So, we all remember that big post I did a while back on the best cars for winter, right? Well, these cars will fit into almost everybody’s budget. They’re sure to put a big smile on your face, and you’ll miss them because of the fun factor – not for being collectible.
Any Subaru (preferably turbocharged):
Subies come in all shapes and sizes. The older they get, the cheaper they get. They also come with less amenities than your couch. That being said, any Subaru from the last 20 years will likely only need basic work done to it (tires, alignment – if you’re lucky. All Subaru engines need a new head gasket at some point). It will take you through all kinds of weather, and the AWD will save your butt all over the place. Plus, they are fun to drive, and they don’t need tire chains in the winter!
This is a Subaru in it’s natural element…
If you can’t swing the WRX, go for something older.
This is the Subaru SVX. It was Subaru’s much-maligned sports car of the early 1990s turbo hype. It wasn’t very successful on the racing circuit, but you can stuff a late-model Subaru engine into one without too much work. It looks funky, but it will be the only sports car from the 1990s that is driving around your town in the winter.
Long-bed, full-size pickup trucks:
They come in all shapes and sizes. You can get them with a regular cab, extended cab, or crew cab. They come with engines in all shapes and sizes. If you get a heavy-duty version, you can get a job as a snowplow driver with it. You just go to the dealer and have them install a snowplow kit, go to the local chamber of commerce, and become a snowplow driver. Snowbelt towns are always in critically low supply of snowplow drivers (for very good reason), but they lure folks in with benefits (hot drinks) and reasonable pay. You can pick them up for next to nothing, but make sure that it is in good running condition. Oh, and it should be 4X4. If it’s a GM pickup, you can yank the engine out and put it into that poor project car in your garage that just needs an engine. It will run forever, and you can go to any junkyard in the country and find parts for it.
1980s Chevrolet Camaro:
You know/remember them well. The IROC-era Camaro’s that had little more than big wheels and body kits on top of pitiful engines. Well, most states don’t require smog for cars like that. That means you can go straight to nelsonracingengines.com and get yourself a 2,000 horsepower, twin-turbo Chevy small-block V-8. Oh, and get a set of studded tires. You’ll never be stuck again. Or, you can just get a crate naturally-aspirated small-block Chevy engine for a few thousand. You can throw on a better set of suspension, have good summer tires in the garage, and go autocrossing and bombing around the roads in the summer. Sounds like a good package to me. Oh, and you can get them for a few grand. You’re thinking what I’m thinking.
This is stock.
This is not stock.
It’s a Jeep. Need I say more? It will take you anywhere and everywhere without complaining. You don’t buy a Jeep and keep it stock. It’s got one of the largest aftermarkets in the world. You can build a rock-crawler, a dune-basher, an autocross machine, and a dragster. Oh, and everything in between. Lift kits can range from about $1,000-5,000. That leaves you plenty of money for tires, wheels, interior doodads, engine/transmission upgrades, and various other items. What I’m saying is you can do anything to a Jeep, and somebody else will have done it before you. There is no first. Just make sure that the heater works. Oh, and getting one with the bullet-proof 4.0-liter I6 is a good choice.
This is stock. Notice how small the wheels and tires are? Yeah, that will have to change.
This is an infamous Willys. Look up “LSX Willys” on YouTube for proof. It’s the ONLY Jeep in the world to beat a Corvette ZR1. I think all that it needs is a set of studded snow tires and a fearless driver.
That’s all I have for you today. If you have a hilariously cheap winter beater that you drive all of the time in the winter, tell me in the comments section. I might even do a part II!