Winter is rapidly approaching. And where we live that means, as it does in many other parts of the country, freezing cold weather, filthy slush pools, snowy drifts, and layers of cumbersome and unattractive outerwear. But there is a relatively affordable way to counteract all aspects of this cruelest season: Buy yourself a vintage four-wheel-drive vehicle. Not only will it protect you from the elements, keep you warm, and get you through the worst of the weather (particularly if you shod it with snow tires and take a winter driving class), it will also make you look incredibly stylish and knowledgeable.
Click through the slideshow to see our dozen top picks. Decent examples of every one of them can be had for under $15,000 – less than the cost of the cheapest new car.
1968-1975 Chevrolet Blazer K5
The Blazer K5 was built to compete with similar vehicles like the Ford Bronco and International Scout. And while those trucks are also cool, we like the Chevy's wider and more menacing stance. Though the Blazer was produced with a removable fiberglass top until the mid-1990s, the early '68–'75 versions, where the whole roof comes off, not just the section behind the driver, are the ones you want. A convertible four-wheel-drive pickup with usable rear seats and an 8-track player? This might just become your only car.