Right now, a wild beast is trapped on a ship sailing from the UK to Chile, where it will then be loaded onto a cargo plane and transported to Union Glacier in Antarctica. It is only there, in the ice fields of the most desolate continent in the world, that he will unleash himself. The creature we’re talking about is the Porsche Polar, a 1956 Porsche 356 A that was outfitted with skis up front, snow tracks in the back, and a crevasse bar to, well, stay out of the way. gap of crevices. The goal: to travel 356 miles unassisted inside Antarctica.
The person behind one of the most incredible Porsche builds we’ve ever seen is Valkyrie Racing racing driver Renée Brinkerhoff. If this Shackleton feat makes you feel like she’s been doing it her whole life, her story is quite the opposite: in her mid-50s, Brinkerhoff decided she wanted to race. After conquering legendary rally races like La Carrera Panamericana and founding Valkyrie, she started Project 356 World Rally in an attempt to drive her Porsche on all seven continents. The stage in Antarctica, his last trip, is due to start on December 5.
While Brinkerhoff is the one who will literally be behind the wheel of the car, there is a whole team behind transforming the rally-ready 356 into an ice-conquering machine. There’s Kieron Bradley, the chief engineer behind the construction who spent over 18 months reconfiguring the 1950s sports car, and Simon Redhead, the crew chief who worked on the car throughout the World Rally Tour. And then there is the polar explorer Jason de Carteret, who will be the navigator of this last mission. Bradley and de Carteret have worked together before, having won two Guinness World Records for the fastest overland trip to the South Pole when they drove the Thomson Reuters polar vehicle they designed.
In other words, if this sounds like total madness, at least they are experience fools.
Now the car itself. As Bradley explains in a press release, the reinforced design is actually meant to create a smaller footprint, not a bigger one. “The ski and track combination increases the flotation by up to 300 percent compared to Antarctic 4 × 4 support vehicles on 42” tires – and the 356 will slide and lead the tracks throughout the trip, ”he says. plus, there was an added challenge in that the car had to be able to switch easily between this setup and the ice studded tires.
Part of the reason Brinkerhoff took to racing was a desire to find himself and test his mettle, but his World Rally challenge was launched with a nobler goal in mind: to help end traffic in ‘children. So far, Valkyrie Gives, the nonprofit arm of its racing team, has raised nearly half a million dollars – with 100% of donations going directly to approved organizations in countries ranging from Mexico to Kazakhstan so far in the United States – but the goal is to double that by the end of the trip to Antarctica.
While a polar expedition is certainly a great way to promote the cause, they also give people who donate at least $ 356 a special Ice Challenge hat, and they’ll even sign your name on the inside of the hood. the car and send you a picture of it.
It will almost be like you are there.
Learn more about Project 356 World Rally, the charity mission, and the car here.
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