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December 17, 2007



I myself am a famous snow driver. The nadir of my car-owning career was the VW Westphalia (like the ham) which, no exaggeration, could not get out of the driveway without chains if so much as a fraction of an inch fell. Which, it being Maine in winter, did tend to happen.


So, now what?


Phew, glad you survived!


I lived on Clayton Road in Ballwin, on one of the rare hills in the county. I enjoyed mornings after an overnight snow. I'd position a chair and side table in front of the livingroom window, open the curtains, and sip tea while I laughed at the people trying to make it up the hill. Driver after driver would STOP!! at the bottom of the hill, peer at it, and then floor it, get halfway up, slide back down, and then do the same thing again. What's the definition of insanity?


The best snow car I ever had was a Saturn SC2. That thing could scale mountains. Unfortunately its performance on a nice day included things like the windows malfunctioning, the inside door panels falling off, and the fuse box shorting out and locking the automatic transmission in first gear while driving 70 mph.

Amy in StL

I was out with my boyfriend in his SUV and I have to say the larger brakes, heavier car and more knobby tires probably make it easier to stop as well as turn. I think cabbie man was nice but full of it. I did not try to go out in the Trans Am until after the roads are clear. I love driving in the snow, but don't want someone else plowing into my baby. I'm guessing those in Canada have dedicated snow tires and/or chains. Or they take public transportation.


I am very sure how I evolved into the driving coward that I am now. I learned to drive in the hills and hollers of central-southernish Indiana in a Pontiac T-1000 which was essentially a coca-cola can with wheels. It had some odd anomalies associated with the electrical system (read the windshield wipers would quit working intermittently on dark, rainy nights, but it had the spirit of a Swiss mountain goat on ice.

I got older and richer, and finally graduated to a Crown Victoria. Vicky was built for cops to chase robbers on snow. She sailed over ice like the thoroughbred that she was. She died one night at the hands (well actually antlers) of a maniacal rogue 8 point buck.

Older, but no wiser, I bought a big-assed Ford F150 with the off road package. The sheer size and power of that gas guzzling monster made me feel invincible. I snickered each time I would encounter a scene as described by Silk. I could go around those stuck at the bottom of the hill, stop briefly, hit the on-the-fly button and head up the hill. I laughed at the top, queen of the mountain. Unfortunately, the invincibility factor was the cause of my downfall. One snowy day as I buzzed over the top of the hill, laughing at the miscreants I left behind, I found a car parked smack in the middle of the road. I lightly tapped the brakes hoping to avoid a collision which I did. I also wound up doing a 180. At that EXACT second, all the courage I ever had for snow driving for the rest of my life was sucked from my body. Since I was facing the way home now anyway, I crept home. I stayed there until the spring thaw.

I now drive in snow with a clenched rectum, and only if I have to. I air brake a lot when others drive.

I want my moxie back.


Are your tires siped? I learned about siping once I moved up to Spokane and slid into my work's parking lot the first day it snowed that year. After I got my tires siped that very day, I haven't had any problems with the snow and ice since then, even though I learned to drive in So Cal!


Alas, the Faithful Camry was amazing in the snow. The Bullet is a complete p*ssy.

Friend #3

So why didn't you get the llama when you bought the fit? You wouldn't need sandbags.


Sgazzeti - "Like the ham." That made me laugh.
Melissa - AHA! Well, here's the big news. At some point Gary wanted to switch the 15" tire with bigger ones, which they did - except after researching these new bigger tires, we find they are "summer" tires. NOT to be used in the snow, mud, and ice. So a piece of Gary's mind will be directed at the Honda sales staff.
Casdok - (Hi, Casdok!) Heck yeah, especially considering they aren't SNOW tires! I didn't even know they made "summer" tires.
~~Silk - Actually, this cabbie watched the spots people slid and drove a wide path around those spots. He wanted to give it a running start but people kept passing him to get in line in front of him. I wanted to kiss him on the mouth when made it to the top of the hill.
Caroline - I have heard you complain about your Saturn. I think this is the first positive thing you've ever said.
Amy - My guess now is that those in Canada are not driving around on "summer" tires.
Zayrina - That's a sad story! We need to get you back in the saddle. I've 180 before (in the German director's car) and I recall announcing "Everyone: relax, that's why drunk drivers never die in accidents." After the car stopped rotating she turned to me and said, "What the hell?"
Faythe - I had to look up siping. Never heard of it before! But here it is:
Or, Gary could call the Honda dealer and give them a piece of his mind.
Becs - Perhaps it needs siping! Or, research your tires. Perhaps they are summers, or springs.
Friend #3 - We could have ridden the alpaca home.


I'm from Canada, Toronto, where the snow is plentiful, and it's called the Fit here too, I think. (I've never heard of a Jazz) In the snow we either stay home, put on winter tires, or carry kitty litter in the hatch for throwing down on particularily slippy bits. I'm pretty sure loads of people drive them around though.


Sherry - (Hi, Sherry from Canada) Well, it's encouraging to hear that people change out their tires with the seasons. That's Gary's current plan. I do not see this working out.


I got the Honda Fit (in lovely blue) this year and, while it is great for So. Cal, I would never trust it in weather. It blows around in a stiff WIND - I don't want to find out what it would do in snow.


Suebob - (Hi, Suebob!) Yes, and I just know Gary will delay changing the tires until the next storm. How do you like the Fit? Gary loves it.

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