November has set upon us. Classic drivers in the hotter regions of the United States are celebrating the arrival of pristine driving conditions. In the North and Midwest, however, residents are settling for snowy weather and winterizing their classic autos for storage.
But your love for classic autos doesn’t have to be boxed up with your vehicle at the changing of the seasons. If you’re like most classic owners, you probably have a winter-specific beater that gets a lot of use between November and April. But there are also several classic models that are ideal for snowy conditions.
When choosing a winter classic, you want something that can withstand an onslaught of winter abuse, such as road salt, freezing temperatures, wet boots and more. You also want something that requires a relatively low amount of maintenance.
Fortunately, there are a number of vehicles that fit just that description. Below we’ll discuss some of the best.
1. Oldsmobile Toronado (1966 and ‘67)
The first two years of the Oldsmobile Toronado are classic winter sluggers equipped with Oldsmobile V-8 engines centered above skinny tires (common for the time) to provide maximum grip on the road.
The Toronado originally carved its place into classic auto history by one-upping GM’s Turbo-Hydramatic transmission with a transaxle and becoming the first front-wheel-drive vehicle produced in the United States since 1937.
Other GM innovations included a Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, spherical exhaust manifold flange gaskets, and a new ventilation system that cut draft by abandoning traditional triangular window vents on the front doors.
Oddly enough, this classic wasn’t even supposed to exist. Four years before its release, it first appeared in a painting titled “Flame Red Car” by Oldsmobile artist David North.
A truly budget option, a Toro in excellent condition can go for anything between $13,000 and $17,000.
2. Porsche Carrera 4 (1989-94)
The Porsche Carrera 5 (also known as the 911 C4) is known for its prowess atop winter streets and earned the nickname “the true winter beater.” It’s the first U.S. accessible 911 derivative with all-wheel-drive; the vehicle makes it nigh impossible to get stuck in the snow (though low clearance can be an issue).
The 911 C4 had 370 horsepower and a top speed of 181 mph and is capable of doing zero to 60 in just 4.5 seconds.
The Carrera 4 is nearly at collector status, wearing a price tag of $107,000.
3. Jensen FF
This Jensen Ferguson Formula is a superstar of a car—which is why it has a $67,000 price point. Only 320 were built between 1996 and 1971.
It’s one of the most revered winter classics because it’s the classic winter vehicle. This tiger practically invented winter driving. How, you might ask?
It was the first production car with an anti-lock-brake system—the now nearly universal feature that provides stopping power on slick surfaces.
The Jensen FF is named after Harry Ferguson (fun fact: he’s also known as the father of the modern farm tractor), whose company, Ferguson Research, invented the anti-lock brake system.
The vehicle was kept to just 320 models because of the high price point and the right-hand steering setup.
4. Porsche 959
This late ‘80s twin-turbo had a beefcake of an all-wheel-drive system. What it had in power, it matched in nuance and subtlety—the four-wheel-drive system adjusted torque on each wheel individually to strengthen grip on changing road conditions.
It was also the fastest production car of its time.
5. Alpine A110
The Alpine A110’s rear-mounted engine (with a wide span of options when it comes to engine type) makes it a backend powerhouse. It was a beast on the rally circuit, and now it’s the paramount classic selection for dads who want to take their kids’ snow drifting in empty grocery store parking lots.
It’s easy to see why this thing owned the winter stage in the first half of the ‘70s. In addition to precision drift control, the Alpine A110 also has a glass fiber shell that prevents rot due to road salt.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Whether you’re purchasing a classic to cruise the approaching winter wonderland or you’re simply looking to protect the investment of a traditional classic, let Classic Auto Insurance customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and give you a quote on the spot.
Call 888-901-1338 or get an instant quote online, and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.