Can You Drive a Classic Car in the Snow?

More often than not, winter is when classic cars are stored for the season. The fluids are drained and it’s put up on stands, awaiting warmer weather in the spring. But that doesn’t necessarily outlaw driving your classic car in the snow. It just ends up being a high-risk low reward situation.

Classic car parked in the snow
Classic car parked in the snow | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Can you drive a classic car in the snow?

The short answer is yes, you’re absolutely allowed to drive your classic car in the snow. Not only can you get excellent photographs of it, but the car can transport you back to what winters were like in the past. After all, the classic car you’re driving was likely someone’s daily driver, rain, shine, or snow.

If you’re considering keeping your classic car drivable as winter comes in, then you need to prepare in advance. While certain classic cars would probably operate just fine in the snow, retrofitting your classic car with other equipment can help make the experience bearable.

Ways to prepare your classic car for winter driving

Classic car covered in snow
Classic car covered in snow | Getty Images

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If you want to take your classic car out in the snow, Gold Eagle suggests checking every component of the car. This includes seals, mechanical components, and the battery. Classic cars, while beautiful, are more fragile than modern-day cars, meaning they’re more susceptible to damage when the temperatures drop. Prepare in advance, and make sure the car is in tip-top shape before hitting the snowy roads.

Speaking of snowy roads, it’s not a bad idea to fit snow tires on your classic car. Many classic cars came with cross-ply tires, which do a poor job maintaining traction in comparison to modern radial tires. But snow tires are especially important to prevent getting into an accident.

Granted, those two bits of advice are good for any car, classic or otherwise. But for classic cars especially, it’s important to spray them with a coat of corrosive protection. Snow and salt are hard on cars, expediting the build-up of rust. But a simple spray on your car’s body and under the chassis can help prevent any corrosion when you hit the winter roads.

Lastly, when you do finally hit the road, take it slow. Unlike modern cars, classic cars need to be warmed up before you drive at highway speeds. And in the winter, it takes longer. A good rule of thumb is to avoid highway speeds in your classic car until the heater is blowing hot air.

Know the inherent risks of driving a classic car in the snow

Classic camper van covered in snow
Classic camper van covered in snow | Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

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Driving your classic car through a winter wonderland may be a beautiful experience. But keep in mind that snow and salted roads are harmful to cars, classics especially. If you’re trying to preserve the vehicle or maintain a Concours appearance, then taking it out in the snow isn’t a great idea.

But if you’re looking for a winter adventure, then driving your classic car in the snow can certainly provide one. What good can a classic car do if it’s stored all winter? You’ll make many other chilled commuters smile, and car enthusiasts smile. After all, cars were built to be driven, rain, shine, or snow.

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