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Aloha Wanderwell: First Woman to Travel around the World in an Automobile

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 15, 2011 - What's blonde, blue-eyed, six-feet tall and looks like a leading actress? She's Aloha Wanderwell - the first woman to travel around the globe in a car; she was 16. And, AlohaWanderwell.com is dedicated to preserving her nitrate films, books and more.

It all started when Aloha read an ad in the Riviera edition of the Paris Herald: "Brains, Beauty and Breeches - World tour offer for lucky young woman wanted to join an expedition - Asia, Africa..."

She quickly set out to convince the expedition's leader, Captain Walter Wanderwell, that she was the one for the job.

"This true story of an incredible journey - the Wanderwell Expedition - took place in the 1920s. Over the years, it's been buried and now needs to be preserved and retold," says Richard Diamond, Aloha's grandson.

During this world tour, Aloha took thousands of feet of 35-millimeter nitrate film while driving though 43 countries on four continents in nearly eight years.

"These nitrate films have to be transferred to HD," says Diamond. "We need help now. This is a gold mine of material for any documentary or film producer. It would be a crime to let these historical films deteriorate. It's a rich part of history."

In addition, Diamond also possesses a 567-page manuscript written by Aloha that details the trip's many adventures; an array of collectibles; photos; and the original auto badges.

During the expedition, Aloha and Walter married. They continued to travel, to film and lecture together. In 1932, their story tragically ended with Walter's murder; it remains an unsolved cold case.

Aloha remarried and tended to her priceless collection of films, photos, journals and artifacts. Much of her work has been preserved in museums and educational institutions throughout the U.S. She passed away in Newport Beach, California on June 4, 1996.

"In addition to preserving these items, I believe that Ford has an amazing opportunity here," says Diamond. "Just imagine a modern-day Aloha retracing these steps in a Ford Explorer? It would be a wonderful way to pay homage to the very first 'Ford Challenge' - the intrepid 1918 Model T that Aloha referred to as her, Little Lizzie."

So, while the Model T that brought this couple together was not preserved, the story certainly can be.

AlohaWanderwell.com has partnered with CMG Worldwide to provide information about and licensing opportunities regarding the Wanderwell Expedition.


Unsolved Celebrity Murder Mystery Still Haunts Long Beach Harbor

Spies, Stars, Scandal surround nearly 80-year old Wanderwell case.

LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobs surrounded the courthouse in 1933, where beautiful blonde adventuress, Aloha Wanderwell, was being questioned in the murder of her husband. "Once suspected as a German spy, world-traveler Walter Wanderwell was tabloid fodder long before his murder," says Richard Diamond, of AlohaWanderwell.com. Walter hobnobbed with Hollywood royalty, and ditched his wife to marry his young "ward" Aloha, now the center of international intrigue.

This December 5th marks the 79th Anniversary of California's most renowned cold case: The Wanderwell Murder.

A former seafarer, world class hiker and traveler who had been briefly jailed in the US as a spy during the war, Wanderwell began his international expeditions in 1919 as an effort to promote world peace and the League of Nations. Founding an organization he called the Work Around the World Educational Club (WAWEC), Wanderwell lured young men and women with the promise of romantic adventure. One such conscripted youth, Aloha, captured the married Wanderwell's attention and soon became the second Mrs. Wanderwell.

When not cavorting with stars such as Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, the Wanderwells toured Africa, India and war-swept Europe, gaining notoriety and even numbering a British Lord among their crew. Lord Edward Eugene Fernando Montagu, son of His Grace the Duke of Manchester, was aboard the Wanderwell's yacht, The Carma, in the Long Beach harbor the night Walter Wanderwell was shot.

But Aloha was not on board. Heralded as the first woman to drive an automobile around the world, the beautiful widows' whereabouts sparked a media frenzy amid rumors of espionage, fraud, and sex that rivals any contemporary scandal. With headline coverage in The NY Times, Detroit Times, LA Times, and the Long Beach Press Telegram, the 1932 murder of Walter Wanderwell remains one of the greatest unsolved murder cases of the 21st Century.

About AlohaWanderwell.com:

http://AlohaWanderwell.com is an online archive, dedicated to promoting the story of exploring pioneer, Aloha Wanderwell, and preserving the historic Wanderwell Expedition's Nitrate Films, photographs, collectibles, and documents of all their Expeditions.

As the first woman to drive around the world and the first woman to fly Brazil's Mato Grosso, Aloha Wanderwell captured the world's attention with her beauty, her bravery, and her extraordinary kindness. Her film, "FLIGHT TO THE STONE AGE BOROROS," was the earliest filmed record of the Bororo tribe and stands today as an important anthropological resource within the Smithsonian Institute's Human Studies Archive.

Established in 2010, Aloha also has to her list of films "Car and Camera around the World" taken during their travels.

AlohaWanderwell.com has partnered with CMG Worldwide, to provide information about and licensing opportunities for the Wanderwell Expeditions saga.


The very first “Ford Challenge”

Covered in graffiti, dragged across deserts, lubricated with bananas and elephant fat, and running on kerosene, the first car to travel the world was a gift to Henry Ford.

And what amazed indigenous peoples across 43 countries and four continents more, the intrepid 1918 Model T or the beautiful tall blonde at the wheel?

From Paris to Peking, from Syria to Siberia, Aloha Wanderwell made history with her, little Lizzie, presenting it at journey's end to Mr. Ford at his Dearborn museum in 1929.

For exclusive footage shot on location around the world and first-person accounts of this very first " Ford Challenge ", visit www.AlohaWanderwell.com.