The world's first wheeled circumnavigation of the earth through both geographic poles recently passed through Dearborn. After departing from the Explorers' Club in Manhattan on Jan. 10, the group of scientists and explorers brought a Ford-powered fleet to World Headquarters for a short vist and some photos on the way to the North Pole.
The team will carry out on-the-ground observations of the polar environments, and several science projects are on board for collecting valuable knowledge. They’re using some very specialized vehicles to get there, including a Super Duty pickup converted to a 6x6, four Expeditions, and an F-150 PowerBoost. Last year, the hybrid pickup pioneered the world’s first wheeled crossing from the continental shelf to the High Arctic.
“We add the axle to the 6x6 to spread the load over more surface area, rather than to add payload,” explained Andrew Comrie-Pickard, a Canadian race car driver who is participating in the expedition. “The additional axle is the same as the original rear axle that we shift rearward,” he explained about the configuration, “and we add a step-off transfer case built in Iceland.” Beyond the axle modification, the Super Duty stays rather stock. “We start with a Super duty chassis cab and build the rear suspension ourselves,” he said.
The F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid gets a light touch, too. Comrie-Pickard provided details; “it, too, is very standard, with only wheels and tires, locking differentials and shock absorber changes.” The Expeditions will join the arctic trucks for the continental sections of the journey.
While much of North America will deal with winter storms over the next few months, they’re likely to be tame compared to the conditions the Transglobal Car Expedition will face. In either case, Ford vehicles provide the mobility to get the job done.