30th September 2008

Salt + Cars = Stress

posted in Car News Articles |

Ever read Sophie’s Choice? Because that’s kinda how I feel right now.


Growing up in the Midwest, I’ve had the pleasure opportunity to experience all the joys of winter, in full. Playing in the white powder is great, as John DeLorean could attest (the charges were dropped!–Chris H.), but I’m talking about snow.  Lots and lots of snow. Snow is generally pretty great. The reduced traction allows you to drive like a stunt man; sliding sideways around corners, doing donuts, J-turns, and pretending to be a rally driver. However, it’s not really the snow I’m concerned about. Seeing as how our country caters to the lowest common denominator, we cater to people who don’t have snow tires by salting every square inch of the roads.

From an auto enthusiast’s perspective, I hate this. The salt corrodes everything on my vehicle, and half of the time my entire car is covered in white haze. Milwaukee is even worse than usual. They use double the amount of road salt per mile than most cities in the Midwest. Ignoring the whole concept of the government demanding your money to pay for salt that ruins your vehicles, I’m now faced with a choice:   What to drive this winter? I’ve been so stressed about this choice I figured I’d ask for your advice.

In one corner, we have my minty fresh 1989 Honda Prelude, which I covered here. In the other corner, we have my 1992 Subaru SVX, covered by Chris here.
Now, from a purely technical standpoint, the Subaru wins hands down. It
has all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, and tons of other features that
make it a superior choice. However, the Subaru is also starting to
rust. I see rust poking out from underneath body panels and creeping up from
the rear wheel wells. The rear quarter panel was also damaged from a
driver who doesn’t believe in using turn signals. Another winter on
this car would be brutal, as the rust would probably get pretty bad.

The Prelude, by comparison, is only front-wheel drive. However, when equipped with
some fresh snow tires it would be able to handle the winter, no problem.
And unlike the Subaru, this car is extremely clean. The paint is great,
the body is great, and the suspension is great. When I bought it, it
had been stored in a heated garage for seven years protected from the
environment. I’ve always thought of it as a cool car, but after driving
it for a year and being completely blown away by it’s handling, I’m
starting to realize it’s something special. I start noticing other Preludes of this vintage in various states of disrepair, and I start
realizing that maybe I should try to preserve this car.

Hence the dilemma. The SVX is a great car, and a fairly rare car.
Less than 15,000 were imported into the United States, and a lot fewer
than that remain. The third-generation Prelude is anything but a rare
car, as Honda cranked out over 160,000 of them worldwide. However, how
many nice ones still exist? I’m not sure, and I’m definitely not sure
on what to do. Hopefully you guys will help me find a solution.

–Rob the SVX Guy

This is syndicated from Car Lust, and written by Rob the SVX Guy.

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