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Yesterday, I took my R/T for a run on the Tail of the Dragon. For those not familiar with that road, it’s section of US 129 at the North Carolina/Tennessee border that has 318 curves in an 11-mile stretch. It’s a weekend favorite of sports car owners and motorcyclists.

I was lucky to hit it at the right time. There was no one in front of or behind me when I went through so I was able to play without being slowed by some lumbering RV or bubba-sized pickup truck that had to tiptoe around each curve. I took full advantage of the situation.

As I was exiting at the north end on my first pass through, I came upon a group of motorcycles and modified Japanese cars that had pulled off on either side of the road at a scenic overlook. As I approached them I noticed one of the guys standing there started snapping pictures. He continued taking pictures as I drove past.

I went up a little way, stopped at the edge of the lake there to stretch a bit and turned around for a second pass. At the southern end, I pulled into a small store’s parking lot. The same group was there milling around and talking, taking up most of the parking lot. I parked at the far end only to discover the store was closed. As I was walking back to my car, one of them ran toward me and said “I got some pictures of your car!”

He showed me the shots he’d made as I went past them. My Hemi Orange R/T stood out against the background of their somewhat dull-colored Acuras and RX-8s and Subarus. He asked me if I had made any modifications to my car, or if it was stock. I replied, “it’s box-stock.”

He looked surprised and said “it sure does corner flat!” Then he added “and it sure sounds good.” We chatted a bit about the Challenger and he asked me how I liked it. I told him I liked it a lot and that it was a good combination of speed, handling and comfort. Then I added that I’d owned a Corvette and the Challenger didn’t handle quite as well as the ‘Vette did but it had a lot more room and was a lot more comfortable.

His response? “F**k the Corvette - this thing’s hot!” Then he rejoined his group and I went on my way. I only wish I’d given him my email address and asked him to send me copies of the pictures he made.

Who knows – maybe I made a convert yesterday.

Here are a few action shots, taken by the pros who set up along the Tail of the Dragon.
 

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Yea, I love that place. I've rode Harleys there for years until I quit riding a couple of years ago now we take the Challenger a couple of times a year.
 

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Nice shots I have been researching this for awhile and looking forward to running the dragon this summer. Would be nice for the local guys to put together a little function I'd love to tag along.

Thanks for sharing :)
 

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Its a cool place within an hour you can do some great white water rafting to its called the Nanahala Gorge check it out!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm glad to read your report. I thought Challenger would have been too lumbering for the tail
Once I got used to the understeer it was fine. In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I have to admit that I did slide it off the road in one sharp curve. Thankfully I escaped with nothing worse than a dirty tire, a scratched wheel and a bruised ego.
 

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Sweet. Those are some great pics.

"Bone stock".....................nothing wrong with that!
 

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Nice shots I have been researching this for awhile and looking forward to running the dragon this summer. Would be nice for the local guys to put together a little function I'd love to tag along.

Thanks for sharing :)
Agreed. I only live about an hour away and would love to do this some time. It's somewhat close to Gatlinburg, so I was hoping they might do that during the June meet.
 

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I love the dragon. Used too go in my mini s a while back for those that love road course and going through the twisties this is the perfect place for it granted the speed limit used too be 55 and now has dropped down to 30 you can still enjoy the thrill of putting the challengers suspension to the test. Great shots too thanks for sharing :bigthumb:
 

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I love the dragon. Used too go in my mini s a while back for those that love road course and going through the twisties this is the perfect place for it granted the speed limit used too be 55 and now has dropped down to 30 you can still enjoy the thrill of putting the challengers suspension to the test. Great shots too thanks for sharing :bigthumb:
I'm an ER doc at Swain County Emergency Room and get virtually everyone NOT too seriously hurt of the Dragon all year long. The really bad one go by helicopter straight to UofT or Asheville, NC. Although the number of wrecks has dropped a little, there are still too many. The only saving grace is the popularity of the Dragon. In the summer months there are usually so many vehicles on the Dragon there's simply no room to accumulate enough speed to do something REALLY stupid.

The worst is the photographers along the road. They shoot your photo when you go by, adn then have their van (or whatever) parked along the road, if you don't crash trying to do something stupid to look look in your photo, you'll crash trying to read the web site posted on the side of the van. Best advise I can give is just ignore them...
 

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Hey, is it me, or do you kinda look like the CAI agent with "Muffy" tattooed on his bum in the Bond movie "Goldeneye"... Joe Don Baker?!



 

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I'm glad you posted this Spudracer. I was given a pamphlet for The Dragon last year. After looking at it and checking it out online, I wanted to go down myself this year, but don't think I can fit any more events in. I guess it's on my list for next year that's already started.:notallthere:
 

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I think this might end up on the vacation this year. Route 60 in Virginia is supposed to be entertaining as well I've heard.
 

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Here's a video I shot just cruising the "Tail of the Dragon" last summer.
If you haven't experienced this road yet, this will give you an idea of
how curvy this road really is. It was a weekday, so traffic was light.
I started easy, just getting the feel of the road. Then I got more
aggressive as I learned the car's (and my) limits.

 
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