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  #31  
Old 14-08-16, 14:15
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Great to see that a GPA owner was found willing to convert his prized posession for this venture. I hope to see the documentary one day!
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  #32  
Old 15-08-16, 02:46
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Congratulations to all, the story of Half Safe is one everyone should read about the ideas and challenges of man against nature.

Is the new replica able to be returned to an ordinary GPA without much trouble?

The photos you have put up Jan shows a rounder bow, was the design taken off the original Half Safe? I seem to recall that Half Safe had a much pointier bow. Maybe it is the photo angle.

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Regards Rick.
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  #33  
Old 15-08-16, 13:46
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Craig said he looked at the dimensions in the book and got something made to look similar. It will not take much to put the GPA back to its original state.

Craig started building a GPA a few years ago and after finding out that Channel 7 were looking for a vehicle to be made into a replica decided that he would add on the modifications needed. Within 5 months the vehicle was complete. The person who did the bodywork was skilled but held up the process with personal issues. Internally it looked similar and the cabin section is slightly smaller than the original. Most people wouldn't know the difference. He will take it to Corowa next March. Alex Cullen has the contact details of people in WA who were very accepting of the vehicle being driven around and photographed by the tv crew. In 2019 when we celebrate 40 years of the Corowa Swim-In we would be thrilled to get the vehicle back across the country. If anyone is able to assist with this please let me know.

In 1999 we had the enthusiasm of Bob Dimer and the generosity of Bob, Jenny and Budget which enabled it to leave WA. Many of our enthusiasts helped fund the costs involved.
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  #34  
Old 09-09-16, 23:17
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Hi Jan,
Have you any more details on when the programme will be shown? Do you think that it will be shown on Ytube anytime for us that live outside Australia?
Dave
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  #35  
Old 10-09-16, 02:54
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Hi Dave
Not sure when it will be seen on TV but they mentioned September or October.
in Australia we can watch catch up TV so when it is on I will put a link to the program.
Last week's program is currently online for 14 days so see if you can see the link below:
https://au.tv.yahoo.com/plus7/sunday...ep-episode-24/

regards
Jan
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  #36  
Old 10-09-16, 13:21
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Thanks Jan,
The link doesn't seem to work, something about not being available to users in your location. Nevermind, I guess it will turn up some where.

The photos that Rick posted of him sat in Half Safe, are just like the one's I have of when Bob took me to Guildford Grammer to see her. I was very shocked when Bob said to me, 'climb in' sitting in such an icon was indeed a privilege

I hope that someone in Perth can arrange Half Safe to be back at Corowa in 2019?

Regards, Dave
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  #37  
Old 13-09-16, 14:31
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Hi Dave
Craig Olsen (owner of the Replica Half Safe) has just joined MLU and is trying to find out when it will appear on TV here in Australia and how it may be possible for people outside Australia to view the show.
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  #38  
Old 13-09-16, 14:40
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I put together a story after seeing the Replica launched and asked Craig various questions so I will share this with you:

Giving recognition to Ben Carlin and Half Safe
by Jan Thompson-Creamer

Early in the year I was contacted by Alex Cullen from the Channel 7 Sunday Night program. He discussed his plans to give recognition to Ben Carlin, an Australian who circumnavigated the world in an adapted Ford GPA amphibian named ‘Half Safe’ during the 1950’s. He had been in contact with GPA owners and wanted to see if someone would build a replica Half-Safe. It would need to be able to float and go into the ocean for some footage Alex wanted on the program. Craig Olsen from Newcastle was approached by Alex and he agreed to do the project.
On Sunday 14th August I had the opportunity of seeing the launch of the vehicle into the water at Palm Beach. It was an amazing day as I had been in the original Half Safe in 1999 when it was at Corowa. It was only able to be driven around. Bob and Jenny Dimer from WA organised for a Budget Truck to bring the vehicle over for the event from Perth where it is displayed at Ben Carlin’s old school, Guildford Grammar.
On Sunday the Channel 7 crew organised a hire boat so footage could be taken of the vehicle in the water so we were able to join them. I was also fortunate to get a ride in the GPA in Pittwater before it came back to shore. The following is information I have from Craig.

How long have you owned the GPA?
I bought the GPA in late 2010. I saw it for sale on the G503 forum, and bought it from near Boston in USA.

Why did you choose to buy a vehicle such as a GPA?
I think they are a beautiful looking vehicle with the lines and curves. A car/ boat is quirky too - which sums me up. I first got interested in amphibious cars when I saw my first in Amsterdam during a Contiki tour in 1980. There was a few amphicars and I thought it was really neat you can have a car that goes into the water. Fast forward to 2005 and I looked at my first jeep when it was for auction. It was Mal Mackay’s (which I still bought and still own). Also at the auction was Mal's GPA and I could not believe it when I saw it. I never knew they existed, and I thought it was mad crazy. That GPA went for a princely sum to the USA and I never thought I would own one. When mine came for sale, it was well priced - affordable with a lot of rare parts thrown in. It took the 6 years to get the rest of the parts, save some money for the resto and find the right team to finish the project. I don’t have many skills or time, so a couple of retired guys were able to do the body and most of the mechanics.

Where did it come from and what is the history of the vehicle?
GPA 7228's date of delivery from the data plate was 2nd February, 1943 - the date that the German 6th Army in Stalingrad finally surrendered. Originally, it was one of about 100 GPA’s that was sent to the British Army under Lend Lease to fight the Japanese in India and Burma. So this one saw active service and survived the war. I was able to dig up a couple of photos of it in Bangalore and the identification marks show it to be one and the same as what I now have. Notable English dealer Mike Stallwood imported Un Safe with another GPA to England. (Un Safe is my pet name for it during the Half Safe re-creation phase). Un Safe then went to the USA before travelling to Australia. So she is well travelled and has been to 4 continents. Its brother GPA from India now resides in Southern France.

What restoration had you done to the GPA before deciding to do a replica Half Safe?
Just trying to get her to be as original as possible. We were about to put Un Safe together when I was approached, and that was just what Channel 7 wanted as they wanted to film it being put together. Channel 7 asked me to do the cabin like the second version of Half Safe. I thought it would help a great story, promote the WW2 vehicles and the hobby as well so I agreed to make it as a replica. I suggested to Channel 7 to paint it yellow, and they thought that was a good idea. The conversion was not difficult. We just lay the roof on and attach the bow. The extra bow is fitted through the existing holes already on the bow. No other drilling was necessary and a conversion back is easy. I must say that I thought the longer bow improved the performance in the water.

What were the issues you have faced over the past 5 months?
Keeping to time was the big problem. GPA’s are a more difficult a restoration than I could have imagined. Just to get to some remote areas to work on demanded a good deal of contortion and patience. It makes it all the more remarkable that Ben Carlin could do difficult mechanical repairs in the ocean. Our mechanic was 74 years old with bad legs, so he had to guide the body worker with what to do for the nether regions of the vehicle. If the body worker was unable to overcome his personal issues, then not much happened. Channel 7 wanted to go to air, and the body worker would tell me it would take a week for the cabin to be finished. I said to Channel 7, “We will be ready in a week.” But after four weeks there was really no extra progress. So in some ways, it was like "herding cats" to get things finished. I reckon we were about 10 weeks late with what I told Channel 7. I was worried they would cut us from the show, and that is what almost happened. So due to time pressures with Channel 7 and the slow progress, the boys took a short cut and instead testing it by driving around on the chassis. They put the engine in, only to find there was no oil pressure. They had to pull the engine out again to find that a wasp nest ended up in the galleries which caused the problem.
So trying to cut corners did not pay off - which is a lesson for any restorer. Another important issue was taking Un Safe into the salt water, and the concerns arising from that. However, the utmost in preparation was done for this, with thorough cleansing afterwards. I have no concerns that rust will be a factor in her future life.

How were you feeling the day before the launch?
Stressed and “hopefully confident”. Rob McShane, an owner of a mechanic shop at nearby Telarah offered to help. We took Un Safe to his shop to make the most of our time. We knew the GPA was about there, but on any level, it was hard to get the body worker to meet deadlines. So Rob, Kenny Rutherford (my father-in-law) and I spent the whole day and well into the evening with finishing touches. I was just hopeful that nothing went catastrophically wrong...and it didn’t.

How did you feel after unloading the GPA?
It was a great feeling to be there on that beautiful day. The conditions were great, and we were all in the zone.

What issues were you faced with on the day of the launch?
Due to the delays referred to above, and fears of us being cut from the show (after 3 previous days of filming the restoration), we had not had the chance to fully test out Un Safe. We had given her a water float test in the Hunter River, but not a swimming test. This was supposed to happen the Thursday before the filming, but the body worker was unable to get anything done. So actually, Un Safe’s first swim in 50-60 years or longer was during the Channel 7 filming at Palm Beach. So I was “hopefully confident” until that first launch.

Who would you like to thank for their support?
The whole team, Rick Edwards, John Wilson, Rob McShane, Brendon Lynn, Kenny Rutherford, Wayne Whiteley, Jeff Nott, oh and most importantly, my wife Blair - who is the real owner. Having said that about the delays, without the body worker, the restoration may well have become a white elephant. He did a superb job with Un Safe’s body and cabin. He really cared about his work, and came to love the vehicle.

Any other comments you would like to add?
It was such a perfect day for the filming and to have it come together was a thrill. I am sure all those that were there on the day feel that it was great to have seen it. There were many spectators. It was certainly one of the more memorable days in my life. So much happened that day too, like getting stuck in the shallows due to driver error when we first went in, then breaking down on the beach, being towed down the beach in front of a doubting crowd, getting her started again, the spectacular re-entry to the sea, Maritime boat spooking us, Un Safe listing to port (was she sinking I thought?) - all classic moments, each with its own story. I guess that’s what the hobby is all about - getting out there and making it happen. I think the Maritime Officer best summed it up when he yelled out to us,
“Now I’ve seen everything!”.

I guess it might be time for Ben Carlin - The Movie.

The program will be shown on Channel 7 in September or October. It will be on a Sunday night as part of their program “Sunday Night”.
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  #39  
Old 14-09-16, 23:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Thompson View Post
Hi Dave
Craig Olsen (owner of the Replica Half Safe) has just joined MLU and is trying to find out when it will appear on TV here in Australia and how it may be possible for people outside Australia to view the show.
Jan,
I'm sure that will please a lot of people Nice write up from Craig, brave chap.
Dave
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  #40  
Old 15-09-16, 00:36
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I am sure if Craig takes it to Corowa next year in March people will be impressed.
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  #41  
Old 15-09-16, 01:27
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Default Ben Carlin TV story

Hi, Channel 7 don't have it scheduled to go to air yet, but they will advise me when it is slotted, and I will post it here. The Sunday Night show itself is a large prime time operation with a big budget so their website should be available to access for worldwide viewers. I'll confirm the best access way with the station when we are next in touch and let you know. For the international viewers - a google to: Sunday Night channel 7 Gervais. You could try that to see if that gives you access to a recent story by Sunday Night. Just advise if that was successful for you overseas guys. If it doesn't work for you, I can approach it another way.
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  #42  
Old 15-09-16, 10:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Olsen View Post
Hi, Channel 7 don't have it scheduled to go to air yet, but they will advise me when it is slotted, and I will post it here. The Sunday Night show itself is a large prime time operation with a big budget so their website should be available to access for worldwide viewers. I'll confirm the best access way with the station when we are next in touch and let you know. For the international viewers - a google to: Sunday Night channel 7 Gervais. You could try that to see if that gives you access to a recent story by Sunday Night. Just advise if that was successful for you overseas guys. If it doesn't work for you, I can approach it another way.
Craig Olsen

Hi Craig,
The following website works in the UK and looks like stories are kept on there for sometime so hope we get to see your creation on there.
https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/#page1

regards, Richard
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  #43  
Old 03-10-16, 09:01
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Default you tube of replica half safe

Craig's wife, Blair shared the following she has put you your tube.

https://youtu.be/omfPcVBCyE4
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  #44  
Old 14-05-17, 21:14
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Hi all,

Have you any new information on when the programme will be aired? Or have we already missed it.
I guess that Craig never made it to Corowa?, as I haven't seen any photos.

Dave
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  #45  
Old 14-05-17, 21:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfinger View Post
Hi all,

Have you any new information on when the programme will be aired? Or have we already missed it.
I guess that Craig never made it to Corowa?, as I haven't seen any photos.

Dave
Hi Dave,
Craig was at Corowa with his GPA, the forum is not letting me upload a photo at present. As far as I know, the item has not been aired on the TV programme yet.

Did you enjoy the DVD's?

regards, Richard
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  #46  
Old 15-05-17, 10:10
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Attached are some photos of Craig's GPA at Corowa
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_4717.jpg   IMG_4718.jpg  
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  #47  
Old 15-05-17, 23:52
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Hi Richard and Jan,

Thank's for the info, and the photos.

Richard, yes I did enjoy them as always I hope that Keith gives you some royalty fees.

Dave
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  #48  
Old 16-05-17, 01:31
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Quote:
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Hi Richard and Jan,

Thank's for the info, and the photos.

Richard, yes I did enjoy them as always I hope that Keith gives you some royalty fees.

Dave
Talent fees... love it!
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  #49  
Old 16-05-17, 01:35
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Talent fees... love it!
Hi Keith,
There is one happy customer
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  #50  
Old 04-04-18, 08:58
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Default Half Safe story on Sunday Night.

The show finally aired last Sunday. attached is the link for viewing for all countries. The down load time varies. Hope you enjoy it. Craig.

https://we.tl/9QNDs9TsOA
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  #51  
Old 04-04-18, 13:52
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It was really well done and I sent a message to Alex Cullen, the reporter from Channel 7 and he replied back saying he would like to do a 1 hour documentary. The crew went to a number of countries to do their filming so would have lots of footage and interviews with people who would have been involved with Half Safe. I must also congratulate Craig on building the vehicle and on his 15 seconds of fame.
I enjoyed the day at Palm Beach and it was good to be able to find a person who was willing to build up this replica.
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