Cobey Bartels is a Brisbane boy who made his way up through the ranks of media to now co-host his own television program about the things he loves most: Mighty Machines.
Working as a journalist with Ipswich’s own ‘Big Rigs’ magazine gave Cobey the knowledge and interest in machines, and now via Channel 10 he’s able to tell the story of some amazing vehicles in a way that will intrigue even the most pedestrian inclined.
Where are you from and how did you start out?
I’m originally from Brisbane, but now live in Sydney! I was always into anything with wheels, so motoring journalism was an obvious choice for me. From that, it’s progressed to me travelling around getting paid to drive the wildest machines I can get my hands on.
What are your hobbies off-screen?
I actually prefer two wheels to four, so my spare time involves motorcycles, mates and as much time outdoors as possible.
What got you interested in machines?
I grew up around them – from swinging a leg over a dirt bike as a wee fella, to doing all of the silly things a teenager with acreage and an array of machines gets up to! My step father is a mechanic, so that gave me an early introduction to the automotive world and the joys of going fast.
How do you source the vehicles?
We source the vehicles and come up with story ideas, a process that can be quite time consuming. My co-host Harrison and I are both journalists within the machinery/transport/automotive space so we had the contacts to make it work and we were never short of machinery and ideas.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve had to get to to film?
Hmm, that’s a hard one. We went to some pretty random places during our New Zealand filming, because we’ll really go wherever we have to. Perhaps the weirdest place I was filmed, would be 6,000 feet in the sky….but I won’t give away any more than that!
The most intense situation I’ve been in so far during the filming of Mighty Machines would have to be the time I crashed a high-powered off-road racing buggy during a race. It’s a calculated risk you face when racing, particularly off-road, but that one mistake landed me in hospital with a sore head and a bruised ego.
Why is the show geared towards a younger audience?
There is nothing like it on TV, it’s that simple. There are 101 car shows, but there hasn’t really ever been a show that focuses on the heavier end of town – from 4WD’s to mining trucks to tractors, we cover it all. There’s a pretty substantial regional audience that hasn’t really had a show dedicated to covering the machinery they use day in, day out. It’s an important show for consumers of this machinery, as well as anybody interested in seeing two hooligans drive wild things.
Which mighty machine would you like to take home with you?
Despite crashing it, the Polaris RZR Turbo that I raced was an absolute hoot. I’d happily park one up in my garage.
Will you be adding to ,or upgrading the bikes you ride?
Hmm, well my Mighty Machine at the moment is a D-Max supplied by Isuzu Ute Australia, official vehicle provider for the show. I frequently throw my dirt bike in the tray, head for the bush and revel in the absence of speed limits…and hey, it isn’t really possible to own too many bikes. So to answer your question, more dirt bikes are on the cards.