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8 Retro 4WD cars to get you around this winter

Sometimes, old-fashioned simplicity is the way to go.

40w ago

16.7K

Alright sure, it won't snow in every country. I've come to accept that at least in my area of residence, the white stuff very rarely makes an appearance.

But as it does snow a heck of a lot in other places in which you might be reading this from, let's delve into some retro 4WD (4-wheel-drive) cars that can attack harsh conditions like second nature.

Alfa Romeo 164 Q4

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

What's better than an Alfa with a 3.0 litre Busso V6? One with the ability to tackle slippery conditions, of course!

Alfa had been playing around with 4WD systems at the time with the 33 and the 155, but the 164 with its rakish good looks and lovely engine was the coolest application.

It's just a shame that the bodywork couldn't survive the harsh conditions...

AMC Eagle

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

If a regular SUV seemed too large and uncecessary for you in the 80s, AMC offered what was regarded by many, as one of the original 'crossover' cars.

The Eagle would effortlessly tackle terrain which would normally halt a normal family saloon/estate. Journalists of the time said it behaved like a mountain goat once the going got tough.

Its legacy went on for other manufacturers to follow suit; cars like the Subaru Legacy Outback and Audi's all-road stuff can pay their thanks to the Eagle.

Audi 200 Quattro

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

Audi's legacy in rallying had earned them a title as a leader in 4WD expertise. So, surely having a family estate with the spirit of the Quattro rally car must've been a cool inducement at the time?

With 5-cylinder engines available and the ability to make mince meat of BMWs, the big Audi is a highly-coveted modern classic you can use every day, no matter the weather. It could be the perfect car for a blizzard, if anything.

Fiat Panda 4x4

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

If you ever needed to tackle rough terrain, yet didn't need anything large, the humble Panda 4x4 was for you. It was a renowned success amongst Europeans who lived high up in the mountains and needed something light and capable to get around.

With simple mechanics which could be repaired with a shoestring and a 4WD system which could embarrass some larger cars, the Panda 4x4 was a great tool.

Porsche 964 Carrera 4

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

Porsche had already broken the mould with 4WD performance cars with the monstrous 959 in 1986. It wasn't long therefore, until Porsche offered 4WD on the iconic 911 in 1989 with the new 964 generation.

It was often a bit of a risk for the average buyer when combining harsh road conditions and a rear-drive, rear-engined sports car, but the Carrera 4 made things easier for them. Handy for the winter!

Jeep Wagoneer

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

The traditional rudimentary off-road car had existed for some time since the end of the second world war, but nobody had thought about combining that and an air of comfort and sophistication.

That's where the Wagoneer comes in was introduced in 1963 and was made way up until the early 90s. It was a design classic which not only combined capability and comfort, but also paved the way for every luxury SUV that came afterwards.

Mercedes G-Wagon

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

Built for the Austrian army, the Gelandewagen was Merc's ultra tough, ultra capable off-roader which never took no for an answer. Throw anything at this Benz and it'll respond as if the dirtiest, sandiest or even snowiest terrain was normal.

Over the years, it used anything from 4-cylinder engines to big V8s. It remains a standout car in the Mercedes line-up to this day and possibly one of the best they've ever produced.

Need to get around the Alps this winter? The G-Wagon is perfect for that!

Range Rover

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Image credit: Favcars.com

The big Rangie is one of those cars which was just designed for success. Alright, the build quality wasn't quite on point (it was Britain in the 70s after all...), but the thinking behind it was nothing short of genius.

Charles Spencer King had a great backlog of experience from Rolls Royce and Triumph and naturally applied his intelligence to the Range Rover.

Despite its ease of use compared to existing Land Rovers, it tackled anything effortlessly and could usually be found in the most hostile of terrain, should the owner desire. Though, this isn't quite what happened in most cases.

Still, at least you'll have the confidence it'll get through snow without fail.

Thanks for reading

Image credit: Favcars.com

Image credit: Favcars.com

So, there we are. If winter is harsh wherever you are and you don't want a flash, modern car to get you through it, then any of these will do the job perfectly, should they be needed.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and feel free to throw in any more cool, old 4WD weapons in the comments.

Thanks.

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Comments (28)

  • No mention of the rather agricultural, but brilliant FJ45 Landcruiser. Or the mighty, “unbreakable” Hilux? How about the Suzuki Sierra, or Jimny as the younger folk know it? If other “rugged, agricultural” machines like the 4x4 Panda or Merc G-wagon deserve a spot on this list then so do they. As the inhabitants of any military junta will tell you, Toyota make the best 4x4’s.

      9 months ago
    • All great suggestions there, and I agree with you. But I kinda wanted a nice variety on the list and not overcrowd it too much, if that makes sense.

        9 months ago
  • All nice, Alfa especially. But how can this list go without Subarus?

    My call would be 90s Grand Cherokee 5.9 V8... comfy chairs, ridiculous roaring V8 and simple and cheap to buy and repair. if you overdone it in having fun in the snow.

      9 months ago
  • Brilliant list id have a jeep cherokee xj

      9 months ago
  • I'll go with the Nissan Terrano I

      9 months ago
  • You forgot to mention the best of them all...E30 325IX

      9 months ago
    • Those are great things for sure. Just a shame they rarely pop up for sale where I'm at...

        9 months ago
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