Shackleton’s Expedition Across Antarctica, Finishing a 100 Year Journey

Shackleton’s Expedition Across Antartica! We love road trips. One day runs, weekend trips, or cross-country excursions. But we’re not sure we’d be up for a journey across Antarctica.

What would drive a man to want to traverse Antarctica in the first place? For Patrick Bergel, it was to finish what his great-grandfather, Sir Ernest Shackleton, set out to accomplish 100 years ago.

shackleton's expedition across antartica, Patrick Bergel Shackleton

Shackleton spent most of his life exploring the barren, ice-covered continent with the dream of being the first man to cross to it entirely. He set out for a two-year journey with 27 men but found themselves, and their ship, stranded in ice within a month. The crew was left afloat on ice for 634 days and amazingly, all men returned home to England.

The expedition was deemed a glorious failure and a century later, his great-grandson set out to finish the trip. Bergel, however, would be traveling on four wheels in a Hyundai Santa Fe.

shackleton's expedition across antartica, hyundai santa fe crossing

We’re sure you’re asking yourself about modifications to the Sante Fe, and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that there were no engine modifications nor to the computer other than the addition of an engine heater.

A 230-liter fuel tank was installed in the rear of the vehicle for obvious reasons. For increased clearance and for a lower gear ratio, portal gears were added to achieve a 1.5:1 ratio for the best performance in the soft snow across the continent. This also necessitated the need for numerous suspension modifications. The balloon-like AT38 tires were run as low as .14-bars to help the vehicle float over the snow.

The final modification to the Santa Fe was the names of the entire crew were etched into the body. Better yet, is that several descendants of that very crew were on hand to witness the end of Bergel’s and shackleton’s expedition across Antartica.

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Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.