The Land Rover Writer

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why I Love Winter

It's 4 days before Christmas and like a lot of the country, Maine lies underneath over a foot of snow. It will be a White Christmas The snow will continue all evening and throughout the night. I can hear the house moaning in the high winds. As this is an island town, there's no question that the ferry boats to the mainland will not run much of the day.

I have a cellar full of firewood and food that can be heated on the woodstove if necessary. I'm trying to get this blog finished before we lose power.

The driving is frightful right now, but earlier, heading out in either of my 1966 cars showed what enduring engineering is all about. The Corvair, with its rear engine, rear wheel drive, combines superb traction, excellent driver feedback and light weight to prove a great winter car. You always know, because you can feel it, where the wheels are planting themselves on every inch of roadway. With a wheelbase of only 108", you can feel any incipient skid and make corrections in plenty of time.

I drove around the very slippery, very windy roads here during the day, on a church run and a dump run, and felt in complete control the entire time. Unless the belly pan of the car high-centers on deep snow, it won't get stuck. All I'm running is ordinary snow tires on the rear, too.

When I needed to get into the woods to get more firewood, it was easy with the Land Rover. With its superb gearing, it won't get stuck unless it high centers on a snowbank or drops into a snow covered ditch. The car only has an 88" wheelbase but it will carry a lot of firewood in its square dimensioned body.

These cars are 42 years old in construction and engineering, but because they do not try and isolate you from the road - they connect you instad - you know exactly what's happening on a winter's day. Precision and connectivity will win out over electronic aids any time - I wonder if GM or Land Rover are listening?