Still ticking the miles on nicely.
So er, despite finding out this was spectacularly clean underneath for it’s age and mileage in this country, I did buy it to use as a daily and another salt filled winter is upon us. I would take a picture of it as it stands currently but no because it is extra thick of the salty badness and I would feel bad.
We had a relatively bad (for here) cold snap the other week. This snow here on the bonnet survived for over 2 days about 150 miles without melting.
Nothing drastic but still, worse/colder earlier than usual for here for the last few years.
I had planned to get rid of the 10 year old Michelin Energys before we got any bad weather and was originally looking at Nokians, but managed to get a super cheap deal on a set of Michelin CrossClimates. These seem to get universally excellent reviews everywhere so I was quite pleased to get them for only £34 a corner, but my plans were scuppered by a delay at the Michelin depot and they were delayed for just over a week. Of course in that week, we had our first measurable November snowfall for years.
Up to this point, I thought the old Michelin energy tyres that were fitted were crap and at their worst in sub zero, wet conditions.
I was wrong.
By this point in the day, the snow had had a chance to melt and the compacted slush had refrozen as solid ice. For some reason these main roads coming into town had no salt on them and I don’t think I’ve ever been as greatful for being in an older, lightish car. Getting this thing stopped and turned with those cacky old tyres in these conditions was pure luck more than anything else. Just round the corner a 2017 A4 quattro was abandoned on a slight incline because it wouldn’t move. The road looked clearer than this but was still sheet ice. I was glad to get back into the sidestreets where the snow was still thick as I had some moderate grip.
Fortunately the next week, Michelin had sorted their delays and I acquired some meatier tyres.
While I realise a lot of the other tyre’s downsides were probably due to their age, these things are night and day in comparison. They’re all seasons rather than dedicated winters and are based on Michelin’s summer tyre, rather than a winter tyre that sort of works in summer. We had some snow again shortly after I got these on, and the verdict so far: Absolutely class. Snow grip is as good as any winter tyre I’ve experienced, and ice performance is outstanding as well, you actually feel like you can retain control of the car. Cold wet conditions don’t phase them at all and they stick like glue in the dry, and I’ve had no noticeable change in fuel economy use. I’m by no means Michelin’s biggest fan and think their other tyres I’ve had are pretty poor, but these things absolutely deserve all the praise they get.
Current plans for this atm are to carry on with daily duties. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’m considering selling the 2CV and having this “restored” instead, wheels and bodywork etc. This is nearly old enough to get into classic shows now and is more where my interests lie. I might also be eyeing up importing something else to use as a daily. I know I know, it’s just an old Corolla and that but there are less than 200 of these on the road now, at the rate they’re going they will all be gone in 3-4 years time.