The Porsche 356 is definitely not a vehicle that comes to mind when you think of Antarctica, but with a couple of modifications, anything is possible. As part of the “Project 356 World Rally” expedition with the humanitarian goal of ending child trafficking, the 1956 Porsche 356A of Valkyrie Racing will cover 356 miles (573 km) in Antarctica this December.
Engineer and polar explorer Kieron Bradley was responsible for the extensive modifications on this classic. The process took more than 18 months and included a pair of skis attached at the front axle, a specialized brace and suspension system, and tracks replacing the rear tires for maximum traction on both ice and snow. As a result the Porsche now has as much as 300 percent more flotation compared to Antarctic 4×4 support vehicles riding on 42″ tires.
The vehicle also got a roll cage, dual-sided solar panels that reflect both the sun and the snow, a 4-ton bag jack that is able to lift the car in soft snow, a temperature gauge for the gearbox, a 12V low-temperature compressor, plus a survival dress, water and communication equipment for emergency.
Antarctica has 24 hours of daylight in December so lights were removed from the vehicle contributing to weight-saving. After the mission is complete, the team will attempt to set a land speed record in the Union Glacier.
Racing driver and philanthropist Renee Brinkerhoff will sit behind the wheel of the Porsche 356, continuing her 20,000 mile trip across seven continents. Besides the Antarctica mission, the Project 356 World Rally includes taking part in endurance rallies like the Peking-to-Paris and the East African Safari, while showcasing her charitable foundation Valkyrie Gives. People who want to support the mission to end child trafficking can donate $356 and have their names written under the hood of the car.