The concept of a winter beater was a foreign to me for a long time, because when I lived in places with harsh winter weather I already drove pretty crappy used cars. Then, before a particularly good winter in Vermont, I got a new Toyota Tacoma, and someone had the audacity to ask me if I was going to daily drive it through the winter.

Of course I was going to drive it all the damn time, a brand new truck, in the snow, what more could a you want?

Well, this person defended their question by laying out all the nasty effects the winter months can have on a vehicle, effects that I’d long been aware of, but never really given a second thought. The idea of a winter beater was planted, and ever since then I’ve enjoyed fantasizing about building the ultimate foul weather vehicle.

As I have lived in Southern California for the last 8 years, and will be here for the foreseeable future, I don’t have the need for a winter beater, although the pull for a second vehicle in very, very strong. When the time comes, I’ll likely make a triumphant return to the Subaru family with an H6 3.0 swapped into a bug eye Impreza wagon. 6 speed manual swap from an STi, Forester suspension for a slight lift, and BAM, winter BEATER.

Do you already have an awesome winter beater in your driveway? Share it, or if you dream of one like I do, feel free to share that too. I have to imagine at least one of you crazy bastards wants to do a lifted Miata.