Caffeine&Machine cultofmachine Editor at Large In praise of the hardcore winter drivers

In praise of the hardcore winter drivers

Salty roads and the risk of rust hold no fear for those that keep motoring through the winter. We salute you.

Britain. Winter. It’s dark. It’s freezing. Unless we get a sudden deluge of snow, or one of those invigoratingly crisp, clear days, the weather’s generally pretty crap. And the roads are usually greasy, icy, covered in salt, or some combination of all three.

It’s no surprise, then, that lots of us choose to stash our cars away in nice, cosy garages, filling in the form to declare them off the road until the flowers are blooming and the fields are a lush green.

There’s a well-established canon of cars that excel when the days are shorter and the air is colder. Fast SUVs, hot Audi Avants, 911 Turbos, Evos, Imprezas – you know the score.

But what about those among us with a cavalier attitude to trivial things like rust protection and warmth? The brave souls for whom spending hours in the freezing cold painstakingly detailing a car is a waste of time when it’s just going to get covered in grime again the next time they drive it?

As we write this, we’ve just had a weekend in the Yard where temperatures struggled to climb into the positive. Nevertheless, we were joined by an entirely roof-free Caterham running semi-slick tyres and piloted by a smiley driver wrapped in what we can only assume were several layers of thermals. There was a Dodge Challenger with a supercharger that had a bigger displacement than the engines on most everyday cars, and there was a host of well-patina’d classics whose use on a day like that would probably send a concours d’elegance judge into a panic. We absolutely love to see it.

We’ll never hold it against you for wanting to keep your car off the road during the winter months. After all, a car’s arguably not much use if the wheels are spinning up, the underside is falling apart and your face has gone numb from the cold.

On the other hand, though, it’s our firm belief that cars are for using, so if you’re hardcore enough to head out in something totally weather-inappropriate, you have our unending respect.

If you’re one of the hardcore, we’d love to see you in the Yard on the weekend of 4-5 February for a celebration of this at our annual Winter Weapons Weekend. Wrap up warm!

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