CC Outtake: Oldsmobiles, Frostbite, and You


Greetings from Minnesnowta, where CC means ‘cold and more cold’. All the Curbside Classics which aren’t lucky enough to be stored for the winter are now having their mettle tested by the temperatures, and their metal tested by road salt.

Winter hit hard and fast this year. Just two days ago I was out taking Junkyard Outtake photos, with temps in the 40s and brown grass as far as the eye could see. Then yesterday, 12″ of snow fell. And today, the temps plummeted into the single digits. Nobody around here will need to dream of a white Christmas… it’s guaranteed.

With the treacherous weather conditions, my faux Touring Sedan (ever in a state of incomplete-ness on one thing or another) has spent most of the week relaxing on the slab outside the garage, while the 1-ton 4WD Suburban in the background got bumped up to temporary daily driver status. But now that the white stuff was no longer falling, the time had come to get things back to normal.


My trusty Farmall was in the shop for a clutch replacement, so I couldn’t just fire it up and move snow like I normally would. Instead, I called a buddy and hired him to plow the place out. He arrived in his 6-ton plow rig – an ex-military 6×6 with an articulating V-plow – and got to work. (Wish I’d thought to take a picture… it’s quite a machine!)

I asked him to clear the driveway and parking lot first. That would permit me to move all the cars/trucks/vans/trailers/sleds out there, so they wouldn’t be in the way while he plowed in front of the garage and cleared the backlot. A few vehicles complained a bit – one needed a jump; another, a shot of starting fluid. I even had to use the heat gun on the starter of one particularly stubborn car to get it cranking!

When the faux Touring Sedan’s number came up, I put the key in, turned – and it started just like any other day. (For all the love it’s received since arriving here, it seems only fitting for it to show some back!) But there was one difference…


I had always wondered what would appear on the display in below-zero ambient temperatures. Now I know.

Too bad I didn’t arrive with the camera sooner… had I been quicker, you would have been able to see the DIC reading negative numbers on the coolant temp display!