Modified 1956 Porsche 356A Taking on Antarctica after Rallying the World

Debora Carley

Sadly, because of its age (the 356 started being made in 1948) we don’t get to see one on the road as much as we’d like. Sure, there’s the occasional auto show where 356s can be admired, but that’s about it. But there is at least one example of the […]

Sadly, because of its age (the 356 started being made in 1948) we don’t get to see one on the road as much as we’d like. Sure, there’s the occasional auto show where 356s can be admired, but that’s about it.

But there is at least one example of the line that it is still in working order, and regularly hits the roads. Well, not actually the roads, but the unbeaten paths across the world. The car, a 356A from 1956, belongs to a Colorado-resident named Renée Brinkerhoff, who has been driving the car in rally events since the 2013 La Carrera Panamericana.

The car is of course no longer stock. Many of its original hardware was changed, including the engine, shocks, and gearbox, and parts have been added, such as a roll cage to comply with regulations. The body was slightly modified as well, and the car now looks like it was born to compete in rally competitions.

Back in 2017, after winning the La Carrera Panamericana for the first time, Brinkerhoff embarked on a rally world tour she calls Project 356 World Rally. The goal of the endeavor was to have the car racing on all seven continents, covering a total of 20,000 miles (32,000 km) across 18 countries.

The car and driver have already been on six of them. As hinted since this weekend by Brinkerhoff (who is 64 years old), the next stage – and the final one – is Antartica. To handle the demands of the particular course on the ice, the 356 is of course undergoing some changes, which have been detailed this week by Brinkerhoff’s team, Valkyrie Racing.

First, a crevasse bar is being installed to stop the car from falling down in the event it hits a large crack in the ice. The wheels will be replaced by skis at the front and tracks at the back, and the body of the 356 will be painted red to make visible to the naked eye and the cameras in the white surroundings. Probably some modifications to the powertrain would be made as well.

For now, the official date of the Antartica run has not been set, due to the uncertainties of the global health crisis. The team is targeting a January 2021 run, because the ice is stable in Antarctica at that time.

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