It isn't always easy to keep one's prized automobiles in pristine condition when you live in a climate that leaves the ground coated with snow and slush and ice for up to 4 months out of the year (say, December to March usually). Not only is the car subject to rocks and road salt leading to corrosion, but it's also at the mercy of less-than-proficient drivers who sometimes forget that winter means having to equip their cars with snow tires! The combination of these rough elements gives rise to a new breed of transportation, the Winter Beater.
The Winter Beater usually consists of a rusting old remnant of a vehicle with the sole purpose of existence being to tough out the winter in order to be able to enjoy one's pride-and-joy come Spring and Summer. There are some exceptions to the above generalization... but we'll get into that shortly.