While enduring the isolation of COVID 19 we found a bright spot coming into our future and it was perpetrated by Classic Motorsports magazine. Starting the Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend was this year’s Smoky Mountain Tour. We applied for the event and waited impatiently for the Sunday to arrive when we would drive our Mitsubishi Evolution MR SE the 200+ miles to the Brasstown Valley Resort where it would commence on Monday, May31. The resort was a picturesque place tucked into the northwest portion of Georgia not far from the North Carolina border.
It has its own golf course, riding stables and…
A co-sponsor fo the event was Hagerty, the specialty car insurance people. Their Territory Manager, Stephen Carey, was there and not only answered our questions on what Hagerty might do for us, but was a charming addition to the 50+ people on the tour.
Tim Suddard, the magazine’s publisher was participating in the tour as well as Nancy Gomes, who ensured that everything went as planned and when a plan “B” was required, it fell into place as naturally as if it had been plan “A”.
Chris Tropea was the official photographer of the event and we often came around a corner to see that he had us in his viewfinder. FB has a group for Classic Motorsports Road Tours that Chris is in charge of with hundreds of photos.
There were many different people that was part of the group and they also brought with them many different cars.
Ron and Jerri brought their Smart ForTwo Cabriolet that was surprisingly agile in the twisties!
Jim and Kathy had the 2007 Porsche 911, Andy and Pat had the 1969 Jaguar XKE FHC, Lony and Carla brought this Ferrari 328 GTS
Terry and Cathy brought this exceptional 1967 Porsche 912, one of the most well balanced Porsches ever
Next to the Mini Cooper is Steve and Debbiy’s 1989 Alfa Romeo Spider
Ed and Rosie brought this very capable 2004 Mustang SVT Cobra
Tony had his2009 Mini Cooper S JCW, Reg and Charlotte with their 2019 Porsche 911 Targa 4s, Tim and Teri had their 2019 Ferrari Portofino, and Tom and Tina with their 2002 Ford Thunderbird
Vince and Angela brought their awesome 2015 Porsche 911 GT3
Richard and Rosemary had this 2017 Ford Focus RS whose rally heritage was welcome
John and Lolly had this 2018 Porsche Macan GTS
Doug and Bea had their 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S
Dwayne and Brenda 2017 Mercedes AMG C63 S was another power house car.
David and Marilyn had this 2019 Morgan Roadster
Mike and Lucy brought a gorgeous 1966 chocolate brown 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL that I failed to photograph! Trust me, it was beautiful.
Hopefully I haven’t left anyone out, but there was quite a group of drivers, co-drivers, and their cars.
Our first day of road tour adventure was to drive to Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, GA. To get there we had a route book which provided us a navigation rally experience as we followed the directions and enjoyed the twisty road that we traversed. The Atlanta Motorsports Park is quite the place and we were able to do some parade laps on their highly technical two-mile road course that was designed by F1 architect Hermann Tilke. It reminded me of the squirrely roads I drove growing up on old Cape Cod. It was fun and I just wished that I could return some day with racing gear on.
Here is a drifting track where we were entertained by the tire smoke and the noise.
We then left the AMP facility and headed for Helen, GA, for a German restaurant and lunch. Wow.
After that we headed for a picturesque place called Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia, at 4,784 feet.
Spectacular views that this photo does not due justice to.
Then there were more twisty roads to return us to the resort and our dinner at nearby Crane Creek Vineyards before crashing (in our beds) for the night.
Day two was following our route book to the famous Tail of the Dragon. Famed for 318 turns in an 11 mile stretch of route 129 that crosses Tennessee and North Carolina.
Lunch was held at the Historic Tapoco Lodge which was alongside the Cheoah River. The food was great as were the sights. Then it was a little less than a hundred miles of more twisites that returned us to the resort. We were rewarded by another fantastic dinner.
Day three had us navigating over 100 miles of wonderful roads with some very challenging. We had a great lunch at a sandwich shop just next to the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC.
What an amazing place! While primarily a motorcycle museum it was nonetheless fascinating to us four wheelers. The host knew and could share so much with us about so many facets of motorcycle history in the US>
It was nearly 130 miles of more fun roads to drive and we returned to the resort and we found our own favorite eating place of which there were plenty in the area.
We woke up Thursday to our final day of the tour and after a fine breakfast at the resort we navigated our way to the Miles Through Time Museum in Clarkesville, GA.
It is a co-op museum which means that the exhibits rotate through with many different owners of the cars and memorabilia.
From there we were off on several more miles of twisty roads until we reached the Wolf Mountain Winery. This was not just a lunch stop, we also received a personal tour presented by the owner of the winery of some of his fantastic Porsche collection.
What a special place and we had plenty to talk about during lunch!
We then headed off to return to the resort with a final 70 miles or so of our now familiar twisty roads.
That night we had our fare well dinner where we thanked our hosts and reveled in our new found friendships!
When we awoke the next day there was a mix of feelings as, after breakfast, we gathered our bags and prepared for the road trip back home.
Many great memories…
We can always sign up for next year’s road tour!