Winter is a time of great slumber for many North American car enthusiasts. While municipalities brine roads, beloved cars stay stashed in garages and driveways waiting for less corrosive times, and enthusiasts break out their winter beaters. The wealthiest thrill-seeking car enthusiasts near Switzerland take a slightly different approach – each February, they take their beloved machines and thrash them around a frozen lake as much as their meager frozen ground grip allows. This is The ICE in St. Moritz and it’s the coolest car show you’ve never heard of.
The ICE St. Moritz is a fairly new event dating back to just 2019, but it’s been years in the making. According to the organizers, inspiration came from a lap of the frozen St. Moritz lake by members of a vintage Bentley club in 1985. In theory, the lake is an ideal setting: Not only does the low-friction surface allow for spectacular fun, the lack of salt means the cars should be fine.
Compared to most concours events, The ICE St. Moritz feels entirely different. It’s part Goodwood and part Cold Balls, one of the few places in the world where you can see open-wheeled single seaters hanging it out in a frozen landscape. There’s a glorious incongruity to the whole thing that feeds our morbid curiosities. It’s an event that could be scored by Bach or Skrillex with equal plausibility, old money concepts with new money DGAF culture. So what if you might get frostbite, the vibes are just too impeccable to pass up. Where else can you spot a Cisitalia pursued by a snowmobile?
As anyone who’s tried to move a car on summer tires across ice, these machines are likely moving at less than 35 mph, but that doesn’t matter to a lens. Slow the shutter speed down, apply a zesty pan, and a reasonably skilled photographer can make these astounding machines look like they’re going a million.
Perhaps the most outstanding thing besides the setting is the variety of cars. In the below video of 2022’s event shot by YouTuber 19Bozzy92, I spotted the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS Porter Special, a Mercury Cougar XR7, a very sideways Ferrari 500, a 1979 Cadillac Seville Gucci Edition, the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta, a Fiat 500 Jolly, a Dakar-spec Rolls-Royce Corniche, and several vintage F1 cars all having a go on the ice.
It’s a gorgeous spectacle and one that hopefully points the way for the future of classic car events. Getting an up-close look at iconic machinery is cool, but there’s nothing like watching some of history’s most special cars do what they do best. The ICE St. Mortiz is even a dog-friendly event, and it’s hard to think of a better combination than cars and dogs. While the 2023 edition just wrapped up last week, set your calendars to 2024 if you want to experience one of the most unique events the car world has to offer.
(Photo credits: The ICE St. Moritz)
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I’d wager proper speed is involved, the vid shows most participants have fitted studded snows…purple Countach on studs, hell yes.
Yedac deez nuts
Holy crap, Cold Balls looks amazing, too. That’s a helluva collection of old VWs. Mine’d fit right in! (With bonus colder balls because, well, no heat.)
Firstly, that looks like an extremely beautiful town.
Secondly, why is this not a thing in every northern state that gets cold enough to make thick ice? It would certainly break up our long winters that seldom have much car related things going on.
As much as i would like to appreciate that, lets not forget those 0.1%ers are fucking the planet and us all with it.
Go dribble and drool over there. This is a car enthusiast site.
Is being a car enthusiast incompatible with stating that flying your cars all over the world, several times per year, is a stupid thing ?
Your mum is looking for you @ https://thedrive.com
Why would I want to be bored harder than your posts already bore me?
Wish you to get bored to death. Fast.
Well it is likely that as 0.1% era they have fucked over the planet getting those coins, but this is a joy to behold. The sounds and the the shapes of most of those cars are just WOW. For all that, I think I want the mini.
For true frozen lake driving entertainment, nothing beats a 2wd truck.
1 Find the lightest duty 2wd manual truck you can
2. Experience joy forever
That is some serious coin on the ice.
I remember reading about this in the past. It’s on my bucket list along with Goodwood (both events).
This also shows quite clearly that there are Autopians out there who don’t know they’re Autopians yet.
Billionaire activities i can get behind.
Cars are mean to be driven, regardless of price!
Why do you assume they’re going so slowly? On a frozen lake with a nice snow-pack & basically nothing to hit, you can get moving at a very quick clip. When driving in rally-X events on a frozen lake in a stock RX-8 or Saab 9-3 I’d regularly see 60+ MPH. Granted, that was with all-seasons and snow tires, but I doubt they’re all on summer tires either… one of the nice things about DGAF money as you put it.
Looks like it would be a great time.
Ice racing in mid-Michigan (DT should have come out when he had the chance! 😉 )
I’ve been to SNO*DRIFT twice!
Winter driving for me is usually more of an “I hafta” than an “I wanna,” but damn that looks like fun.
I love driving in the snow. I am kind of a dipshit in that way. Time to make the snownuts.