Hal's Commentary

Bill's Commentary

Craig's Commentary

Randall's Commentary

Dragon Photos



The 5th Spring Snake Roundup - SSR 5 - was held Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28, 2006, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The 2006 event was designed around the spectacular mountain roads of Tennessee and North Carolina south of Knoxville, including the justly famous "Tail of the Dragon".

30 Cobras
55 Friends
1,000 Miles
10,000 Corners

Throw the gear in the trunk and hit the road. Its "Road Trip" time.

The road to SSR 5 on Wednesday was a carefully spliced together collection of winding back roads. Travel time - all day. Miles - who cares. Fun - maxed out. Except maybe that rain part at the end.

Before launch Thursday morning, Hal and Bill recount their survival of the great flood Wednesday evening.

The fast paced 200 mile tour on Thursday required shooting from the saddle.

We soon arrived at the mountains that would be our home for the day.

Although the storms had passed, the lingering clouds still caressed the peaks.

Yes Virginia, there is a God. He lives in the mountains of Tennessee.

At 5,000 feet up and 45 degrees, Craig begins to question his choice of riding attire.

Great plates abounded.

And great Cobras. This is the one off, round tube frame, aluminum bodied Superformance with owners John and Linda Toutkoushian at our stop in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Mountain roads often run along rivers.

The pack of Cobras moved briskly through the mountain roads. No bunching up, no getting lost. Just like we knew what we were doing.

The routes were incredibly well done. The scenery was spectacular.

Then we got down to business "The Tail of the Dragon" - US 129 beginning in Deals Gap, North Carolina. Time for fuel. The Dragon needs fuel.

The Dragon runs north 11 miles to Chilhowee Lake in Tennessee. With 318 corners, it is one of the most challenging public roads in the world.

It is a mecca for hot cars and motorcycles, who share it with local traffic and trucks. No crossing the center line to straighten the curve. Whatever line you choose, you have to stay in your lane.

The unofficial record is an average speed of about 75 mph.  I hit 80 on one of the short straights. Scary. I cannot imagine averaging 75.

We ran The Dragon South to North on Thursday and North to South on Friday. The highlight of the event.

Randall shows off his strong arm driving style. Diane is looking for the ejection button.

No, I'm not throwing up. Leave me alone.
By the way, you got any baggies?

Few dared take their eyes of the road long enough to take in the spectacular Calderwood Dam.

Eyes on the road!! Eyes on the road!!



Chilhowee Lake at the northern end of the run. A beautiful place to rest, reflect, and regroup.

Steve Kump's Malachite Green and Wimbledon White SP 1981. Sweet indeed.

 Even the most rabid small block devotee can appreciate a 427 with dual Holleys.

Cheoah Dam

As if two full days on the mountain roads of Tennessee and North Carolina were not enough, the run homeward Friday evening was back roads all the way. Hal and I missed our turn and found ourselves on US 276 heading south from Brevard. The 30 mile stretch of absolutely sensual and deserted mountain road was an invitation that could not be ignored. It is what these cars are born to do. How could we say no.

Many  thanks to Randall Thomas and all the folks who put together an absolutely spectacular event.

Fast cars, winding roads, and good friends to share them with. What more could anyone ask?

Mike Stenhouse
Second Strike