The 30th of March 1964 Manfred Müller and Paul-Ernst Lührs left Bremerhaven in a 1963 Citroen 2 CV with 160 DM in their pockets, to see the world. "They got the idea to travel when Manni read the book of two French men who in 1959 did a tour in a Citroen 2CV around the world in one year, covering 100,000 Km." Their trip would took a little longer as they played music in many parts of the Globe to earn their living. They finished the journey 20 years later after having traveled through 83 countries, 5 continents covering 350,000 Km, in April 1984.The trip took them through Europe, Asia, Australia, America and Africa. This event was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records in the year 1988 as the longest journey in a car.
The outward journey from Bremerhaven , Germany, took them south east through Austria, Yugoslavia und Greece before leaving Europe and crossing into Asia.The Car - The Ente After Turkey, came Iran, Pakistan and India , where a three months stop was made. Since they had no sponsorship of any kind , they used their singing talents to generate income to continue the journey. From India, they moved on to Singapore, then north to Bangkok and Laos. Despite warnings from friends and well-wishers not to go, they none the less made the trip along the Mekong and into Cambodia before returning to Thailand . They, infact , encoutered many difficulties and dangerous situations during the journey and later admitted that they should have listened to the advice !
Europe -Middle East
The car was badly damaged in Bangkok and it was neccessary to get out the guitars and begin singing again in order to earn money and repair it. It took seven months before they raised the money and then they left for Singapore . From there , they caught a ship that was to take them to a new continent - Australia . Perth , was their docking port , in November 1965 .
Asia - Australia
Despite problems , again , with the car , they made the perilous journey across the Nullabur Plains to Sydney . Once again , the car needed to be repaired . By now , Manfred and Ernst were becoming celebrities due to their determination to travel the world by car and guitar . ln Sydney , they were invited to appear on TV and have been interviewed by local Radio where , they sang and talked about their trip . The car was soon fixed and , once again they were on the road . This time they moved up to Queensland in the North . Six months were spent travelling in Australia before , with the help of a tyre sponsor , they were able to go to Japan , where they toured as musicians before returning to Australia . The next leg of their journey took them to New Zealand and New Guinea before returning a second time to Japan . It was now March 1968 . They had been travelling for four years . From the port of Yokohama , the car , guitars and baggages were loaded on to a ship that was to take them to San Fransisco , California , the United States of America . For the next three years they travelled in the States from L.A. to Cape Cod and back . In 1971 the journey went south of the border to Mexico , Guatamala , El Salvador, Honduras , Nicaragua , Costa Rica and Panama . From October 1972 to September 1973 , Venezuela was visited before returning to the United States and Canada, including Alaska. Back, once again to L.A. and then south to Venezuela, Columbia , Bolivia and Argentina . From Maracaibo in Venezuela the car was shipped to New Orleans .
It was now 1982 . The last part of the journey was to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the African Continent .On January the 13th , 1984 the car was landed at Capetown, South Africa , damaged in transit inside a container . This time , the insurance company paid for the repairs , but it did not stop Manfred from doing some singing whilst waiting for the car to be repaired . The journey to the north took them to Uganda , Ziare , Central Africa , Cameroon , Nigeria , Niger , Algeria and Marocco . 17,500 Kilometers accross the Continent at times over deserts , through jungles and places where the roads were hardly discernable . On April the 2nd , 1984 , the Straits of Gibralter were crossed and they were back on the European Main land . In the final leg ,the roads through , Spain , France , Luxembourg and , finally , Germany brought them home at Easter , 1984 , , 20 years after leaving home with just 160 DM in t heir pockets and a spirit of adventure that kept them going .This trip was recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as the World's Longest Car Journey , and Manfred and Ernst have earned their place in that highly appraised book of Man's Achievements.
In 2014 the trip around the world will be 50 years back, an unbelievable anniversary, and Manfred Müller and Paul Ernst Lührs plan to release a book about the whole story.