[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: Oh, that Fuzzy Ride

Drop the clutch and have fun...

Tires are everything !   You don't have to spend $$ to have fun, just live in
snow country.

Last year when I was living way up at 7800 feet at Lake Tahoe, CA is were we
really get snow, over 21 feet of snow.  This was dumped from the sky, blown
up on the corner of the driveway from the plows and the Honda blower, etc...
Some days we got over 6 feet in the evening in one dump.  Heck, one time
there was over 14 feet on top of my burried quattro. 
Some light, some cementy.

At the time, I had my trusty '85 4000S quattro set up with four freshly
studded Grand Auto $34.95 special brand 175/65-15 snowtires. Cheap for mostly
snow-time driving.  My commute was all of about 5 minutes, so cornering
wasn't in the bag. 

Every night it snowed I ALWAYS worked really late, so I could have major
rallye fun on the way home in total snow country.   This way, most everyone
had made it home and there was nobody on the road.

  Well, one night after work around 5pm it was really warm, it rained for
about one hour soaking the roads and all.  Immediatley, out of the blue it
started to get reeaal clear out and colder than a son of a bitc.. dropping to
the teens. Then it began to lightly snow again.   You can imagine the ice
with this one.

My drive home from work was all uphill.  From the Lake elevation to the
house, weather changes alot.  There wasn't much ice yet, but I knew that this
wasn't for real, yet.

When I got halfway home to a real sharp favorite uphill righthander is when
all the fun started.   You see, there is a section after this that proceeds
up for about a quarter mile at around a 14 percent grade.  There were all
kinds of skidding marks all-over the road, cars stuffed into the banks
sideways, backwards, etc... all at the bottom.  These were mostly chained up
front wheel drives and some other chained up rear wheel drive cars, all stuck
on the snowed over ice.  

(When it snows HARD in the Sierras, conditions are R3.  This means Caltrans
and NevadaDOT say 4WD with snowtires and chains ONLY. They mean it).

There wasn't alot of snow, yet.  But, lotsa ice and not a Caltrans or
NevadaDOT truck in sight...hmmm.

Up on the middle section there seemed to be some commotion going on.  Mainly
a couple of Isuzu Troopers, a cruched DelSol ?, and a Range Rover

 waiting.  Incidently, I was just hanging out at the base watching all the
cars and people pushing to try and make it up a 14 percent grade ice rink.
 This was quite amusing, really.  Matter of fact, the only snowplow that
could do this road was a Mercedes-Benz Unimog with a rotary thrower. Designed
for the Swiss Alps and Tahoe.  It had twin engines, one for the rotary and
one for the Mog.

I couldn't wait any longer.  Locked up both diffs, dropped the clutch, went
through it seems an endless amout of gears and ripped twin studded marks all
the way up to the middle where everyone was stopped.  At the middle the
Trooper tried to go, bless it's little heart, but couldn't. Just sat and
spun, one front tire and one rear, oscillating back from side to side. The
other one was helpless and the Range Rover started to proceed upwards...

At this time I stopped right in the thick of it, middle of the steepest part,
both diffs locked rearin to go at it again.  Did the same.  Dropped the
clutch and ripped right past all the cars.  Everyone looked at my little
white Audi blasting past, and had dropped jaws....  :- (  )  The Range Rover

Immediately after that I had to correct for the next corner at the top and
then through a series of about twelve more corners doing the same thing,
sidways lock-to-lock, on the gas, go straight up to redline then,
lock-to-lock, on the gas, until I got home.  All at rallye speeds, with the
Hellas on. Way fun.  I thought my old '72 911RS was fun, haa!

I will never forget that ice shreding day in my little fuzzy 4WD4KS quattro,
with his cheap 'ol studded snow tires.

PS  Bob D., I put my A509s back on after about 8 months of winter.

If anyone is a QCUSA member and interested in getting there "fun" story
published, please e-mail it to me and I will try to get them in a future
edition of the quarterly newsletter.

Later, Thompson Smith-
Art Director/QCUSA
'83 Urq (revving out side and ready to do the same up in the new homestead in
Burlington, VT).
'86 5KCStq - the wifes, just hangin round.