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Who Says You Can't Drive a Corvette in the Winter?

Rob

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13,591
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1990 Corvette ZR-1
It's a well-known belief that you can't really drive a Corvette in snow during the winter, or can you?

As some of you know, I live in New Hampshire. The Farmer's Almanac predicted that this winter, would be very cold and icy for us, and it was spot on! Weeks-long arctic temperatures, snow, and A LOT of ice has been the norm up here in this part of the country.

As the owner of a 1990 ZR-1, the thought of driving my Corvette in the icy weather we've been having here, makes me cringe. As soon as the first snow fall is predicted, I take my Corvette off the road and it hibernates in my garage until the roads are finally clean of snow and salt in the spring.

For those of us living north of the snow-belt with Corvettes, this tends to be the norm.



However, some brave souls seem to have no problem driving their Corvettes through snow and ice.

Yesterday, I was sitting at a set of lights waiting to cross an intersection, when I saw a Torch Red, 1996 Corvette drive by me. I've seen this owner drive his C4 Corvette through every single season, and all kinds of weather for the last 13 years. No matter when I see his Corvette, it always looks clean and shiny. Kudos to him!

A few days ago, I was driving in downtown Manchester, NH, one day after getting slammed with a pretty bad ice storm, and a C6 Corvette coupe drove by me on roads that had a light glaze of ice all over them.

Fools, or brave souls? I'll let you be the judge! However, these owners just might be on to something...

Just one more month, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes into production. With 755 hp, 715 lb-ft of torque and extremely large tires, the ZR1 is quite capable of setting the pavement on fire. However, this has not stopped GM's Corvette Engineering team from driving them in the snow!

Chevrolet Corvette & Camaro Product Marketing Manager, Harlan Charles has been posting pictures of the ZR1s he's been driving through Michigan's brutal winter this year.





Yesterday, Kirk Bennion, ‎Exterior Design Manager for Corvette at GM, posted the photo below of the ZR1 Corvette he's currently driving:



So how is the Corvette Engineering team managing to handle these beasts in the snow? Take a look at the photo below of a 2019 Corvette ZR1 prototype doing some winter validation testing:



One of the options for the 2019 Corvette ZR1 is the ZTK option which includes P285/30ZR-19 front and P335/25ZR-20 rear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires. Looking at the picture above, clearly, those are NOT summer-only tires!

They happen to be Michelin Alpin PA4 all-season tires which the Corvette Team has been using to conduct their winter testing. As of this writing, you won't find them available on TireRack's web site, but you can call TireRack and order them. The price? We don't even want to imagine!!
 

vett boy

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Feb 10, 2005
Messages
3,057
Location
Florida sometimes Maine
Corvette
2008 vert 6M silver
I don't drive my C6 much in the winter unless it's in Florida .I've always used Michelin AS tires for when I get caught heading north or south and the car goes good. A Corvette washes just like a Ford and mine came with factory installed windshield wipers .
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
412
Location
Somewhere in Red Wings land
Corvette
1989 Bright Red Convertible (gone) 98 Jaguar XK8
I'd imagine the newer Vette's with all the bells/whistles (traction control, etc) are more controllable in the snow that the older ones. As to my 89 though... I got caught up in the mountains in Colorado during one of the freak July snowstorms. Two lane, very twisty steep road. Never again........45 minutes of the scariest five mile drive I've ever had coming back down from the top of the pass.
 

Dad

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Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Messages
611
Location
West Unity OH
Corvette
15Gray/8sp 72Blk/Blk4Spd 64Red/Red/Wht4spd
The only problem I ever had driving in the winter was with my ’61 with Mud and Snow tires back then that were patterned off the rear wheels of a John Deere. When you did hit some dry pavement your teeth would soon be rattling to the tune of Jingle Bells. The ride comfort was a bit dependent on whether or not the heater fan could move enough air to replace the amount leaving the ill fitting top.

I have a friend that drives his ’68 convertible year round and has for 30 or so years that I know of.

No biggie, it is just a car. :stirpot

JANUAR~1.JPG
 
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