Chains NOT

Thompson Smith carreragt at
Thu Dec 19 23:11:17 EST 2002

Chains NOT

I would never use chains on a quattro, even if the manual says its ok to. I
used to live at 8000 ft in Lake Tahoe and NEVER used them once. We used to
get regular CDOT conditions >> R1, R2, and the worst, R3. Forget it if is R3
- "4WD with chains ONLY". You have to plead to (and know personally) the DOT
guys to let you through just to get home after you proved you live up there
- kinda road police when it snows. After they let you by the fun starts.
That is when you show them how an Audi quattro roosts. When it dumps in the
Sierra's it dumps. Witness this weeks 5+ feet. Doesn't matter what kind of
quattro you have, you need clearance my friend. Deep snow, make sure you
have really tall studded rallye tires and forget the chains. Anything over a
foot and half, you are pushing it. Regular 6" snow and slush, snow tires are

The only snow blower/plow that could make our road look like a tunnel (and
even do it) was a Mercedes Benz Unimog with twin 6 cyl turbo engines. One
for the truck and one for the Schmidt rotory blower. The first year I lived
there we had 24 feet of snow at our driveway entrance!

I can remember a day after work back in '93 I was driving up Kingsbury Grade
to go home and had to turn up left onto Andria way. One of the steepest
hills up at the lake. It had been raining and then got real cold - freezing
rain, turned to ice, lots of it. There were cars all over the side of
Kingsbury Grade, and Andria was a total mess. I tractored right on up in my
'85 4000Sq with both diff's locked and my studded Nordman 175/70-14s (Hakki
10 knockoffs) past all the cars. At one point, I even stopped at a stuck
Isuzu and Range Rover. Looked at both and roosted away home. The Range Rover
eventually got underway. Little did I know, but the ice was a taste of
things to come...

Moving forward to 1996 we moved to Vermont. Remember the ice storm we had
here...?  The ice and weird ass cold weather we get here is beyond belief.
Not a ton of snow, but it can change from dry puffy snow to ice to freezing
rain in a matter of minutes, all on the same road! There are no DOT road
police here. It's all you baby, and your car. Spin off the road here you
better have a shovel, cell phone or a friend close by with a Land Rover. The
guys here at work (Rovers North) used PWAG chains on a Land Rover Defender
110 and two Range Rovers to climb Mt Washington in the middle of winter at
-60 below zero!!! Now THAT is when you need chains.

The second year I lived here in VT I used my Porsche 944 with basically one
wheel drive. For most snow conditions all you need is a good driver, studded
snow tires (or new ones at least) and a warm car. Driving an Audi quattro
only makes it that much sweeter.


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