2006 Tail of The Dragon

ColumbusIS

Active Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
124
Location
CBus, Ohio, USA
Car(s)
'03 Lexus IS300 SportDesign, Not Stock :)
Hey all,

Every year myself and several others head over to the Tennesee/North Carolina border to drive a stretch of US129 called "The Tail of The Dragon" With all due respect to Clarkson and his rant about "No American who designed that chassis has no clue that a road like this even exists" , He hasn't driven the Dragon. 318 turns in an 11 mile span. Switchbacks and esses so tight you can see who's behind you in your side mirrors :)

Pre-Trip prep:

My Car:


My buddys Boosted IS:



On the road:





On the Dragon:




Tree of Shame at Deals Gap Cycle Shop/Motel:




Fontana Dam:





Scenic Backdrop:






At the hotel/lodge:





All in all a fun trip and one I would suggest you make if you like challenging roads. Hopefully I'll have some video soon as well. For more info visit www.tailofthedragon.com and www.dealsgap.com.
 

Jay

the fool on the hill
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
11,280
Location
Aurora, IL
I hate you. :p

This early fall I am hoping to out there and also drive on the Blue Ridge trail.

Also, if you want a REAL challenge, go to Arizona and drive US 191 outside of Alpine, AKA "The Devils Highway".
 

No Boss

Neener, neener, I banned your title!
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
6,889
Location
Wherever the Coast Guard sends me.
Car(s)
'07 Volvo XC70 Polestar, '01 Miata SE
jayhawk said:
I hate you. :p

This early fall I am hoping to out there and also drive on the Blue Ridge trail.
Imagine taking one of those Exige S's like the one in your sig up there???

:shock:
 

GraemeH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
2,976
Location
Scotland, UK
Car(s)
Toyota Corolla, Lexus IS200, BMW E39 5 Series.
That works out at a turn every 50 meters average. That's not really that spectacular. It's a lot but i couldn't drive in one direction for more than 10 minutes here without finding a road with that sort of corner-age, and some pretty ball-wrenching vertical action, too.
 

Labcoatguy

Forum Addict
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
13,862
Location
Boston, MA, USA
Car(s)
#Jaguar #XKR, #Saab #9-3, #Toyota #MR2 #Spyder
A professional photographer whose specialty is the dragon sets up shop at killboy.com, where you can see highlights of the meets and runs held there. I drove it for the first time in my MR2, maintaining a minimum speed of 30; there were a few cops coming from the opposite direction, but so long as one doesn't do something obviously stupid (drifting, crossing the center line), they are fine with you; I doubt their radar would work well on the twisties anyway. Highlights of my Dragon outing (11/29/05 or so) included an RX-8 coming the opposite direction on my very first corner (damn, it howls like a beast at WOT) and watching an Evo come down the mountain with its brakes on fire.

And GraemeH, this road does have a LOT of vertical action, what with it crossing a continental divide, so it probably compares pretty well with what you have on the other side of the pond. These aren't ordinary turns either, usually at least 90 degrees and blind around a mountainside, or a hairpin switchback. It would be interesting to compare maps of UK/European twisties vs. the Dragon and its American bretheren, though; are there any legendary European driving roads with online maps, like the Dragon?
 

GraemeH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
2,976
Location
Scotland, UK
Car(s)
Toyota Corolla, Lexus IS200, BMW E39 5 Series.
Are there any in-car videos of people driving it? I haven't seen it and it's hard to get an idea of the challenge from still shots :)
 

ishigakisensei

Active Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
343
Location
Japan-TN
No Boss said:
I've heard so much about the Dragon, A lot of Mini guys love it.
It is a sport bike lovers paradise. Middle & East Tennessee are so ful of corkscrew roads, it's amazing. Clarkson has no idea these places exist because these roads are not race tracks and they don't get a lot (any?) international coverage. In fact, all of Tennessee is a motor enthusiast's heaven - very little emissions laws and lax enforcement of registration laws (more than 3 GTRs are state registered though not fully US legal...no one cares though).

http://www.tailofthedragon.com/ at Deals Gap. I've always wanted to see an Isle of Man TT style race there....but I know it'll never happen.

http://www.dealsgap.com/

http://www.lexusdragon.com/

http://www.dealsgapforum.com/

-----

Tail of the Dragon videos:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Tail+of+the+Dragon
 

Peter3hg

Forum Addict
Joined
May 3, 2006
Messages
5,949
Location
Manchester, UK
Car(s)
Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Honda Hornet CB600S
You call that a road. A proper twisty road should only be single track. Within a 10 minute drive from my house you are in the Peak District with amazing roads.
 

BlaRo

Little Nudger
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
18,178
Location
Brooklyn
Car(s)
Moto Guzzi V7 Special, Saab 900 Turbo
peter3hg2 said:
You call that a road. A proper twisty road should only be single track. Within a 10 minute drive from my house you are in the Peak District with amazing roads.
All littered with speed cameras undoubtedly. Oh wait, I'm an ignorant American. ;)
 

ColumbusIS

Active Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
124
Location
CBus, Ohio, USA
Car(s)
'03 Lexus IS300 SportDesign, Not Stock :)
I'm sure there are great driving roads almost everywhere in the world. My post was not to insinuate that this was the best or most challenging drivers road ever. If you have links to other roads of interest please post up. I'd be interested in seeing links to this "Peak District" and "The Devil's Highway". If this becomes a "my road is better/tougher/more twisty/ than your road" bash fest, I'll just ask Viper to delete the thread.

Hey No Boss .. thanks for the welcome and the props. :thumbsup:
 

No Boss

Neener, neener, I banned your title!
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
6,889
Location
Wherever the Coast Guard sends me.
Car(s)
'07 Volvo XC70 Polestar, '01 Miata SE
BlaRo said:
peter3hg2 said:
You call that a road. A proper twisty road should only be single track. Within a 10 minute drive from my house you are in the Peak District with amazing roads.
All littered with speed cameras undoubtedly. Oh wait, I'm an ignorant American. ;)
Ugh... God Damnit Blaro. :x

Actually, that was pretty funny. :lol: :lol: You know I got your back.

ColumbusIS said:
Hey No Boss .. thanks for the welcome and the props. :thumbsup:"
No problem. How do you like your car? Is it an Auto or one of those rare 5-spd's? I was looking at picking on up a long time ago but I just couldn't get passed the fact how underpowered it was (in comparison to other cars in it's price range.) But, I still think it is a great looking Lexus inside and out.
 

GraemeH

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
2,976
Location
Scotland, UK
Car(s)
Toyota Corolla, Lexus IS200, BMW E39 5 Series.
ColumbusIS said:
I'm sure there are great driving roads almost everywhere in the world. My post was not to insinuate that this was the best or most challenging drivers road ever. If you have links to other roads of interest please post up. I'd be interested in seeing links to this "Peak District" and "The Devil's Highway". If this becomes a "my road is better/tougher/more twisty/ than your road" bash fest, I'll just ask Viper to delete the thread.

Hey No Boss .. thanks for the welcome and the props. :thumbsup:
My road can beat up your road!

Nah really though, that's not what my post meant. Are there any videos about onboard cars driving this? I'll try to grab some video of some of the roads we tune our suspension on around here whenever we're next out, as long as you don't get motion sick =)
 

thedguy

rides with Rebecca Black.. in the back
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
9,006
Location
Orange California
Car(s)
(OO=[][]=OO)
With all the hype around that road, I know I'll be disappointed when I get the chance to drive it.

From what I hear, the road has no place for cops to hide, making it a great place to fuck around when the out of towners aren't running around.

Many places in the states have some wonderful roads (outside LA has some EXCELLENT places to drive) and yet this country produces some of the worst handling cars. I just don't get it.
 

BlaRo

Little Nudger
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
18,178
Location
Brooklyn
Car(s)
Moto Guzzi V7 Special, Saab 900 Turbo
thedguy said:
Many places in the states have some wonderful roads (outside LA has some EXCELLENT places to drive) and yet this country produces some of the worst handling cars. I just don't get it.
LA Crest Highway 2, I presume? I went on that (in a rental Focus, but bear with me), and it was amazing. Good roads in America are few and far between, though, and even that road was filled with commuters and the occasional work van (though I did see two red Dodge Viper coupes, a few EVOs, and a ton of bikes including one that got pulled over :lol:).

And No Boss, we're a tag team duo!

:cheers:
 

ColumbusIS

Active Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
124
Location
CBus, Ohio, USA
Car(s)
'03 Lexus IS300 SportDesign, Not Stock :)
No Boss said:
No problem. How do you like your car? Is it an Auto or one of those rare 5-spd's? I was looking at picking on up a long time ago but I just couldn't get passed the fact how underpowered it was (in comparison to other cars in it's price range.) But, I still think it is a great looking Lexus inside and out.
Mine's a 5 spd. I love the car. It takes to modification so well. Plus it shares the same basic 2JZ engine setup as the legendary 2JZ-GTE motor in the twin turbo supra. So it takes to boost fairly well. Here are the mods I've done so far :

B&M short throw shifter
Pro Lex Performance intake and filter
Pro Lex Performance Front Strut Tower Brace
Hotchkis Spring and Sways
At Italia Alp 18x8 with Goodyear DS3 F1's 245/35 rear 225/40 up front
Goodridge Stainless Brakelines
ATE Super Blue fluid
Hawk HPS pads
SP Enginering Slotted and cross-drilled rotors.

Boost might be in the future, but you need at least $10K USD to start playing that game so it might be a while.

GraemeH said:
Nah really though, that's not what my post meant. Are there any videos about onboard cars driving this? I'll try to grab some video of some of the roads we tune our suspension on around here whenever we're next out, as long as you don't get motion sick =)
I'll look around for some vids already online. I have a bunch from last year I'll see if I can upload somewhere. Vids from this year are still compiling. In the mean time ... here's a map:

 

ishigakisensei

Active Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
343
Location
Japan-TN
I guess that I'm the only resident Tennessean on here and I can say for a fact that sport bike riders from all over the US go to Deal's Gap just to ride the Dragon. Is it the best driving road in the world? I cannot say that. However, I will say that it is the best motorcycle road in the US, bar none.

If it were not, riders would not flock to it all year long.
 
Top