Of all the journeys made by adventurers, few can match up to that of Ernest Shackleton and the incredible journey he made across the Antarctic over 100 years ago and when the famous explorer’s great grandson decided to follow in his iconic relative’s footsteps, Hyundai stepped up to the plate and offered Patrick Bergel the chance to drive the first passenger car across the continent and the results where nothing short of breathtaking.
Hyundai are a brand that are never afraid to push the boat out when it comes to marketing and this fantastic campaign alongside Patrick Bergel, Ernsest Shackleton’s great grandson, has definitely captured our imagination here at Coolector HQ and the adventure is definitely going to resonate with any adrenaline junkies out there.
This fantastic 30-day expedition was brought to life by Hyundai Motor and this stunning endeavour was undertaken in a 2.2-litre diesel Hyundai Santa Fe with a few choice modifications to make it suitable for the sort of conditions that the Antarctic can throw at it. Making history by being the first person to cross the Antarctic in a passenger vehicle, Patrick Bergel was able to traverse the continent from Union Camp to McMurdo and back again, and thereby following the same journey that Shackleton began over 100 years ago.
Covering nearly 6000 kilometres, it is clear that the vehicle chosen to complete this epic journey needed to stand up to the task and, in the form of the Hyundai Santa Fe, they found the perfect steed for the expedition. Tackling frozen ice caps that wheeled vehicles had never encountered before and battling temperatures as low as minus 28C, the Hyundai excelled itself and covered the less than friendly terrains with some considerable aplomb.
Bergel, a technology entrepreneur, took inspiration from the incredible feat of his great grandfather and was inspired to tackle the almighty adventure of being the first wheeled vehicle to make it across the Antarctic and in Hyundai they found the perfect ally in achieving this extraordinary accomplishment.
“I’m not a polar explorer; I’m an indoor guy. So it was a big cultural shift – and it was quite something to have been the first to do this. Getting to the South Pole was a special moment. The fact that this was a place my great grandfather tried to get to more than once and I was there, it felt like a genuine connection. What we did though was one thousandth as hard as what they did. You know, no comparison – modern appurtenances, comparative luxury. But it was an amazing journey, and an amazing achievement.”
Spirit of Adventure
There is clearly a pioneering spirit within the Shackleton family and his great grandson has channeled his famous forebear with this amazing adventure which has been completed in collaboration with Hyundai and their carefully crafted vehicle specifically made for the unusual terrains found on the continent of Antarctica.
The journey was painstakingly plotted on GPS and the spots where potential danger lurked were reviewed in detailed meetings with experts at Union Glacier before departure but there were still plenty of pitfalls along the way and that’s why one of Antarctica’s most skilled and knowledgeable driving experts, Gisli Jónsson, from Arctic Trucks was put in charge of managing the vehicle’s preparation before the event and then led the expedition out in the Antarctic. A real feat of engineering and endurance from both Hyundai and Patrick Bergel.
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