Touring Old Smoky

Photos By Tom Suddard

The Classic Motorsports Staff and Our Readers Tame Tail of the Dragon

Quick, name the best driving road in North America. You probably picked the Tail of the Dragon.

Located along the North Carolina-Tennessee state line, this mountain road packs 318 curves into its 11 miles–all without a cross street, driveway or other interruption. It has been a destination for car and bike enthusiasts for decades.

So, we thought, why not plan a week of adventure around this road? And to make it more fun, why not invite our readers? The result is our Smoky Mountain Tour, a weeklong road tour based in Highlands, North Carolina.

“These tours are not our primary business and, in all honesty, probably don’t even make good business sense,” admits Classic Motorsports Publisher Tim Suddard. “Our corporate mantra is that we wish to provide an insider’s guide to the sports car world. Absolutely nothing does this better than vacationing with a select group of readers on the ultimate car tours to get to know them, show them our world, and share stories.”

And have fun together we did.

The tour started in Greenville, South Carolina, with a visit to BMW. Together we toured their plant, experienced their driving school, strolled through the Zentrum museum, and even got to visit their super-secret warehouse. “I never tire of plant tours,” Tim adds. “Watching the robots build BMW bodies was amazing.”

From there the group ventured to Half-Mile Farm in Highlands, North Carolina-with a stop at Julie Ibrahim’s Ferrari collection along the way. Once at Half-Mile Farm, the hub of the tour, the group ventured to the nearby attractions, including the Biltmore House, Tallulah Gorge and, of course, the Tail of the Dragon.

Want to join us on our next adventure? Keep an eye on our website. “We are planning an Orange Blossom Tour the second week of March in Florida next year and a Smoky Mountain Tour the second week of June,” Tim says. “We may surprise readers with a third tour as well.”

In addition to our participants, we need to thank our partners in this endeavor: Chubb, Reliable Carriers, BMW, Automotive Restorations and Vintage Racing Services.

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