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Old cars in the snow

Discussion in 'Off Topic But Still Civil' started by voiceofstl, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    cars from the 60's and 70's There doesn't seem any rhyme or reason but some cars are good in the snow and other are not.
    I had a 66 coronet and other b bodys and they pretty good in the snow. My 79 Malibu with all season radials was like a hocky puck
     
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  2. CherokeeVision

    CherokeeVision Well-Known Member

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    My opinion only.

    Vehicle length, width and weight for starters.
    Short and narrow makes it easier to swap ends. Backing up with a short trailer is an example of this. Doesn't take much wheel movement for a short trailer to turn. Makes it trickier than a long trailer.

    Then tire width, contact patch and how much weight is on that contact patch.
    For off roading there are two schools of thought when it comes to tires and snow.
    Often the depth of the snow and the ground surface under the snow is a determining factor.
    Wide tires for flotation on top of the snow or narrow tires to cut through the snow to the surface underneath.
    The wider a tire (larger the contact patch) the less weight per square inch (or however you want to measure it).

    Then there is the tires tread. Does it pack with snow or does it clean easily?
    Are there enough biting edges to the tread?
    Does the tire simply pack up and give up? Kind of like when a tire hydroplanes. Here is where I think too wide of a tire in snow might be bad.
    Not enough weight to push down through the snow.
     
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  3. CudaPete

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    My 73 Dart with studded snow tires did pretty good in the snow. You learned how to start, stop, and turn without the aid of computers, It was actually kind of fun sliding a car through a turn, almost like drifting.
     
  4. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    My best old winter car is the 79 Cordoba I still own. It warmed up faster than any other car I’ve owned. With 3.2 gears in a Sure Grip rear, with real snow tires that car would plow snow.
     
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  5. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    Many variables involved here. The type of snow, tire compound, width, car weight etc. Dad always had two company cars so we never had snow tires through our Michigan winters. Some models like the “E” bodies and Camaros were just too light in the rear and usually had wider tires. More importantly is learning the proper driving style in winter. You learn to “steer with the throttle”, keep your forward momentum etc. My rwd 16 Charger RT gets around in snow ok till the snow is so deep the undercarriage starts scaping snow. The std. Firestones are worse in a summer rain than snow covered roads.
     
  6. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I had a 74 Duster with the slant 6 and 3 speed in the floor. It was an awesome snow car.
     
  7. RalphP

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    Best snow car I had was a 1967 Mustang. The year we had so much snow I had to dig out so I could open the doors, I could go all around town (slowly, carefully!) and pass police cars and tow trucks off the road ...

    My wife's 1991 Cougar, with the Yokohama 225/65R16s, was just as good a few years back. I've not had to test it since, though.

    RwP
     
  8. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    The best RWD snow car I had was a '79 Monza 4 speed manual 2.5L. It was like a tank in snow even in 10"+ snow. Since it sat low it did plow the snow deeper than 6", but she would still go. As long as you knew how to feather the throttle I never had a problem. Good all weather or snow tires makes a big difference.
     
  9. peterjon1

    peterjon1 Well-Known Member

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    1973 Olds Toronado. I took it for a test drive on a sloppy slushy day, with bald summer tires. It didn't care. I could go through 3 inches of slush on the road without any wavering. The reason for that was readily apparent; weight of over 5000 pounds, mostly on the front end.
     
  10. peterjon1

    peterjon1 Well-Known Member

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    1973 Olds Toronado. I took it for a test drive on a sloppy slushy day, with bald summer tires. It didn't care. I could go through 3 inches of slush on the road without any wavering. The reason for that was readily apparent; weight of over 5000 pounds, mostly on the front end. Best RWD was 79 Impala wagon with snow on the rear.
     
  11. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    Thats FWD with a big block. that doesn't count.
     
  12. dana44

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    My 68 Charger and 74 Barracuda were great in the snow. Had a 64 Bel Air that would do 360s out of the blue without rhyme or reason in the snow. Drove a 72 Blazer 4X4 that was pretty scary, too. My old 88 Dakota wasn't very good in the snow, but still better than my non-Mopars.
     
  13. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    In high school, 1972,3,4, my '68 Charger with G-60s all around was ok in the snow!
    Best was a 68 Dart, 225 leaning Tower of Power, 904 trans. Had skinny pizza cutter tires, some early radial, maybe "Trax" (???)
    My 74 Charger SE was ok, in the BIG SNOW of 1978 in MI. (look that one up)
    Never got stuck in any of them.
     
  14. rapidtrans

    rapidtrans Well-Known Member

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    I was living in Traverse City in ‘78. Both bays froze over out to mission point. I was driving a Volare and a ‘74 Charger that year. Had a pair of Polyglas Gts recapped to snows to get thru that winter!
     
  15. peterjon1

    peterjon1 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Didn't see you specify Rwd only anywhere.
     
  16. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

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    A friend used to own a 67 Plymouth Fury III and his father would always buy a set of the cheapest tires at Sears for the car. These tires were under the load capacity rating for the vehicle and would wear out quickly. Driving the Fury in the winter was like being on ice skates.
    I was telling my friend about experiences of friends with the Uniroyal Tire Paw tires. So my friend grab a set of Tiger Paws from the Caddy dealer where he worked. These tires were pull offs from a Cadillac Brougham, which were new tires.

    My friend was amazed at the traction his 67 Fury had with the Tiger Paws. He could out accelerate the traffic in snow.
     
  17. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Had a 72 Dart that would sometimes spin its tires in the snow, but found that I could turn around and back up a hill just fine, or go in reverse on the level when I could not go forward.
     
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  18. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    I had a 70 Dart like that when I was in college, Bob. Was yours a Swinger too? I had the typical green with black vinyl top. Slant 6, 904, of course.
     
  19. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    My Dad took me to a large parking lot when I turned 16 to teach me how to drive in snow. Ever since then I would take my RW drive cars to a parking lot and have fun.
     
  20. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    4-dr Custom. Slant-6 and auto.
     
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