Schacher, entrepreneur, adventurer, environmentalist
and professional driver
with gas on long road to Oz, by Jeremy Drake -
29th January 2008
The Wentworth Courier)
Swiss-born adventurer last week realised his dream
when he finished an eight-month charity drive
across 23 countries at his favourite beach in
the world, Bondi.
Schacher set off from North Cape in Norway last
May in his $3000, 28-year-old, vegetable oil-powered
Mercedes-Benz. The car was converted to run on
cooking oil in 2006 by Swiss company BioDrive.
Schacher, who has a brother living in Sydney,
said he thought Bondi beach would be the perfect
conclusion to a lifelong goal, after he spent
four years living and working in the Eastern Suburbs
in the 1980s.
his journey here was not without its hiccups.
Mr Schacher said that after many breakdowns, he
arrived in Syria last September, only to discover
that it was difficult to find clean oil for the
car. He said the journey through Jordan and Saudi
Arabia was even tougher and that he was forced
to have a police escort.
route to India he was turned back from the Pakistan
border because of the civil unrest there. The
car was shipped a few weeks later from Dubai to
Fremantle in Western Australia.
it only took me three and a half weeks to get
across Australia... not a long run compared to
Europe," he said. "No traffic, border
lines or fake police. You can travel in a free
land, which is just so beautiful."
Schacher, who is often referred to as "Rudi
Dundee", said he had been travelling for
nearly 18 years and that this was to be his last
goal had been to raise money for a Swiss charity
that provides assistance to poverty-stricken children
in Russia. However, he said that when he left
Norway, nobody had agreed to sponsor him because
"they thought the car wouldn't make it".
Schacher is now looking for local sponsors and
cooking-oil donations to start a Sydney tour.
And the car? Well, he is hoping someone in Australia
might want to buy it because, with only 450,000km
on the odometer, it still runs like new. Anyone
interested can phone him on 0408 947 541.
oil fuels charity trip, by Elaine Mitropoulos
- 17th January 2008
The Kalgoorlie Miner)
Goldfields resident Rudi Schacher is used to long
road trips. The globetrotting activist has made
numerous treks from his hometown in Luzern, Switzerland
to Russia, carrying carloads of gifts for less
fortunate children just in time for Christmas.
latest expedition to raise awareness about child
poverty, however, is the longest haul of them
Swiss-Australian, dubbed “Rudi Dundee”
by friends and family, is making the trek from
North Cape, Norway all the way to Sydney.
twist? Mr Schacher is making the epic journey
using cooking oil to fuel his classic Mercedes
in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the former resident is
calling on Goldfields businesses and families
to donate fuel before he embarks on the next leg
of his trek.
have no sponsors because people don't think the
car will make it,” he said.
Schacher's journey started in Norway in May last
year. Since then he has met with terrorist threats,
violence in Pakistan and fuel shortages in Iran.
was very close to a head-on collision in the Saudi
Arabian desert when a car lost control and just
missed me,” he said.
is the best place to travel. It has big, wide
roads and freedom.”
is a wonderful city in outback Australia. People
are so lucky to live here. I'm proud to be here
and see all my friends.”
Man Australia was delighted to do an off the record
interview with Rudi Schacher at Bondi Beach on
the 25th January 2008