Here 'round Philly, we've had two ...uh... interesting winter seasons in a
row, so the odds are that we'll have a mild winter this year. That being
said, TFrog is probably not going to go into winter with its present tires.
Blizzaks? On a '93 LX 5.0 hatch with manual transmission?
(CFrog is a convertible with automatic, and, although I've just had new
tires put on that, it's not available on snow days. The automatic just makes
it sit and spin in the slightest snowfall.)
That's why we have an Escape. Two years ago, we got a total of 4 feet of
snow in two seperate storms - I joked with my neighbor that I was now the
proud owner of two 1993 5.0 doorstops.
I know that when there's even 3" or more on the roads, I'm probably not
going anywhere. What I HATE is when it snows during the day and then I have
to try to drive home, sometimes before the snow plows come through. That's
always an adventure (mantra: don't stop... don't stop... never stop).
I remember those days. If you recall I grew up in Michigan, where
less than 4" didn't make news. Less than 4" was just brush-it-off-and-
go weather. Now to answer your question seriously, I'd go with the
Blizzaks tires, PLUS a few bags of kitty litter (for added weight over
the axle & traction if you get stuck) to put in the hatch.
Yes, there was a time when every driver had to deal with a rear-wheel-drive
vehicle in snow, many with manual transmissions. I lived in such times, and
I pride myself in being able to handle snow, generally.
The problem comes not when I'm out blowing around the snowdrifts and having
fun, but in rush hour traffic, in long lines of cars inching ahead, and
knowing that there's either a stop sign or a red light at the top of every
In fact, one of the scariest moments in TFrog came with less than 1/2" of
snow on a road that sloped off to the right. Every forward motion brought me
closer and closer to going off the road - I had no traction that would allow
me to steer back to the left. Only a passing garbage truck/plow made it
possible to get out of that situation. I was very close to having to arrange
And I would have been mortified.
I ran Blizzaks (and, later, Graspics) on my '98 manual GT with decent
(accident-free) results for its entire 12-year life. And I live in a
rather hilly town 20 miles north of Boston where it *does* snow. Some
added weight in the trunk also helps. My GT was my daily driver,
including years of commuting to work.
The downside was the need to change 4 tires twice a year, a multi-hour
procedure using the Mustang's jack on one tire at a time, even though I
did have the snows on a set of (ugly) steel wheels. I always got a rush
of happiness when I replaced the snows with the performance radials on
the (optional and snazzy) 17" wheels.
FWIW, my 12-year old GT was terminated by my 17-year old boy who failed
practical physics by expecting a slick street to have the same traction
as a dry street. So now he's taking AP Physics; go figure.
Semi-related note: my '98 GT was replaced by a '11 Fusion, with a real
backseat and without the clutch that my wife never mastered. While the
Fusion has zero excitement, everything works, and the fit and finish is
the equal of anything from Japan. Ford has paid serious attention to
quality, and it shows.