Hit a blinding snowstorm just south of Salt Lake City in 1999 while driving our 66 coupe on our way to Las Vegas to join the Mustangs in Motion trip to Charlotte. The snow was so wet and came down so fast the wipers were just wiping a tunnel under the snow. Very lucky to get off the road and in a motel
Severe sand storm in Reno . . . blowin' trucks off the road . . . pulled off North of the city to wait it out . . . had a nice view of the lights . . . big flash of light downtown as a transformer blew . . . 3 or 4 city blocks suddenly go dark . . . then another one blew . . . 5 more blocks go dark . . . got home to Stead after an hour or so of this . . . the whole drivers side paint and glass severely pitted . . . luckily I was in my old Ford Pinto /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif.
Very dense fog one night in San Diego (La Jolla). Could not see more than 10-15 feet in front of me and was forced to drive extremely slow for about a mile and a half. I couldn't even see the trees on the side of the road.
The first is that, in February of 1972, I flew home from Chicago to pick up my Mustang and take it back to Great Lakes Naval Base where I was attending an advanced electronics "A" school. I chose Washingtons Birthday weekend in order to have extra time for getting back to the base. Well. That Sunday, the Northeast had a blizzard. I had no choice but to keep going. I wound up on the New York State Thruway in blinding snow and unable to get off because the Thruway was closed and I wouldn't be allowed back on. It took most of the day to drive through the blizzard, exiting it right around the Ohio/Indiana state line, IIRC. That was the toughest drive of my life and being in a '65 Mustang convertible with extra-wide tires on the raised-up rear didn't help any.
The second is that in fall '72 or '73, I was assigned to the U.S.S. Douglas H. Fox (DD779) based in Philadelphia. We were concluding a Naval Reserve training cruise to the Caribbean and steaming north along the east coast when we found ourselves in the path of a hurricane (can't remember now which one it was). We sailed that storm all the way up the coast to just south of Philly, when it turned out to sea. For two or three days, we were in waves that regularly broke over the stacks. I can remember holding onto an overhead pipe on the bridge while the ship nearly rolled out from under my feet in one direction, then back in the other, all the while corkscrewing like mad. The OOD and I were making bets on where the waves were going to break; over the foc'sle, over the #2 gun mount, over the pilot house (where we were), or over the stacks. By the time we cleared the storm, most of the lifeboats had been ripped off the side of the ship and we'd split a seam up forward, filling the forward anchor chain locker with sea water. We made it up the canal and into the Delaware bow-down and pretty beat up and exhausted. But what an experience that was! I wouldn't have missed it for anything.
A few years back, my wife and I went to pick up a new pony for the corral. She was driving the mini van, and I was in the mustang following behind her on the highway. The storm had picked up pace and was so bad that visibility was down to nothing. I could actually see the wind gust hit the van and rock it as she was driving.
It was pouring buckets as well. The thing about it was, the heaviness of the storm seemed to come all at once. we were driving the speed limit with just minor rain off and on, and then all of a sudden it seemed like we were in a different world. With all of the raining during the day and then the storm hitting, the highway became a lake instantly. Before we had a chance to slow down, the van started hydroplaning and my wife over corrected and flipped the van over and sent it crashing through the Oleanders that divided the highway. I'm glad they were there as when the van finally stopped and was on it's side, the front fender was on the shoulder of the center divider, just 12" inches from apposing traffic.
I got to watch all of this happen before my eyes, since I was in the mustang behind her! I'll tell you this, trying to stop an old mustang with drum brakes in that storm was impossible. I finally got it off the road directly after where the van wound up, but not after I wound up getting it stuck in the Oleanders as well.
My wife came out just fine, more shaken up than anything, and to this day, when a storm hits, we try to stay off the roads, as that was not a fun experience.
This was probably the most challenging experience while driving my 1968 coupe. In 1977, while attending graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, I was about 20 miles north of town when it first started to rain, then sleet, then snow, etc. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Cincinnati, it is very hilly and back then they had no salt trucks or snow removal equipment. To make matter worse, people in the city would freak out if it even rained. Coming from the Detroit area, rain, snow, and ice meant nothing to me.
So, at night, I started back to my place. I was doing 35 mph on the highway, which was sheet ice, and I was passing everyone! I was doing just fine, as vintage Mustangs are one of the best vehicles on ice. Then I realized I had to climb Dixmyth Hill, which was a very steep and curvy hill up to the university area. At the top was a stoplight, and to turn right you had to angle up, also. I started up the infamous hill and knew that if I stopped at any point I was going to slide ALL the way back down to the freeway. I decided I would have to run the light and hoped no one would be there. No problemo. I slipped and slid all the way and around the right turn and headed up to the next obstacle. The street was straight, but it went straight down and then straight up. Well, the local idiots were stopping at the bottom before trying to climb up so by the time I got to that street it was a solid car blockade of about 7 or 8 cars at the bottom. I cut through a parking lot that had at least 2 feet of snow in it, cut through another and made it safely to my lot. Needless to say, classes were cancelled the next day because no one could make it up the hills to drive to the campus! /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
It was a dark winter night in chardon ohio. In the middle of one hell of a blizzard. In front of me i see a battleship heading straight twards me and the actual position of the road was in serious doubt. What it actually was is a road opening plow. It was "V" shapped and it was wider than the the tri-axle dump truck pushing it and heading straight twards me at ramming speed. I just got over as far as i could and waited. The wake that damn plow kicked was amazing. only one of a handfull of times i was afraid behind the wheel.
It was years ago in my 65 Chevelle. Pouring rain, 75mph on the freeway in the middle of three lanes. Car got sideways in a long curve and actually went in a 360. Don't know how I didn't hit anyone, cars were right besides me. Pulled off the highway at the next exit and thanked my lucky stars.
beat this... My car just got 3k worth of rear body work (quarters, trunk floors, frame rails, etc) done in Pennsylvania. While towing it home with no fenders or hood, and everything in the back in primer, we hit a snow storm. Well the snow wasnt bad, but the salt was... There was a mixture of salt and snow CAKED on the front of the car and a film of salt covering everything. I would occasionally stop at rest stops to get rid of the deadly mix. After the 2 hour drive the car was covered... Ive since washed the car many times and i cant get rid of the dry salty film on everything... Good thing everything in the front was POR-15'ed
Wow Laurie, I did not know you too, came from Detroit. I assumed you were a southwest native. Yes, I too think it is somewhat amusing when locals freak out when a little rain comes down. When I lived in D.C. the locals were so feaked out by snow that if about an inch accumulated on the road surface, many people would bring their cars to a stop in the middle of the freeway (beltway) and abandon the car! For those of us you knew how to drive in snow, the abandoned cars were more of an obstacle than the snow! Glad to see you post here.
1 time it snowed and i was taking someone home and did a perfect 180 in the jeep, my passenger had fun but i bout crapped my pants
nother time i was slowly coming up a hill in snow and right as truck came the back end slid and i veered right towards the bed of the truck, but because of the amazing odds i missed him as he went passed (by a foot or two)
snow driving is fun.. but only because its dangerous >
Yes, I was born and raised in the northwest Detroit area. From 1962 until I moved to Tucson, I lived in Livonia (other than two years or so in Cincinnati). My dad worked for Ford in Dearborn, so I spent a lot time there, including four summers where I also worked at Ford--fun time!
Here in Tucson, rain produces a different and scary effect on the drivers--they go faster! I don't understand it, but's a Tucson phenomenon, that and driving around barricades to try and cross streets that are underwater with flash floods. That's why the city finally passed a "Stupid Motorist's Law" where you have to pay for your rescue, if you did something stupid like that. /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
It had to be when I purchased my 70 sportsroof in Denver about 5 years back or so, and drove it back to Detroit. It was the first time I drove an old mustang, so I did not think the steering or suspension/ride was unusual. Just an old car! I bought the car in December. The prior owner had the front fenders replaced (with aftermarket crud pieces) and the shop that did the swap just cut the wiring harness rather than unplugging things. The shop respliced the headlights up wrong so that one light would be on bright when the other was on dim, and vice versa. After buying the car I rewired the lights, which took all day. Oh yes, the heater really didn't put out enough heat. You could chose warm face or warm feet, but not both, and your body would be cold no matter what. The weatherstripping was old and cracked so cold air poured in around the front of the doors. It was probably 45 degrees inside the car.
I started out in the late afternoon. About midnight, 22 degrees out, close to the Colorado/Nebraska border, the coil went out! There is very little traffic and what traffic is there, doesn't stop. I have no cell phone. Had to walk 7 miles to get to a phone, no glove, no hat, cowboy boots and a leather jacket. Hey, this is just the warm up.
The next night, I am driving the car on Interstate 80 just west of Des Moines, and I am in a bad winter storm. There is snow and sleet coming down and there is ice on the roads. I am thinking I will stop at the first hotel and wait out the storm. Meanwhile, the interstate is going up a bridge and curving to the left. AT that point, the back end of the car starts shaking back and forth, swinging actually. It feels like there is a giant hand pushing the back of the car sideways. The next thing I know, I am on the bridge and spinning a 360 and more! I come out of the spin completely out of control and going about 50 mph. The front of the car is facing the guardrail and I am going over the edge of the bridge. At this point in time I know that I am a deadman. I am a second from a 30 foot fall. Hey guys, your life doesn't flash before your eyes when you know you are dying. AT least, my life did not flash (I guess if you live a boring life you don't want to have a replay as your final moment on earth).
At this point all I have time to do is voice a simple declaration, "Lord, save me!" As soon as the words were out of my mouth something on the underside of the car got hung up on the guardrail. The car was about 1/4 way over the railing, but stayed nose in and skidded sideways for about 50 feet or so, till the speed bled off. The car flipped into the interstate and came to a rest broadside to ongoing traffic (around a blind curve). A truck came barreling around the curve, but I was in the right lane and he, in the left. Got the car started and going again before traffic showed up behind me. And, at the base of the curve was my offramp for the HOliday Inn! I truly know there is a God who intervenes with miracles. That is why I am alive today.
The drive back to Detroit, with a wrecked front end, was awful. It normally takes 9 hours from where I was in Iowa. It took me two days. The snow was still there, my headlights were duct taped into the buckets and largel pointing straight down. Turned out the front suspension and steering was shot - bad ball joints, tie rod ends, idler arm, split bushings, worn springs, loose steering gearbox - every steering and suspension component on the car was worn out! I couldn't get the car above 45 without losing control. I was still so freaked out from the accident that I was hallucinating while I drove. I would see the white line in the highway curve, like the road was turning, but the road was straight. Every wiggle of the car as it hit the ruts in the road felt like the car was going to spin out again. It was still cold. I was wrapped in a blanket I bought at a truck stop. My fear factor was way up there. Every time I got out of the car for a break, my legs were shaking and my hands were knotted up from gripping the steering wheel so tight. That was 500 miles of driving that way. It stormed the entire trip. Never had any other road trip so bad, even another drive through a blizzard in Iowa.
That later trip was in my jeep cherokee and the weather was so bad that trucks were rolling over and the national guard was patroling the interstate. I followed a snowplow for about 60 miles and got to where I needed to get. Although that was tough, the trip was Denver was scary in the extreme.
I drove a mercury through a tornado in Texas. Not by or on the edge of but straight through. I seen people going under the over pass (should have made me think), heck all I seen was a big dark cloud and dirt being kicked up. Before you give me the big red truck thing the tornados that I've seen before were a lot smaller and you could directly see. The car was a 77 marquis with 5 people and a week worth of supplies. I didn't know a big car could dance"scary" ,but we made it through in good shape.
That is an easy question for me. In November of 1980 I was honorably discharged from the USAF. So I packed my 69 sportsroof full of my belongings and headed home to California from Louisiana. I decided to take the southern most interstate, that would be the 10. When a freak winter snow storm hit Texas, how often does it snow in Texas, let alone southern Texas? For all of you Northeasterners and Canadians it would have been no big deal, but for someone who has very rarely driven in the snow it was a white knuckle ride. /forums/images/icons/shocked.gif I would be willing to bet the last time that it snowed on the Interstate 10 in Texas was those few days in November of 1980. fd