I was out of town this weekend when the great blizzard struck. When I returned home yesterday to six-foot snow piles and freezing temperatures, I could only think one thing: I’ve got to take out the Aston in this. And that’s how I found myself, two hours later, digging out my rear wheels with a camera tripod.
You’d know all about my snow adventures if you followed me on Twitter, because I posted several pictures of my car parked on a snowy road. What you probably wouldn’t know is just how indescribably bad it is to drive an Aston Martin the snow. Here’s a teaser: it’s like bringing a desk fan to hell.
But before I get started on my latest adventure, a few words about my column from two weeks ago, where I had my Aston towed because it was emitting a noise that sounded like aliens were being waterboarded underneath the frame. Well, I’m happy to say that the repairs are completed, the car is back in my hands, and I’ll tell you the whole story next week. Today is all about the snow.
And oh, isn’t the snow glorious? On the trees, on the fields, on the buildings, a beautiful white blanket of nature giving all of us a delightful glimpse at the powerful, exciting forces of our planet’s weather system. The wonder! The allure! The magnificence!
Until the moment you try to drive an Aston Martin on it. Then all that nature shit can go to hell.
When I first pitched the idea of filming an “Aston Martin in the snow” video to my friend Matt, I didn’t really think we’d have enough content to do a whole video. Maybe we’d slide around a bit. Maybe we’d get the car dirty. But I honestly didn’t think it would have that much trouble handling the small amount of snow that still remains on the ground after repeated plowing.
Nine minutes after we started filming, we were already stuck. For the first time.
Let me tell you about what happens when you get an exotic car stuck in the snow. At first, it’s funny. You laugh a little. I bet nobody else has gotten their Aston Martin stuck in the snow today! you think. Then you rock the car back and forth. It doesn’t budge. Funny turns to nervous. You and your friend Matt get out to push the car. It still doesn’t budge. Nervous turns to terror, because you’re starting to realize something: you’re going to be the guy who calls Triple-A to pull his car out of half an inch of snow.
It was at this moment that Matt came up with an idea: shoveling sticks and mud underneath the rear tires in order to give them a dry surface for grip. There was only one problem: I didn’t have a shovel, and it was below freezing outside. And so, ten minutes after beginning my “exotic car in the snow” adventure, I was on my knees, in freezing temperatures, piling handfuls of mud and sticks underneath the tires of my Aston Martin.
Things went downhill from there.
For example: have you ever wondered what happens when you attempt any sort of serious acceleration in a high-performance with high-performance tires? I certainly did. So after we got the car moving again, I lined it up on the snow to see what would happened if I attempted to accelerate at a brisk pace.
So I pressed the gas pedal, I let off the clutch, and the Aston immediately assumed a 45-degree angle. After traveling for about 30 seconds – during which time it traversed about 12 feet – the car achieved its maximum speed: four miles per hour. Later, it slowed down to one. Then it got stuck in a spot where the snow had approximately the same depth as a piece of Scotch tape.
But at least that time it was easy to get it going again. It was a little harder when I tried to test out the Aston’s snowy handling capabilities and instead I drifted into a small snow bank. As I was frantically digging out the rear wheels with the only tool I had – a camera tripod – a local park ranger showed up in a Ford Escape. She kindly waited until I had finished my digging before she continued past without stopping.
After I got stuck for a fourth time before I could perform my final test – snow braking – I came to a conclusion: an Aston Martin is not a very good vehicle for the snow. However, those of you looking to daily drive your own Aston will be happy to learn I also reached a separate conclusion that’s a little more positive: the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is the most beautiful vehicle in the world to stare at when you’re using a camera tripod to shovel it out of a snow bank.