The longer-in-the-tooth among you might recall that article by Peter Orosz, in which he describes a night visit to fun driving roads in the hills around Budapest, in the winter, doing snow drifting. I know these roads well having driven them countless times in countless cars, in all sorts of weather. This is where the Drive homage with my MR2 was filmed for instance.
I also planned for the longest time to do this snow drifting there too, especially as one of the stretches isn't salted, because nature. It's just that I never had the proper tools for the job. I'm not cocksure enough to take expensive test-cars up there, and I never had an RWD car on my own before the MR2. That lovely piece of Japanese engineering was a good start, and on the few occasions I got the car and snow together, she worked well, but then I stopped using it in the winter because of the rust issue. So in actual fact, this winter beater idea was behind the whole 'buy a Peugeot 505' thing. It's light, it's worth less than most of the notebooks you read this on and it's RWD. I also got a factory LSD among the other bits and parts that came with the car, which was promising. However, it needed inspection and installment, while the other important parts of the car – brakes, engine, running gear – needed a good servicing, which I just didn't have the means to. Nevertheless, I got my shit together, and went out to the hills last year to at least try it, but the results were a bit underwhelming. I was out of depth as talent goes, and the shitty state the car was in didn't help either.
In 2013 I got around to have the needed repairs done to the 505 – completely new brakes and shocks all around, as well as some gearbox and clutch work means the car drives quite well now. (As an aside: these old Peugeot sedans, designed with third world roads in mind, really are indestructible, The car ran more than a year with no servicing and problems in all major components. No harm done at all.) The LSD got in the car too, so now all I needed was snow. I know you Americans would have been happy to send plenty, but it so happens, that here, the first proper snowfall of the season only occurred yesterday.
First thing first I visited a grassy – now of course snowed-in - airfield. It's used by hoons all the time, so there are tracks too drive there. And you know what?! The old Peugeot suspensions design works on these snowed-in tracks like a motherfucking champ. And this isn't a prepared rally fighter at all, this is the factory setup. I had the widest grin on all the time.
Then after nightfall, my wife told me we should head out to the hills. She never experienced anything such before, but I didn't know if it'll work either. So did it work? Oh you bet your sorry ass it did. Lots of oppo were had, switchback turns in drift all the way were had, and many small shrieks from my wife too, looking at the road, and the oncoming Armco through the side window. No SR20, because pitch black night, but I will take the guys out there one day, if we get the chance and film it later.
Snow, RWD, LSD = hoon.
Not even horsepower is needed, I got like 70 or maybe 80 max in there, and it still worked.
Also, the road was far from empty. There were trailers parked in the last village and the sweet smell of racing gas lingered in the night air, as more-or-less rally-prepped cars drove the stretch of road up and down. Not my pics (pitch black, rememeber), but I saw a nice Mazda 323 GTX
There was an older Legacy Turbo too, the one McRae rallied back in the day.
And of course the ubiquitous Impreza GT.
There was a nice looking Trueno too, but that didn't do much drifting, or maybe they were just finished by the time i got around.
TL:DR: a small patch of forest buzzing with all sorts of hoons, happy about the first snowfall around here, and me getting full on snowdrift in a banger old RWD Peugeot, after years of preparation. Lovely night.