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Well, that was fun...
So it started snowing this morning, but temperatures were way above
freezing. Every time it stopped snowing it only took half an hour for the
snow to disappear, until I noticed that by 8:30PM they'd started salting
the roads again. Hey- wait, this must mean that it's getting serious out
there. Where are my car keys?
So I dug out the quattro and headed for Zeist's largest, empty place- a
parking lot used only by day. When I drove onto the lot, two Golf GTIs and
an Opel Manta 400 (RWD) came out. Popular spot, eh? By now, there's 3in of
snow everywhere and it's still above freezing, so this stuff is really
There I discovered the fun of driving in the snow on rain tyres (Pirelli
P5000 Drago, directional, large central groove). You'd alternate between
front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, making interesting figures-of-eight
and the occasional 180 (I must do something about my struts. The car feels
noticeably loose compared to when I bought it, and rolls alarmingly).
Locking the diff didn't make a whole lot of difference, it just stopped the
revs fluctuating wildly. The high torque of the 2.3 makes it easy to get it
to skid in high gears, keeping the noise down...
...for the neighbouring houses. I'd noticed the lights come on, and people
opening their front doors to see what was going on. Hmmm, the temperature
gauge is climbing to 100 C, too- better head for home. I'd ploughed up the
snow more than a bit, too.
Just as I carefully slid into traffic, I noticed a police car coming the
other way. Not a moment too soon. I really didn't feel like explaining to
the cream of the Zeist police force that I was sharpening my driving skills.
It's nice to be a bit of a hooligan sometimes. At least I've learnt how my
car behaves 'on the limit', and that in snow, these limits are reached
quickly. Next winter, I'll budget for some winter tyres. There's still that
crashed 80 diesel in the scrapyard with four excellent steel wheels...
PS ABS feels quite funny when you're driving in sludge. There's a
noticeable kickback in the pedal, much more than usual (it's more like
pulsating, usually) and it didn't feel good overall. Switching the ABS off
gave me more control and better response.
Tom Nas Zeist, The Netherlands
1987 Audi 90q 2.3E, Tizianrot metallic, 167,000km
It is better to go into a corner slow and come out fast,
than to go in fast and come out dead.
-- Stirling Moss