Tag Archives: exotic

Driving in the snow – It’s not just for 4x4s and AWD

Driving in the snow, it’s that time of the year again. A time when large amounts of snow fall from the sky bring visions of impending doom and end of the world scenarios. These situations are so cataclysmic, only toilet paper, milk, and bread can save your life. Yes, its winter and life may call upon you to drive during its duration. Or, you can just sit it out at home, which is fine as well.

BMW i8 winter driving
BMW i8

If you do venture out, all is not lost. Mankind has found within itself the ability to evolve. Over time we have adapted to, and overcome, many dire events and situations. This shall be no different. So read along and perhaps you too can survive the winter driving months. Before you know it, it will be time to complain about how it’s too hot.

Ferrari 458 Spider pausing for a photo-op GTspirit
Ferrari 458 Spider pausing for a photo-op GTspirit

Firstly, let’s all try to realize that when it starts to snow, slowing down can be a very good thing. You don’t have to stop, mind you, or creep along at a speed that would make a Hoveround suddenly a competitive sports car. Just drive with some caution and anticipation of what driving inputs might be required of you. No point in standing on the go fast peddle, or the brakes, when road conditions are slick. As with most things in life, use moderation.

Maserati Ghibli Q4 getting along just fine driving in the snow - by Motoroids
Maserati Ghibli Q4 getting along just fine – by Motoroids

Gently make requests of the accelerator and gas to increase or decrease speed. You’ll get there and very likely without hitting another car, curb, trash can, small rodent, or even a building. When possible, and if it’s safe to do so, use the old rolling stop to avoid situations where it might be difficult to get underway again. This is very true of hills. Stopping on a hill makes it very difficult to get rolling again when the roads are snow covered. Oh yes, and for the love of all that is holy, allow some space between you and others. Don’t run up and sniff the tailpipe of the driver in front of you. It will likely end badly. Try to stay about 8 seconds behind the vehicle you are following. Doing so will allow you time to adjust as needed.

Vintage Porsche 911 Carrera RS - by flatsixes driving in the snow
Vintage Porsche 911 Carrera RS – by flatsixes

Getting the proper shoes for your vehicle can also make all the difference in the world! Quite a few all-season tires just don’t cut it. You need to be mindful of the average conditions where you live and buy accordingly. A good snow tire is always best. If you’re going to throw caution to the wind and just hope for the best, do the rest of us a favor and at least make sure you have SOME tread on your car. Nothing less than 6/32 of an inch should be on your vehicle. All too often people wait until that first real snowfall to make changes in their tires. At that point, it could be too late and you might make others suffers the consequences of your life choices.

Lamborghini in the elements - by supercar kids driving in the snow
Lamborghini in the elements – by supercar kids

Lastly, you’ll find that a number of winter driving schools are available all across the nation through many different organizations. They are offered at a variety of locations from tracks to open lots and can be very helpful for every level of experienced driver. Check them out and sign up.

At the end of the day, it’s not so much what you’re driving, but how you’re driving it and how you’ve prepared yourself for the situation. I’ve seen very high end sports cars navigate the winter roads just fine and that includes cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini. Several of my friends, in fact, use their Porsches year round because they can and they do it like champs!

Ferrari 430 Scuderia Photo Shoot

A few months back I was shooting a track day at the newly improved Pitt Race in Beaver Pennsylvania. While there, I struck up a conversation with the owner of a beautiful Ferrari 430 Scuderia. He was running the car just the way it had been intended and was very open to taking the car to a variety of places you normally wouldn’t want to for a shoot. We scheduled some days and set to capturing his car in some rather unique settings outside just the track. Though the track was much fun.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia on track.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia on track.

We headed into town a few days later after I had found some great back alleys and a bit of urban decay. The settings were wonderful and for the first time, I was not running about, removing trash and other items from the foreground and background. This was one time I wanted all the crap in the shot. Well except for the smell. The first location did have an occasional odor that was less than pleasant depending upon the breeze. Thankfully, cameras don’t capture that element, yet. I’m sure at some point in time it will be someones brilliant idea to have a scented spray emanate from your monitor and assault your senses with a smell that correlates to the image you just looked at. That could be good and very very bad.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia lurking in a back alley.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia lurking in a back alley.

Back on topic, we got some great shots in with perfect light and gradually moved our way up and down the truncated and rather narrow alley. It really is a great spot, but man is it tight. We had to remove the car completely to get turned around for different angles. Still worth the work. The car looked stunning here.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia looking down the alley.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia looking down the alley.

Next stop, mostly unused railroad tracks and rusted structures. Oh, and piles of huge tires. Must have huge tires.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia under the tracks.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia under the tracks.

This was one spot that the car managed to attract much attention from people in traffic as well as in the surrounding buildings. It’s nice to be noticed and it’s rather hard no to be in a brilliant red Ferrari. One gent driving by was even nice enough to display his sense of humor by acting as though he was going to crash into the car. Sooooo unbelievably hilarious. We never laughed so hard as he jerked the wheel toward the Ferrari and then back at the last second while flashing the international symbol for, just kidding. What a funny moment.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia rear deck.
Ferrari 430 Scuderia rear deck.

With that behind us, we did a bit of off-roading which you can see in the gallery posted here. We then moved into town and finished the shoot in the plaza of PPG. A most spectacular setting to end the shoot if I do say so myself. Wonderful reflections and architectural elements surrounded us. As did the police, but they came with the property and we had permission to shoot that day.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia PPG Plaza
Ferrari 430 Scuderia PPG Plaza

Next up, a very energetic BMW M3.