Hot Rods in the Snow

If all you want is pictures of American cars back in the day, not currently restored cars, but old pictures of when these cars were actually driven, complete with all of their glorious imperfections, check out '70's Street Machines.  Aluminum slot mags, side pipes, spring shackles, you'll see things the way they really were.  It's like going back in time.  In some ways, it's much more enjoyable than seeing perfectly restored older cars today.  It's so much more real.

We all know that road salt was the number one killer of classic cars.  So much so, that I think we have deleted all memory of these cars being driven in the winter.  No one would even think of driving a classic car in the winter today, but there was at time when they were, and that's one of the things that makes them rare and collectible today.

Maybe this collection of photos will bring back some forgotten memories.  I found all of them at '70's Street Machines.

I always liked '67 Skylarks.  They look like mini '65 - '66 Impalas

Don't you just love those rear tires and wheels?  Deep dish mags and sticking out past the quarter panels.  Oh yeah!

Even I, can't believe that someone drove this in the winter.

This car, with those tires, could get stuck in that much snow.

What do you think the chances are that this car still survives today?

You can see that the cancer has begun.  If Mopar lovers had a time machine, they would probably go back in time and shoot this guy.  

Totally practical winter tires.

Check it out.  Slapper bars, mags in the back, hubcaps in the front, car in the snow.  It's the way it was.
There's a lot more where these came from.
 Check it out.

I can remember back when I was in grade school.  I'd walk home past the high school parking lot.  Our high school let out 15 minutes later than our grade school, so every day, just as I was strolling by, the high school "kids" (they looked like men to me back then) would just be getting in their cars and firing them up.

This was back in the mid '70's, when muscle cars were just affordable used cars, five to ten years old.  Since these memories are directly connected with school, much of this took place during the winter.  One of the things I remember the most was the water vapor clouds coming from the dual exhausts, momentarily ceasing, as the driver blipped the throttle, and then returning as the car returned to a slow, rough idle.  I thought that was sooo cool.

I even loved the imperfections.  The weak batteries trying to turn over the high compression motors.  The cars catching on just a few cylinders at first, and the evening out after a few revolutions.  The rusty mags, side pipes starting to melt off accumulated ice and snow, as they heated up, billowing clouds, the whole time.

Best of all was the incredible lack of traction those old worn out 50 series tires got in the snow.  Watching those guys fishtailing and doing doughnuts was the best part of my day.

It was also fun to watch the high school students "skitching".  That's when they would hold on to a guys rear bumper as the car dragged them on their feet along a snow packed road.  The whole time they were getting covered with what ever was being spit out by those wide rear tires and over-rich exhaust from engines that often burned oil.

I remember back when I was in seventh grade, when I was snow plowing with my dad's garden tractor.  A group of four guys with a beautiful '68 or '69  copper colored Chevelle with black SS stripes, with got stuck near by in a few inches of snow.  The rear tires on that car must have been at least 15 inches wide.  They wanted me to push them out with my snow blade.  Even when I was that young, I knew better.  I said, "Are you guys crazy?  There's a good chance that this blade will slip up over your bumper and smash your tail panel."   I told them that it would be better if I helped three of them and I just push the driver out by hand, and that's what we did.  I felt pretty good that a group of guys about twenty years old, took advice from a seventh grader.  Once that Chevelle got free, the guys jumped in and the driver gave her holy hell. 

Once I got old enough to drive, I remember many times when me and my friends would be pushing some car that was stuck in the snow, getting our legs sandblasted by gravel from the spinning rear tires.  That was the bad part, but I also remember doing doughnuts in parking lots and on frozen lakes.  That was more fun than any ride at an amusement park, you didn't have to wait in line, and it was free.

Many classic cars were destroyed because of winter weather.  They were either immediately demolished by an accident caused by a loss of control on snow and ice, or they died a slow painful death of oxidation.  Before you get too bummed out about that, remember, there was a whole lot of good times and fun too.   

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