Philanthropist Renee Brinkerhoff has been busy racking up close to 20,000 over six continents in a plucky Porsche 356A under the guise of ‘Valkyrie Racing’ in recent years. The endeavour is all about a non-profit called Valkyrie Gives, which has a focus on ending child trafficking.
There’s one continent left for Brinkerhoff to tackle on this awareness-raising mission, and it’s the toughest of the lot: Antarctica. Since a rally-prepped air-cooled Porsche isn’t quite going to cut it, the vehicle was put through an 18-month transformation, the results of which you can see here.
To deliver the goods, Valkyrie looked to extreme explorer Kieron Bradley and Tuthill Porsche, the British company known for its work with 911 rally cars and the Singer ACS. All of the wheels have gone, replaced with skis at the front and tracks at the rear.
The skis are attached to special brace bars (joining them to the suspension would have been an “over-stressed and compromised” solution) and can be turned via the car’s original steering system. Combined with the tracks at the rear, the vehicle’s “flotation” over thick snow is said to be 300 per cent better than an Antarctic 4x4 support vehicle with wheels and chunky 42” tyres. So, it should glide its way around quite nicely.
Other upgrades including twin solar panels providing up to 150W and a whole bunch of equipment that’ll come in handy if any issues are encountered. There’s a four-tonne bag jack to lift the 356 if it gets stuck in soft snow, a 12-volt compressor, a beefy roll cage and a “rear window exit option”.
Brinkerhoff will be joined by navigator Jason de Carteret, a polar exploration world record holder. After a 356-mile (see what they did there?) trek across the stark Antarctic landscape, the pair will be trying to bag a land speed record on the Union Glacier Blue-Ice Runway.
The feat will be undertaken at some point this December. Anyone donating $356 or more will have their name written on the inside of the bonnet and be sent a commemorative hat.