Oldsmobile Snowmobile

Stop sign in the snow

​Calm before the ice storm.

Amy’s first car was a 1985 Oldsmobile that would have been a better fit for the set of an old horror film than her family’s driveway. “It had this awful burgundy interior, the color of dried blood,” Amy said. Not to mention it was fully equipped with an oh-so-trendy bench seat in the front. 

“I absolutely hated my car. I was so embarrassed to be seen in it,” she said. Sure, Amy can look back and laugh now, but her inner high-schooler still cringes at the mere thought of that mechanical monster and the lengths she would go to avoid it.

“Whenever I had plans to hang out with friends, I would show up really early so I could hide my car, or I would come in late so no one would see it,” Amy laughed. “It was that bad.”

So when a rare snow storm swept through her hometown of Winston Salem, NC, replacing the mundanity of a normal day with mayhem, Amy’s first thought was her car. No weather pattern in the world could match her determination to preserve her reputation. 

“I left school before it was officially cancelled so I could sneak away,” she said.

She ran to her car and slipped into the driver’s seat undetected. Granted, she had never actually driven in the snow before, but she would have to brave the icy storm in order to escape the watchful eyes of her peers. 

As Amy left the parking lot, she knew she was home free — just one stop sign separating her from safety. 

She tapped the breaks, but the old car had no intentions of slowing down. The tires spun hopelessly over the pavement’s fresh layer of black ice as the car slid through the intersection and into a snow-covered ditch.

Amy was okay and, to her despair, so was the car. Although she was a bit rattled by the wreck, she quickly came to her senses — she was stuck just a few minutes from school and the bulky car was completely visible from the road. In fact, it was impossible to miss against the all-encompassing blanket of white powder. Desperate for help, Amy called her dad and begged him to meet her a mile away — school would be released soon and nearly every kid she knew would have to pass by this horrifying scene.

Only a few seconds later, the first car arrived. It was quickly followed by an endless parade of classmates waving at Amy and her now-infamous car as they drove by. About half of the school’s population had seen Amy’s Oldsmobile-turned-snowmobile when things got even worse — her dad showed up. Being stuck in the snow with her car was one thing, but her dad?! It was every teenager’s worst nightmare.

After a few spiteful words and some heavy lifting, Amy and her dad were able to get the vehicle back on the road. Amy drove away unharmed — although we can’t say the same for her ego. 

Luckily, she was able to put the past, and her car, behind her. “When I was leaving for college, my parents got me a new car. They didn’t want to put me on the highway in that thing,” she laughed.

Amy’s snowy slide wasn’t quite as painful as her public humiliation, but if you aren’t ready for winter weather, you might not be so lucky. If your old clunker can’t handle snowy roadways, it may be time to trade up. Take a look at the top five tips for buying a new car and our new car buying basics.

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