Send Us Your Winter Beater!

Send Us Your Winter Beater!

The more unique the car, the better. An all-wheel-drive Chrysler minivan from the 1990s is the Bentley of winter beaters. A Saturn is a good choice, but they might be too common for some. There are also those crazy choices that showcase the driver’s skills and tolerance to adversity, like a Pontiac Fiero, Mazda Miata or Mercury Capri convertible.

0-IMG_0978 A winter beater is not a junker, bomber or jalopy. It is the calling card of a real master technician. A winter beater is as much about frugality as it is a demonstration of your mechanical skills, and starting it on a -10 degree day has the same satisfaction as running a 13-second quarter-mile.

The more unique the car, the better. An all-wheel-drive Chrysler minivan from the 1990s is the Bentley of winter beaters. A Saturn is a good choice, but they might be too common for some. There are also those crazy choices that showcase the driver’s skills and tolerance to adversity, like a Pontiac Fiero, Mazda Miata or Mercury Capri convertible.

To qualify as a winter beater, your entry should meet the
following criteria:

1. Cheap: If you have to finance it, it is not a winter beater. $1,000 is average; a $2,000 winter beater is the equivalent of a Ferrari. Most winter beaters are often acquired from people who do not want to pay for an expensive repair.

2. Reliable Drivetrain: The value of a winter beater is in the engine and transmission.

3. Tires: The cost of the tires should be 25-50% the value of the vehicle. Your goal is to embarrass a co-worker with a jacked-up 4×4 by beating him to work on a snowy day.

4. Rusty: Rust holes are modifications to reduce weight and price.

5. Brakes: The braking system is very important. The e-brake should be fully functional so y0-IMG_0988ou can practice drifting through any unplowed parking lot.

6. Battery/Alternator/Starter: A winter beater always has to start, no ifs, ands or buts.

Please send your pictures and winter beater story to [email protected] share on Facebook or tweet with the hashtag #winterbeatercontest to be featured in the April issue of Brake & Front End.

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