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.
1986-1995 Suzuki Samurai
Sure, it's small. Yes, it's prone to dangerous rollovers. And obviously, it makes you look like you're Ken on your way to Barbie's Dream Ski Chalet. But there is something irresistibly go-fuck-yourself about driving a wee cute-ute with a mountain-mounting, low range-equipped four-wheel-drive system. If this were a summer list, we'd recommend you buy one with the plastic convertible top, and we'd suggest that you peel it off and leave it off for good. Instead, you'll want the stylish hardtop. And with $15,000 or less, you can probably buy the best one extant on Earth.
Credit: Sermac.gr / Wikipedia