This Porsche 356 Is Now A Lightweight Skiing Beast For Its Antarctic Mission

Project 356

This vintage 1956 Porsche 356 has rear track suspension, a pair of skis, and will tackle 356 miles of ice in Antarctica on a mission to end child trafficking…

The drive and driver behind the ambitious ‘Project 356 World Rally’ is tenacious Denver-based racer, Renee Brinkerhoff who set herself the incredible expedition and a humanitarian effort in a bid to promote support for the end to human trafficking.

Senior Chassis Design Engineer Kieron Bradley, a UK-based extreme explorer, has spent the past 18+ months completely re-engineering Valkyrie Racing’s classic vehicle mascot while ensuring the car itself remains both safe and carbon positive to complete the team’s long-awaited adventure.

Project 356

20,000 Miles – 7 Continents

Brinkerhoff chose to take on nearly 20,000 miles throughout seven continents – primarily while partaking in globally recognised endurance rallies including the Peking-to-Paris and East African Safari rally.

The rallies additionally provide Renee global media exposure to discuss the problems and solutions for her cause and showcase her charitable foundation, Valkyrie Gives.

Project 356

However, in December 2021, the frigid ice of Antarctica requires a different sort of preparation, mindset, and skill-set to conquer the extreme environmental and weather conditions.

Valkyrie Racing - Porsche 356 Arctic 356 Project

Because full days of 24 hours of sunlight can be anticipated across Antarctica during this time of year, mass from elements such as lights, framework, fire extinguishers, and wheels could be removed, while an increase in mass to accommodate the surface condition of the snow allows for the addition of tracks, ski, and crevasse bars, along with a specialized brace and suspension system.

Learning to ski in a Porsche 356 A

Sounds fairly straightforward, but the stresses and strain to each hub would be seriously compromised, even under light use, without additional strength. Bradley’s solution was to attach the ski brace bar to the ski leg, transmitting the load away from the hub points. Essentially, the 356 will be gliding and leading the tracks throughout the entire journey.

Project 356

Other retrofits include:

  • Crevasse bar that supports dual-sided solar panel (reflecting both sun and snow)
    • Twin solar panels to produce a minimum of 150W at peek saturation
  • Roll cage TIG welded/T45 material
  • Rear track suspension mount frame TIG welded T45
  • Track bearing system running Dupont Krytox low temp grease
  • 12V low temperature compressor
  • 4-ton bag jack to lift vehicle in soft snow
  • Rear engine frame winch point
  • Temperature gauge for early gearbox overheat detection
  • Ability for occupant to have rear window exit option
  • Accessibility from with the cabin area to reach survival dress, water, and communication equipment

An incredible journey for an even more important cause…

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