BangShift Question Of The Day: How Bad Did You Screw Up In The Snow?

BangShift Mid-West is an ice cube. So is the majority of the United States, thanks to a cold snap and blizzard. A couple of days ago, I was washing the Charger on a 50-degree day, preparing the car for hibernation. Two days later, dogs are afraid to pee on fire hydrants, lest they get stuck to them with a wizz-cicle. I’ve been a hermit inside the house for the last couple of days. -35 degree wind chill? Nah, leave that nonsense to the Yukon. I’ll be bundled up, sipping warm drinks and hiding away to Grand Theft Auto’s Los Santos, where the snow never…

…are you freaking kidding me? That’s my poor ’78 Malibu DeClasse Tulip M-100 freezing it’s bits off in a pseudo-California snowstorm. Great.

Reflecting, though, the snow isn’t all bad. Anybody who has kicked the ass end out in the snow because they can knows how much fun it can be. Whip some donuts in the drifts or slide around, pretending you’re completing a rally stage. Use an empty parking lot to teach a young drive about car control, it works great! I’m guilty. One of my most favorite memories was going up the road from where I lived in Colorado Springs to the huge, walled-in parking lot of a King Soopers grocery store in the early hours of the morning to raise hell and throw powdery snow around whenever the drifts got deep enough.

The King Soopers is now a dispensary, it seems. But you get the idea.

Statistics suggest that if you do something long enough, eventually it will bite you in the ass somehow, someway. I got mine in November, 2000. My first winter with my ’78 Chrysler LeBaron saw the Springs get about a foot of wintertime magic, and I was not going to let this go unused. After calling my buddy A.J., we met up at the parking lot and proceeded to hoon around for quite a bit. Powerslides, e-brake turns, Arab-style weaving, donuts, Rockfords, all of it.

Who knew a beige Chrysler could be so much fun?

The next night, we returned, this time with a camcorder. The snow had warmed a bit during the day, but when the sun went down everything froze and the ruts from the previous night were now a serious problem. This wasn’t smooth sailing, this was suspension-tormenting hell. But we wanted sideways footage, so A.J. braved the cold and I promised a few good slides before we called it a night.

It was the last pass, as I was coming around the rear of the building into the main parking lot, that it happened. After pitching the LeBaron into a driver-side first drift, the car hit one hell of a rut, bounced, and I saw sparks underhood just before all power cut out. The engine didn’t just stall…ALL power was gone. No lights, no radio, no nothing. My first instinct was my smartest: I threw the car into neutral and turned the key off. Once the Chrysler slid to a stop, A.J. ran over and we opened the hood. I say “we” because the hood was significantly heavier than it had been. The battery hold-down had failed and on the last major rut, the battery popped up and tack-welded itself to the underside of the hood.

We walked home.

The next morning, while enjoying a brutal reprimand for breakfast from my grandfather, my older cousin proceeded to make battery and hood two separate items once more. Outside of a discolored spot where the weld occurred underhood, the Chrysler was no worse for the wear.

That’s my best wintertime story. How bad have you screwed up in the snow?

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