From 2007, the ultimate 4×4/off-road adventure of all time!
This is some rather old info, from 2007, but apparently these guys are still the record holders and this is just in my opinion on the most ultimate 4×4/off-road adventure I have ever heard of.
Let’s just climb up the side of that darn mountain;-)
The official press release from Gonzalo Bravo Rock God, 4×4/off-road adventurer!
The highest altitude World’s Record by car was just beaten
Last Saturday, two Chilean people beat the “Driving to the highest altitude by car” world record on the slopes of the Ojos del Salado volcano, in the Atacama desert, Chile.
Gonzalo Bravo, the driver and his spotter, Eduardo Canales, reached the 21,942 ft on their tiny Suzuki Samurai. (the 86 Zugi was fitted with ARB Lockers and compressor, stronger axles, lower gears and a Super Charged 4 banger engine)
The new record of 21.942 ft is actually in the process to be corroborated by “The Guinness World Records ®”.
The rig that they ride was a 1986´s Suzuki Samurai, which was heavily modified by Gonzalo, adding stronger axles, lower gear ratios, air lockers, bigger tires and an engine Supercharger.
This record was reached on the 3rd try.
The first try was on Jan 01st 2007 when a sudden and pretty strong snow storm make impossible to attempt any reasonable height. The second try was a month ago that finished when the car got on fire at 20.731ft due to a fail on a hydraulic reservoir that was melted due to high exhaust temperatures.
Both tries was on the same volcano that is in the Chile-Argentina border.
Besides the amazing height and lack of oxygen, the most difficult thing was the variety of terrains that one have to drive trough it in the volcano; steep climbs, huge rocks, snow, glaciers and deep sand, all this even together.
“The most difficult section was to cross a half a mile on the main glacier at 21,000ft, basically because the huge holes on the ice was covered by the young snow that fall that Monday and makes impossible to prevent how the terrain really was underneath. This force me to a non-mistake driving, because we cannot stops our run under any circumstance, because we was absolutely alone up there” said Gonzalo Bravo
This is the result of almost a year of preparation and planning.
The track was analyzed trough maps, satellite pictures, cartography, and many conversations with people that was there and knew the volcano by previous car and climbing expeditions.
The rig was tested on the same Andes Mountain’s chain, but lower and closer to Santiago, the capital.
The other thing was the personal training of the people that must be prepared for the huge effort that have to chase at that altitude.
This was a pretty low budget expedition, where Gonzalo got the resources basically from some Companies that trusted on the project, several friends and relatives and his own money.
With this budget, the expedition was developed without any additional support and where only two guys alone in the middle of the Andes have to beat the mountain by themselves.
As a reference only, the previous expedition was developed by 20 people and 7 brand new cars, and the first Guinness record done by VW had a cost of around € 500.000.-
The previous three Guinness World Records was done by Germans, and on the same volcano with a budget several times bigger than this Chilean expedition. The last expedition leaded by Mathias Jeschke place a record of 21,804ft.-
Gonzalo is on Facebook, go see if he will be your friend. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a friend of the Guinness World Record 4×4/off-road extreme altitude record holder!