Hooniverse Asks: What's your dream winter beater?


Let’s play this game with the caveat that money is no object. You can go wild here. You’re on the search for a winter beater, and you have the cash you need to make your snowy-weather dreams come true. My winter beater would wind up being a Land Rover Defender modified by Twisted, which means there’s some manner of LS engine mounted under the hood. I’d go full Bond baddie spec, and I’d run that thing through every snow mound that lay in my path.
I almost went with the Pro-2 Dodge Charger from the Furious franchise, but decided that I need a bit more weather insulation in my winter rig.
What are you going to pick? What’s your ideal winter beater, if the cost factor wasn’t …a factor?

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64 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's your dream winter beater?”

  1. Luxury Lexus Land-yacht Avatar
    Luxury Lexus Land-yacht

    Even though I don’t venture out here in Fort Worth if it’s icy…I don’t own a Zamboni…for a couple of reasons, I already have my long-term winter beater.
    A 1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9L.
    Comfy, you’ve gotta work to get it stuck, it works perfectly in the CO mountains for trail exploration and pulling behind the motorcoach when we want to travel via the diesel-powered apartment.

  2. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    I’m normally not a fan of the pretty and fast VW bug, but in this case I’ll make an exception. https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–uxXBSjBP–/c_fill,fl_progressive,g_center,h_450,q_80,w_800/18n3isskgi11rjpg.jpg. Still convinced that there still some KDF parts in there though.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      It has the oil filter from a 944, lots of rubber bits from a 914, a few bits from the Rabbit. From the Beetlebug I could only find some nuts, bolts, and a needle bearing inside the gearbox or diff.
      Did I mention that I like public parts catalogs and systematic parts numbers?

    1. Andy White Avatar
      Andy White

      Holy shnikes. This changes everything.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        Especially the meaning of “understeer”.

        1. outback_ute Avatar
          outback_ute

          Just need to set up turn brakes on the rear?

          1. nanoop Avatar

            … so you can change the pivot point of oversteer, too!

    1. Zentropy Avatar
      Zentropy

      Haha! That’s what I drove in high school.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        So here I wonder: Where was this on the cool scale when you were in high school? Because today, it would be off the charts.

        1. Alff Avatar
          Alff

          They weren’t cool when they were new, at least not in the Pacific Northwest. I know a few people who had them. Primarily skiers who were willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort and style for 4WD function. Also, it was generally acknowledged that AMC was on its last legs and was a bargain brand. Several of the kids in my neighborhood had the brand as a first car, because they were cheap.

        2. Zentropy Avatar
          Zentropy

          We had several AMCs as I grew up, mainly because they were affordable, tough, and easy to work on. Definitely not considered cool, but my mom’s Eagle would go nearly anywhere a stock Jeep could. They are gaining some attention now as an early crossover, before the term was even coined.
          Fortunately my dad still has my mother’s Eagle, and I’d love to drop a later-model Cherokee 4.0L into it. Or, I have a 304 V8 lying around that needs some love. May be my next project…

      1. Vairship Avatar
        Vairship

        Go big or stay snowed-in at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1_Ualgl3ts

  3. KentMB1 Avatar
    KentMB1

    A price no object winter beater? Where do you live? Clearly you don’t understand the concept.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar
      Batshitbox

      Nice Rally Fighter. My dad had that exact car, but it was a Ford.

    2. salguod Avatar

      A guy here in Columbus built a C2 4×4 on a Navigator chassis because of the independent rear suspension. He called it the Forvette. I happened upon it on the way home from work one day:
      http://www.salguod.net/weblog/images/salguod.net_vette-4×4.jpg
      He found me after I wrote it up on my blog (http://www.salguod.net/weblog/archive/2009/07/four-wheel-drive-corvette.shtml). We were supposed to meet up at some point but never did. I used the information that I had and tracked down the guys address and even found it on street view sitting outside his house, sadly neglected.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/925cbc9aa25478d17bdf4824cebb64861215ba75e7c04e607c798e676a229d47.jpg

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        Fiberglass body mods would seem more appropriate here.

        1. salguod Avatar

          You really needed to see all that polished diamond plate in person. It was just the right balance of awesome and ridiculous. Fiberglass mods could never have pulled that off.

          1. outback_ute Avatar
            outback_ute

            Or alternatively, fibreglass body mods would have pulled off (via gravity)

  4. Fred Avatar
    Fred

    Winter in Mexico.

  5. mdharrell Avatar

    If money is no object, then an Arola Type 12. It’s considerably more powerful than the Type 10 or 11.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Having an ashtray is so much more French, n’est-ce pas?. The 10 and 11 are bereft of such an essentially French feature.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        The presence of a reverse gear in the 12 is nice, too, but not essential.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          I’m sure many French people in the 1970s would have found an ashtray far more useful.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Curiously my KV has no such option, perhaps because its side windows slide open readily enough.

  6. Borkwagen Avatar
    Borkwagen

    A classic Saab. Unlimited budget applies here because it’d be getting yearly bodywork checks after every winter.
    http://www.renebrone.com/fastcars/img/saab.jpg

  7. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    I would marry the 6 door 1980s Sedan DeVille I found on CL a few weeks back with a Suburban chassis and drivetrain.

    1. RobbieVT Avatar
      RobbieVT

      In all honesty I loved driving my 733i in winter weather. There were times when it seemed only Jeeps and I were left on the road. It is so easy to slide and catch it is a hoot to drive. Limited traction left me driving up hills canted toward the oncoming lane as one rear tire spins away digging for pavement. I managed a perfect 180 into an icy parallel spot in an E23.

  8. Papa Van Twee Avatar
    Papa Van Twee

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b662e031fe5f110a67ec582fb687796939631da23133ed94d81984fc8bb2aad.png
    Get me either a nice example of this, or a nicely restared one, and I’ll love it to death. Just another toy from my childhood I didn’t get to play with.

  9. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    Winter is not much of an issue here in Miami (though it got down to 49F the other night!) but I’d still like a 1990 Civic AWD wagon with the 6-speed manual. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98905b6aaf6189c8f9526dbdbfb60f4636959837bc0da5f6c96b490c3730d1f9.jpg

      1. Fuhrman16 Avatar
        Fuhrman16

        My father had one of those when I was younger. I absolutely adored that car and it’s probably the reason I love wagons to this day.

  10. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    I read “no object”, I take the whole package. In this alternative universe, I’ll be living in a mountain cabin way off civilization. Getting to the nearest road would be fine in a surprisingly drift prone 1940’s Bombardier snowmobile:
    http://www.jvb.no/filestore/bilder/beltebiler/BTH10.3.2013beltebil6fjellutsikt.jpg
    …or the classic Volvo BV for maximum firewood capacity:
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Yk5xQKDNq0c/maxresdefault.jpg

  11. smokyburnout Avatar
    smokyburnout

  12. Fuhrman16 Avatar
    Fuhrman16

    I’m going to go with that old classic, a Volvo 240. Haven owned one, I can say from experience that they are suburb in the snow. Make mine a ’79 242 with a four speed.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c19af64d5479278f14bfc390ec07ee5f8bf1b2540f063f8d9d03bf106d72eb28.jpg

    1. Zentropy Avatar
      Zentropy

      Old Volvos are proof positive that far too many people drive AWD cars when they don’t need them.

    2. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Here’s my ’77 242 in 2003 or so, when I was living in the following cabin:

      View post on imgur.com

      View post on imgur.com


      That’s the time I learned how to get up icy switchbacks with nothing but momentum, faith and disrespect for everything that is holy to the good citizen.

    1. Guest Avatar
      Guest

      Because money is always an issue, I’ll just stick with my current winter beater, a 1970 Ski Doo Olympique 335.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4fb14da0bd278486c1012a07d593bc75968c43611d977251e37d6cdfbb784477.jpg

      And it’s not limited to winter, either, as demonstrated by my cousin.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/757eb012c7e99e5d6ac15fe66a5df26b31065170cb560369f65857f3eeee48e9.gif

  13. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    https://www.autocar.co.uk/sites/autocar.co.uk/files/styles/gallery_slide/public/jag_awd_xj_160812_6.jpg
    Our winters really aren’t that bad (the rest of the country still makes fun of us for calling in the military after a slightly heavy storm 20 years ago), so nothing particularly special is needed. But on the heavier days, it’d be nice to have a big AWD luxury sedan to get chauffeured around in, rather than deal with the traffic.
    I figure one at 10 years old qualifies for beater status, although I doubt the chauffeur comes with it.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      For all intents and purposes, you’d need to call it a Jensen FU, going all over the place on icy days.

    2. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      Only if there is no salt used in your area, Interceptors rust at an Olympic level and FF’s are rare!

  14. Amoore Avatar
    Amoore

    Well, this was at my local Volvo shop when the XC70 needed servicing–apparently it’s an AWD 245 with an LS3 swap IIRC; I think it’d make mincemeat of snowy roads, even moreso than my XC70!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce50e9718b6a71cfefd26097879f2d0daeb0edd48107a2f0fe36de9ec2a885ab.jpg

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      I knew I had seen this one before…here it is on Bringatrailer.com:

      V8 Battle Wagon: Vortec-Swapped 1989 Volvo 240

      1. Amoore Avatar
        Amoore

        Oops, looks like I remembered wrong–if it’s not AWD then I’ll just stick to my XC70!

        1. Sjalabais Avatar
          Sjalabais

          What always amazes me the most with these builds is how the engine bay doesn’t necessarily look terminally cramped when some hold-my-beer-hero puts a machine in there that’s twice the size of a stock engine.

        2. outback_ute Avatar
          outback_ute

          Thanks for the update – I was wondering “what awd Volvo 240?” and wondering if I was losing my marbles!

          1. Amoore Avatar
            Amoore

            Well this one’s been tweaked enough that I thought an AWD conversion was included as well–I don’t think there’s been a factory AWD Volvo road car prior to the Whiteblock era (disregarding the C303, Sugga, etc. as not really “road cars”)

          2. outback_ute Avatar
            outback_ute

            Not only no factory AWD but it appears just about no AWD conversions!
            There is a guy in Sydney who built his own AWD turbo Falcon sedan using a mix of parts including Ford/Holden/BMW, and another guy in Adelaide who did a wagon running at SUV ride height using all Ford parts (maybe a custom length tailshaft). A bit of ground clearance can often be handy!

  15. jeepjeff Avatar
    jeepjeff

    Ok, I’m in California, so winter is something I visit by going up to the mountains. Also, we don’t salt the roads, so it can be a vehicle I love.
    So. A yellow Jeep Wrangler TJ with a stick, an LSD in the rear pumpkin, a selectable locker in the front, really good A/T tires and the right final drive for the tire size. 4WD drive+torque and engine braking for good traction and short wheelbase for shenanigans.
    (For those following along at home: yes, I’m two diff upgrades away from having this in my driveway, and even with open pumpkins, it’s still a riot in the soft stuff.)

  16. Troggy Avatar
    Troggy

    In Queensland we only really have two seasons: the wet and the dry. Winter is the dry season, and the riding conditions are always perfect: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7be42ad90da702ff3cc5f0001255ae04c1a49b6f87d9065de9d9a9d44abefe5a.jpg

  17. Alan Allawi Avatar
    Alan Allawi

    If money was No object my dream winter vehicle must be the Mercedes G55 or even G63!

  18. cap'n fast Avatar
    cap’n fast

    a new Oshkosh MRAP would do nicely. money(and a lot of it) being no issue, that is. definitely not a Humvee. I like the bumpers on the MRAP and the HVAC is the bomb. plenty of ground clearance and good approach angles. air down the tires a bit and haul ass. SUVs no. Pickups? no.

  19. Mobes Avatar
    Mobes

    Some variety of malaise land yacht so I can blast Sabotage while I’m hooning around in the snow and pretend I’m in a music video. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45355c0212a70e2440cbf802db925481ebde8a1b9c4e56df209d76bf9b0169a3.jpg

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