Here in Manhattan, and in Wisconsin where I spent one horrible winter, it’s called a “snow storm”. In Seattle, it’s called a “snow event”. And these guys, one in an Audi R8 and one in my wet dream car, the Nissan GT-R, are morons for taking two sports cars with sports tires on out in what appears to be six inches of snow.

I don’t know about you people, but if I spent more than 100K on a car (to be fair, the Nissan was probably priced in the 90s) I would never take it out in the snow. It’s too easy to lose control and punch a telephone pole.

Not proud of this, but … when I was younger and dumber I lived in the Maryland countryside. I had an ’87 Toyota 4×4 pickup, a truck that survived every bit of abuse I threw at it. I was at a friend’s house when the snow started. I had something to do at home, and I was in a 4×4 – what could possibly go wrong on the 30 minute ride home?

What went wrong was what always goes wrong in a pickup truck. If you don’t have weight over the rear (drive) wheels, the rear end tends to break away. I was heading down a hill, in 4WD, at about 25 miles an hour, when the rear end let go. In an instant the truck was on its side and I was dangling from the shoulder harness, staring at the road surface in the passenger window.

I managed to get out through the driver-side window. The truck was mostly on the right side of the road, but the nose was sticking out into oncoming traffic. And there was oncoming traffic. It was a few good  ol’ boys in a Ford F150, and I managed to flag them down. After suggesting that I would not be in this predicament if I had a domestic 4×4 (probably true) and having a few laughs at my expense,  the four of us pushed the truck back onto its wheels. The side was scraped, the mirror smashed, but it started right up, and I drove it home. I went to the dealer the next day, got the mirror, and a buddy with a body shop charged me 900 bucks to clean up the side of the truck. Lesson learned.


Nearly T-Boned a BMW 5 which had jumped out in front of me to do a left turn then swirled around in the snow because the driver of said Beemer was using racing slicks.

I was fortunate that I have good reflexes and am “comfortable” driving in the snow.

I did honk and flip the young driver (daddy probably gave him the 5) the bird.

@ManchuCandidate: Ouch – the BMW would have won – better side-impact protection, probably 13 or so airbags (if newer) and a weight advantage.

I have only myself to blame.

Today I was out bike riding and noticed my rear brakes were getting a bit stiff. I should have immediately got off my bike and walked it home. Instead I put bike maintenance on my to do list, and went on to my next errand.

I turned into the Safeway parking lot and, oh joy, no rear brakes. The combination of just using front brakes and not making a good turn sent me over the handlebars.

Fortunately, I always wear my helmet, so all I have are a couple of scrapes, a dented helmet, and feelings of gross stupidity to report.

That’s what spares are for. In my case the spare is my 1997 4WD Nissan pickup. The GT-R doesn’t move on its summer tires at about $450-500 apiece when the temp is below freezing if there’s anything bur rain on the roads.

With the GT-R, there’s an app for that: When it’s below about 35-36F, there’s a dashboard warning message.

On the subject of your “wet dream car”, will I need to cover the leather driver’s seat when I let you drive it?

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