the car junkie daily magazine.


BangShift Question Of The Day: How Bad Did You Screw Up In The Snow?

BangShift Question Of The Day: How Bad Did You Screw Up In The Snow?

BangShift Mid-West is an ice cube. So is the majority of the United States, thanks to a cold snap and blizzard. A couple of days ago, I was washing the Charger on a 50-degree day, preparing the car for hibernation. Two days later, dogs are afraid to pee on fire hydrants, lest they get stuck to them with a wizz-cicle. I’ve been a hermit inside the house for the last couple of days. -35 degree wind chill? Nah, leave that nonsense to the Yukon. I’ll be bundled up, sipping warm drinks and hiding away to Grand Theft Auto’s Los Santos, where the snow never…

…are you freaking kidding me? That’s my poor ’78 Malibu DeClasse Tulip M-100 freezing it’s bits off in a pseudo-California snowstorm. Great.

Reflecting, though, the snow isn’t all bad. Anybody who has kicked the ass end out in the snow because they can knows how much fun it can be. Whip some donuts in the drifts or slide around, pretending you’re completing a rally stage. Use an empty parking lot to teach a young drive about car control, it works great! I’m guilty. One of my most favorite memories was going up the road from where I lived in Colorado Springs to the huge, walled-in parking lot of a King Soopers grocery store in the early hours of the morning to raise hell and throw powdery snow around whenever the drifts got deep enough.

The King Soopers is now a dispensary, it seems. But you get the idea.

Statistics suggest that if you do something long enough, eventually it will bite you in the ass somehow, someway. I got mine in November, 2000. My first winter with my ’78 Chrysler LeBaron saw the Springs get about a foot of wintertime magic, and I was not going to let this go unused. After calling my buddy A.J., we met up at the parking lot and proceeded to hoon around for quite a bit. Powerslides, e-brake turns, Arab-style weaving, donuts, Rockfords, all of it.

Who knew a beige Chrysler could be so much fun?

The next night, we returned, this time with a camcorder. The snow had warmed a bit during the day, but when the sun went down everything froze and the ruts from the previous night were now a serious problem. This wasn’t smooth sailing, this was suspension-tormenting hell. But we wanted sideways footage, so A.J. braved the cold and I promised a few good slides before we called it a night.

It was the last pass, as I was coming around the rear of the building into the main parking lot, that it happened. After pitching the LeBaron into a driver-side first drift, the car hit one hell of a rut, bounced, and I saw sparks underhood just before all power cut out. The engine didn’t just stall…ALL power was gone. No lights, no radio, no nothing. My first instinct was my smartest: I threw the car into neutral and turned the key off. Once the Chrysler slid to a stop, A.J. ran over and we opened the hood. I say “we” because the hood was significantly heavier than it had been. The battery hold-down had failed and on the last major rut, the battery popped up and tack-welded itself to the underside of the hood.

We walked home.

The next morning, while enjoying a brutal reprimand for breakfast from my grandfather, my older cousin proceeded to make battery and hood two separate items once more. Outside of a discolored spot where the weld occurred underhood, the Chrysler was no worse for the wear.

That’s my best wintertime story. How bad have you screwed up in the snow?

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

4 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: How Bad Did You Screw Up In The Snow?

  1. Robert Trachy

    Where to start. Mostly positive memories of snow driving. Growing up in Bucks County PA. 50 years ago we would head out in a pack of 6 to 10 cars to the farm country north of Newtown mostly in VW Beetles. The lead driver would pick a cornfield to drive out into. Usually with about a 1/2 foot to foot of snow. We would drive as far as we could until we could make no more forward progress, then several of us would turn the beetles around by grabbing them by the front bumper and turn them around to drive back out the tracks we made on the way in. We also would go to empty store or mall parking lots and have the donut challenge. I was the donut King for several years. I had a 1968 Corvair with the 140 HP motor and auto trans plus positraction. I would run my summer tires on Donut days. That Corvair would spin forever. Go about 30 MPH put it in low punch the throttle and cut the wheel. Lived in Colorado in the 70’s, we would pick unplowed forest service roads and see how far we could drive down them with all matter of Vehicles. Sometimes it was an all day adventure.
    I would have to say the best winter driving on public roads was on the back roads of Central NY and the Adirondacks. And the ultimate winter driving is ice racing. It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

  2. 69rrboy

    My dad always told me of the time a guy he commuted together with bought a new Chebby truck around 1970. At one point in their trip there was a drive-in theater about 40 feet off the main road. In between there was a service road that went down on an angle pretty good but when it snowed real hard eventually it would look like it was straight across the whole way. About 2 weeks into the ownership it snowed A LOT and he got the brilliant idea to try to impress my dad with how good his 4X4 system worked so he headed down the service road. They almost made it but once they were in up to the rockers it was all over. They both bailed out and had to walk back to his house. The next day it was sunk to the door handles and after a few more days you could barely see it anymore. It took about a month for the snow to melt enough for somebody to finally pull him out. I wish somebody would’ve taken pictures.

  3. Donut

    Back in 1990 somthin’, my winter beater was a 79 Blazer. After school I drove quickly toward the snow piles that were probably 5′ high and nailed the brakes Everybody was yelling for me to do it and I figured I would drive through it and give everyone a laugh.

    I backed up and made a run for it. Turns out they were frozen solid, that ol’ Blazer launched up in air like a monster truck. Pretty sure I bent the front axle on the landing. If this was today there would have been cell phone video.

    1. Weasel1

      Somewhere around 77/78 while stationed in Berlin Germany we got a lot of snow around New Years. A bunch of us young GI’s got the smart idea to ski behind one of our vw bugs with the auto stick. We just used our boots and a short rope two at a time. As we were partaking in some adult beverages we just laughed from bouncing off parked cars and curbs. Next morning all six of us barely made it through PT, thought we were going to die! We all had bruises that hurt like hell and a massive hangover from apple whiskey mixed with beer. The 1st Sgt had us do guard duty for the next two weeks because we wore the sole of our boots down so far we couldn’t march correctly.

Comments are closed.