspect – who was dubbed the ‘man in grey’ by witnesses – was acquitted by a jury. Aloha remarried the following year and continued her travels before passing away in California in June 1996.

Her incredible life story has led to her gaining the nickname the ‘female Indiana Jones’.

Aloha Wanderwell, who was born Idris Galcia Hall, was the first woman to drive around the world, visiting 43 countries in a Ford Model-T when she was still a teenager

She was just 16 when, in 1922, she answered a newspaper advert asking for 'Brains, Beauty and Breeches - World Tour Offer For Lucky Young Woman¿ Wanted to join an expedition!' The advert had been placed by Polish adventurer and inventor Captain Walter Wanderwell (left), whose real name was Valerian Johannes Piecynski. Impressed by her sense of adventure, the captain quickly signed her up after meeting her and gave her her stage name. Above: The pair together

She was just 16 when, in 1922, she answered a newspaper advert asking for ‘Brains, Beauty and Breeches – World Tour Offer For Lucky Young Woman… Wanted to join an expedition!’ The advert had been placed by Polish adventurer and inventor Captain Walter Wanderwell (left), whose real name was Valerian Johannes Piecynski. Impressed by her sense of adventure, the captain quickly signed her up after meeting her and gave her her stage name. Above: The pair together

Aloha saw Captain Wanderwell’s newspaper advert when she was living in France with her mother and sister after the death of her father in the First World War.

She applied for a position as secretary and driver for the ambitious expedition. Captain Wanderwell begun the expedition in 1919 in the hope of promoting world peace.

He had previously been jailed in the US during the war, on suspicion of being a German spy.

By the time Aloha answered the advert, he and his wife had already separated, although were not officially divorced.

The Daily Mail reported in 1930 how Wanderwell had the idea for his world tour after seeing ‘boys leaving college and wasting two or three years in making up their minds about what they wanted to do.’

Whilst he spoke ten languages, Aloha spoke four, according to the report.

Aloha quickly made herself indispensable, performing whatever tasks were needed.

Their journey saw them go through France, newly-Fascist Italy, and into Germany – which was grappling with the punitive reparations imposed on it as a result of its defeat in the war.

Some of their best photos were taken in Egypt, where they camped at the foot of the Great Sphinx in the Valley of the Kings. They also drove into Palestine and through India.

Aloha became the star of what became known as the Wanderwell Expedition and, during their magnificent tour through countries including Egypt and India, the pair fell in love ¿ even though the soldier was still married

Aloha became the star of what became known as the Wanderwell Expedition and, during their magnificent tour through countries including Egypt and India, the pair fell in love – even though the soldier was still married

Aloha visited 43 countries on her first trip around the world, crossing war-torn Europe over several months

Aloha visited 43 countries on her first trip around the world, crossing war-torn Europe over several months

Aloha saw Captain Wanderwell's newspaper advert when she was living in France with her mother and sister after the death of her father in the First World War. She applied for a position as secretary and driver for the ambitious expedition. Captain Wanderwell begun the expedition in 1919 in the hope of promoting world peace

Aloha saw Captain Wanderwell’s newspaper advert when she was living in France with her mother and sister after the death of her father in the First World War. She applied for a position as secretary and driver for the ambitious expedition. Captain Wanderwell begun the expedition in 1919 in the hope of promoting world peace

During the American leg of their expedition, the couple married ¿ after Wanderwell had divorced his first wife Nell ¿ and they went on to have two children, Nile and Valri. Above: Aloha is seen with Valri on the family's yacht, the Carma, after her husband had been murdered

During the American leg of their expedition, the couple married – after Wanderwell had divorced his first wife Nell – and they went on to have two children, Nile and Valri. Above: Aloha is seen with Valri on the family’s yacht, the Carma, after her husband had been murdered

The couple's future plans were cut short when, in December 1932, Captwain Wanderwell was shot in the back on his boat. Above: Aloha waves as she sits on the bonnet of a car emblazoned with her husband's name

The couple’s future plans were cut short when, in December 1932, Captwain Wanderwell was shot in the back on his boat. Above: Aloha waves as she sits on the bonnet of a car emblazoned with her husband’s name

A publicity photo shows a headshot of Aloha bearing a caption which reads: 'The World's Most Widely Travelled Girl'

A publicity photo shows a headshot of Aloha bearing a caption which reads: ‘The World’s Most Widely Travelled Girl’

Aloha is seen on the Carma looking upset after her husband's shocking death. The main suspect ¿ who was dubbed the 'man in grey' by witnesses ¿ was acquitted by a jury. Aloha remarried the following year and continued her travels before passing away in California in June 1996

Aloha is seen on the Carma looking upset after her husband’s shocking death. The main suspect – who was dubbed the ‘man in grey’ by witnesses – was acquitted by a jury. Aloha remarried the following year and continued her travels before passing away in California in June 1996

In East Africa, Aloha is said to have nearly died of thirst, whilst in the Islamic holy city of Mecca, she disguised herself as a man.

After the tour and once they were married, Aloha and Captain Wanderwell continued their travels. They visited the Amazon basin and Aloha made another film, about the Bororo tribe in Brazil.

It remains the earliest filmed record of the group.

However, the couple’s future plans were cut short when, in December 1932, Captwain Wanderwell was shot in the back on his boat, The Carma.

A Daily Mail news report from the time notes how the ‘noted traveller’ was killed on his ‘luxurious yacht’.

Four of the boat’s crew members told police that a ‘stranger’ went on board to see Captain Wanderwell, before the explorer’s body was found in the cabin a few minutes later.

A January 1930 edition of the Daily Mail describes how Aloha and Captain Wanderwell met. It then tells how they got married and 'continued their journey together'

A January 1930 edition of the Daily Mail describes how Aloha and Captain Wanderwell met. It then tells how they got married and ‘continued their journey together’

The couple's future plans were cut short when, in December 1932, Captwain Wanderwell was shot in the back on his boat, The Carma. A Daily Mail news report from the time notes how the 'noted traveller' was killed on his 'luxurious yacht'

The couple’s future plans were cut short when, in December 1932, Captwain Wanderwell was shot in the back on his boat, The Carma. A Daily Mail news report from the time notes how the ‘noted traveller’ was killed on his ‘luxurious yacht’

The stranger had by then ‘disappeared’. Further reports reveal how the main suspect, William James Guy, from Cardiff, was dubbed the ‘man in grey’.

Aloha told investigators how Guy had joined the Wanderwells during a boat trip in South America, but was put ashore after trying to start a mutiny.

The female explorer then told officers that he had reappeared in Hollywood and tried to strangle her husband.

However, in 1933, Guy was acquitted at his murder trial after the jury decided that guests on the boat would not have been able to identify him due to the fact it was nighttime and that he had only been seen through a porthole.

A witness also claimed that Guy had been at their home more than 30 miles away when the murder took place.

Aloha went on to marry former cameraman Walter Baker and continued her career as an explorer and filmmaker. She passed away on June 4, 1996.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk