The calendar may say it is autumn, but they’re already had a huge, state-of-emergency snowstorm in Montana, and folks in northern climes are or soon will be putting their beloved classic cars away for the winter.
But just because the weather gets cold and the precipitation turns white and frozen, it doesn’t mean you cannot drive a vintage vehicle.
We’ve picked a few examples of classic vehicles that can handle whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at us this winter while still keeping that vintage charm that we love.
Beginning its life for the 1966 model year, the Ford Bronco was designed as a midsize off-roader to take on competition such as the Jeep CJ-5 and the International Harvester Scout. The Bronco spanned five generations from 1965 to 1996 and has left its mark by remaining one of the most desirable members of the class. Due to low production and sales compared to rivals in its early years, early generations of Bronco have become leaders in the rapidly growing vintage off-road market. The classic design and versatility continue to drive their collectability as younger generations of collectors start to enter the market.
The Land Cruiser has a longer history than most 4×4 vehicles in the class. The FJ40 was the first model available in the United States back in 1957 and more than 60 years later, the Land Cruiser name is still popular. The first few generations of Land Cruiser have kept the model scarce and have propped up their sales prices. Nonetheless, the collectability of the FJ has skyrocketed as the demand for off-road style vehicles grows. It is more than capable of handling any weather this winter throws at you.
Compared to the Bronco and the FJ, the Defender has a very different story. Development for the Defender began back in the early 1980s and the truck didn’t see its first model year until 1983. Land Rover introduced modern styling, coil spring suspension, and an updated interior to its previous Series III to create the more modern Defender. The North American Spec (NAS) Defender didn’t land in America until 1993 due to State Department regulations and the NAS Defenders that were imported between 1993 and 1997 are considered the most desirable.
The Jeep CJ is an American icon. The Jeep paved the way for an entire market of consumer off-road vehicles. The CJ-1 was created in 1944 as a proof of concept for a civilian utility vehicle with all examples lost to history. There have been more than 1.5 million CJ Jeeps built from 1944 to 1986 with common styling and engineering throughout its life. The CJ has always been cool and collectible with an ample aftermarket – but their rugged design and high production numbers mean there are plenty available for budget-conscious collectors.
When the Blazer began its life for the 1969 model year, it was GM’s answer to the Bronco. The Blazer was designed as a shortened pickup truck to increase interior space and combine luxury with winter off-road capabilities. The Blazer and the Bronco have been dominating the collector market of American off-road vehicles over the last 10 years and their prices certainly reflect that.
Your classic not the kind to drive during the winter? Follow these top 10 tips for storing your classic.