Street Parked: Snow Driving Straight Sixes

Seattle’s hills and mild climate make for treacherous snow driving as our snow melts and refreezes our streets into curling sheets just waiting to send bendy buses jack-knifing into phone poles.

During our most recent icepocalypse I enjoyed a stroll through my neighborhood and found today’s two inline six powered cars parked less than a block from each other. One is a historic icon of motoring, and the other is a JDM Skyline GT-R.
It's a Signet, that's good right?GT over R equals awesome.


This Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R materialized with the snow just around the corner from my house. As the snow has melted the Skyline has disappeared back to its Canadian home.How many times have we raced these in Gran Turismo? The R32 Skyline GT-R was made from 1989 to 1994 and came with a 2.6 liter inline six powering the rear or all wheels. Nissan conservatively rated the engine, the legendary RB26DETT, at 280hp; the performance figures offered by the car put the true power rating at over 300hp. This particular GT-R looks like it sees regular winter service as it has a set of winter tires mounted on old 300ZX wheels.

The lucky Canukistanis get to have cool Japanese cars before we do thanks to more relaxed Canadian import rules (while we have to wait for the car to be 25 years old, they only need to wait until it’s 15).

I have a warm feeling for the Skyline GT-R, mostly because I had so much fun playing with them on Gran Turismo, where you can turbocharge the stuffing out of them to the tune of 1000hp.

Valiant snow driver.
The 1967 Plymouth Valiant has a long history of reliable motoring thanks to its frill-free feature set and legendarily long lived Slant Six engine.
See those tracks?  This car went to work in the snowmageddon.
As I was taking pictures of this car, the owner came out of his house and chatted for a few minutes. He also has a 1964 Dart he’s working on in his carport – it’s off limits for Street Parked photography as it’s not visible from the street (and it’s hidden by a massive 1950s dump truck).

I learned that this Valiant is daily driven across Lake Washington whether faced with rain, snow or sunshine, and has been as reliable as a hammer for the past several years.
Why can't we get vent windows on new cars?
The Valiant was an economy car in its time, however with its bench seats it could seat 6 people. This car is the slightly upscale Signet edition which gives it some extra brightwork and a bit nicer interior compared to the proletarian 100 model.

The Valiant and its Dodge stablemate the Dart were available with optional muscle-car grade V8 engines and manual transmissions. This car has the more typical and humble slant six with either 115hp or 145hp and will probably be ready for daily use for the next couple of decades.
Stylish full wheel covers, no dog dishes here.

For more Street Parked goodness click here

5 thoughts on “Street Parked: Snow Driving Straight Sixes

  1. Pingback: Street Parked: The Index Page | |StartingGrid.org|

  2. i have yet to see an AZ1 (i would love one too haha) but i have seen a fair many Beat’s and Capucino’s.

    some other popular oddballs are Kei-trucks, nissan pao, the S-cargo…

    the other typical imports are 180sx, soarer, FD, very few FC’s now. i had one of less than half a dozen i was aware of in the greater vancouver area.

    i think this summer maybe i’ll try to document all the weird jdm cars i come across.

  3. unfortunately, along with our more lax import laws goes a sort of “dime a dozen” reaction to things like the skylines and the earlier gen Evolutions..

    i’ve never been a fan of the R33 (don’t like the body styling so much), but even the R32 has lost it’s luster over the years..

    i still like the rx7’s as there are few enough left as it is. be it FC or FD.

    i got pulled over once in my JDM FC down in cali. the officer asked if all cars in canada were like that … i didn’t know what to say haha…

    • Popular things like Evos and Skylines might get desensitized from familiarity, but what about things like the Autozam AZ-1 or 20B Cosmo? I’d have a hard time not importing an AZ-1, if I lived in Canada. I wonder if my curling broom would fit in it?

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