Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, A Mustang In The Snow
By Jim Campisano
Summer tires, 519 horsepower and a tail-happy ’97 SVT Mustang Cobra is a combination that does not make for a good winter beater. Alas, the previous sentence is describes my daily driver, a car I purchased new that until now has only been driven in snow once. I moved to Tennessee last week to begin a new job as editorial director for Power Nation TV and Power Block TV, and with an unusual snow and ice storm hitting, hey, what were my other options?
I’ve spent 26 years as a writer and editor on such titles as MuscleCars, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, and Super Chevy magazines, but the opportunity to work on the pre-eminent automotive TV shows—Detroit Muscle, Engine Power, Extreme Off-Road, and Truck Tech—was too great to pass up. These are the best shows in the business and I couldn’t wait to be a part of them.
Two weeks ago I was soaking up the sun and listening to waves from the Pacific Ocean rolling into Newport Beach. Snow isn’t something I expected to deal with. Once the front and rear defrosters (and my non-gloved hands) did their thing, I was backing out of my parking space and headed to work. The temperature was a not-so-toasty 12 degrees, so I wasn’t sure how the fat 275/35ZR18 tires would feel once I got rolling, but surprisingly they did not sound or feel unusual.
With the roads mostly cleared, I soldiered on, the car behaving fine. Cold, dense air means extra horsepower, but my (suddenly) mature side kept the throttle in check. Frozen roads and cold summer tires don’t provide a lot of traction and the fear of planting my Cobra in a ditch appealed none too much. Fortunately, I arrived safe and sound at work and now the ice and slush is just a memory.
Do you have a favorite car you are forced drive in all weather conditions?