Purpose built vehicles are always the most exciting. Whether it’s a track-driven hypercar or a desert-destroying trophy truck, focused engineering will always create something exciting. One of the specially designed vehicles was the infamous Antarctic Snow Cruiser. This innovative mobile base was created to help Americans explore and claim previously unknown terrain in Antarctica. Sadly, the results never lived up to expectations and the Antarctic Snow Cruiser now lives in infamy.
In 1940 America launched its largest Antarctic expedition. Prior to this expedition, private American expeditions were completed, but they were not backed by the government, which meant America had no formal territorial claims to Antarctica. In the 1940s, the world powers planned to claim land in this icy landscape and search for valuable natural resources.
To quickly claim valuable real estate in the Arctic, the US government support expedition had a secret weapon at its disposal. And by secret I mean a high profile oversized mobile base known as the Antarctic Snow Cruiser. The Antarctic Snow Cruiser was intended to traverse the inhospitable arctic landscape with ease thanks to superior American engineering. The Antarctic Snow Cruiser would cover more land than anyone before while giving America a valuable land claim near the South Pole.
The Antarctic Snow Cruiser had an innovative powertrain, much like a modern diesel-electric locomotive. The power came from two diesel engines which would send power to four electric motors to move this massive mobile base. With one motor on each wheel, the Antarctic Snow Cruiser previewed the preferred powertrain for all modern electric vehicles.
The Antarctic Snow Cruiser was a fantastic idea, however, due to tight deadlines production was rushed. This meant that the team had virtually no time for its creation and had to rely solely on theory. This meant the Antarctic Snow Cruiser was a massive failure left by a weak powertrain and slick tires that had no grip on arctic ice. With modern technology, it would be fantastic to see a second attempt at the legendary Antarctic Snow Cruiser concept.