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Deals Gap/Tail of the Dragon 2023

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    Deals Gap/Tail of the Dragon 2023

    Figured I'd throw this out there...it's looking increasingly likely that I, in one of my boxes, will be in a group of cars driving down to the Tail of the Dragon section of US 129 at Deals Gap on the TN/NC border. I'm expecting to arrive in the general area late Thursday night May 11 and leave sometime on Sunday May 14. My friend group going down has an agenda of events that I haven't fully looked over yet, but we don't have to stay glued to each other.

    If anyone is in close enough proximity to justify a meet up, I'm certainly open to it.

    Tentative timeline:
    • Thursday 5/11 drive to Deals Gap via I-75 through MI, OH, KY, TN, NC.
      Overnight stay near Robbinsville, NC.
    • Friday 5/12 activities with the group I came down with. Driving the Tail and other things.
      Overnight stay as above.
    • Saturday 5/13 the group splits into 3 smaller groups for separate activities, for me one of those could be a car meet of sorts.
      Camping overnight in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
    • Sunday 5/14 begin drive towards New Jersey. The exact path and any destinations along the way have not yet been planned in detail.
      Overnight stay somewhere close to, but not yet at NJ.
    • Monday 5/15 cross into NJ from DE, meet up with forum folks mid-day, meet up with a non-car community friend in the evening.
      Overnight stay either somewhere in NJ or some distance into PA to shorten the drive for Tuesday.
    • Tuesday 5/16 long haul drive back home, via PA, OH, MI.
      Ideally sleeping in my own bed Tuesday night.
    Last edited by kishy; 05-02-2023, 05:27 PM.

    Current driver: 91
    Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
    | 88 TC | 91 GM
    Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
    Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
    | Junkyards

    #2
    that would be a lot of fun, though I'm not in the area or likely to be.
    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Originally posted by phayzer5
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

    Comment


      #3
      I'm fairly close by but I don't have time to piss lately, let alone do car guy stuff. Have heard good things about that route in terms of touring.
      1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
      1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

      GMN Box Panther History
      Box Panther Horsepower and Torque Ratings
      Box Panther Production Numbers

      Comment


        #4
        I'd love to do the tail in my 93, but Mother's Day weekend... that's definitely out. Also, I would need more notice and preferably not be having all the family medical issues (not my own family, but mine and my wife's moms) requiring us to delay much of anything (though thankfully my Mom's issues are being taken care of by my sister when needed even though I've offered and only really helped my Mom move before all of this came down). Been way too interesting a year for me so far.

        tl;dr: wish I could, but can't. Maybe next year? and not on Mother's Day?

        Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
        rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)

        Originally posted by gadget73
        ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.

        Originally posted by dmccaig
        Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

        Comment


          #5
          I certainly appreciate that it's a little bit short notice when there's distance involved. The plan was only firmed up on my end just a few days ago, and since I have relative oodles of vacation to burn this year (unused carryover plus this being the year I gain an extra week), I jumped at the opportunity when it was presented to me.

          I'm editing an approximate timeline into the OP.
          Gadget, there is a significant chance I'm going to be near you on the return trip. Might grab a meal with a long-time internet friend in NJ.

          Current driver: 91
          Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
          | 88 TC | 91 GM
          Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
          Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
          | Junkyards

          Comment


            #6
            sure, let me know. I'm in the southern part of the state but if you're heading north from the Carolinas to absolutely anywhere in NJ fair bet you'll be coming over the bridge thats 15 minutes from my house.

            and hey if I still have a box of parts eating space in your garage, I can get that out of your way too. I don't remember if there are any leftovers from the bunch of stuff you sent me or not.
            86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
            5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

            91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

            1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

            Originally posted by phayzer5
            I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by gadget73 View Post
              sure, let me know. I'm in the southern part of the state but if you're heading north from the Carolinas to absolutely anywhere in NJ fair bet you'll be coming over the bridge thats 15 minutes from my house.

              and hey if I still have a box of parts eating space in your garage, I can get that out of your way too. I don't remember if there are any leftovers from the bunch of stuff you sent me or not.
              I edited the timeline in the OP. If you have any availability in the mid afternoon on the Monday I bet that'll work. If the NJ leg of the trip happens*, I will be there on the Monday, staying overnight somewhere nearby, then driving nearly 12 hours home from there on Tuesday.

              Yes, I have more Continental parts for you. Headlight bezels and turn signals for sure, maybe more stuff. I'll study the entire contents of my garage to look for any outstanding items.

              It's too bad that Steele Rubber has normal business hours. I would have been able to hand-deliver the tailgate seal if they'd be open, but I can't offset either the start or end of the trip by enough to be near them while they're open. They are in Charlotte NC, 2 hours from where I'll be.

              *: highly likely coming to NJ, but it won't be confirmed for sure until I'm just about to start the trip, most likely.

              Current driver: 91
              Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
              | 88 TC | 91 GM
              Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
              Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
              | Junkyards

              Comment


                #8
                I can just take the day off. I've got time. You have my #, just text me. Also depending on where exactly you'll be maybe John can meet us for lunch. Not sure what his work schedule looks like.

                for some reason I was thinking speaker grilles were in the mix somewhere. I know you sent me the JBL speakers.
                86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
                5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

                91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

                1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

                Originally posted by phayzer5
                I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

                Comment


                  #9
                  If you're heading over to Jersey you'd probably pass through the DC area, not too far from my neck of the woods. I'd be happy to meet up, or at least wave as you drove by, assuming your itinerary permits.
                  1987 Lincoln Town Car - Signature, "Prudence"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You are going to enjoy 129…some good driving there! Parts of TN and North GA have some wicked good roads too. If I had a road-worthy Panther and free-time, I’d be in. It’s only about a 2 hr drive from me, but it’s scenic and never feels like it takes that much time. Have fun and be safe-ish. Lol
                    '85 CV coupe- 351W, T5-Z, FAST Ez-Efi, shorty headers, 2.5" duals with knock off flowmasters, 2.5" Impala tails, seriously worked GT-40 irons, Comp 265DEH cam, 1.7rr's, Mallory HyFire 6A, Taylor ThunderVolt 50 10.4mm wires, 75mm t/b, 3G alt swap, 140mph PI speedo, PI rear sway bar, '00 PI booster/MC, 95-97 front spindles, '99 front hub bearings/brakes, '92-'94 front upper control arms/ball-joints, 3.73's with rebuilt traction-lok, '09 PI rear disc swap, '96 Mustang GT wheels with 235/55R17's.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by gadget73 View Post
                      I can just take the day off. I've got time. You have my #, just text me. Also depending on where exactly you'll be maybe John can meet us for lunch. Not sure what his work schedule looks like.

                      for some reason I was thinking speaker grilles were in the mix somewhere. I know you sent me the JBL speakers.
                      NJ is looking like a 'go'. Timeline puts me in your approximate area late Sunday night, so sometime daytime Monday is best.

                      I'm not sure what you have in terms of banked time available, but most likely taking the morning off would be a waste if only taking it off to see me. Right around lunch time is probably best to plan for. I'm not sure exactly how far away I'll be staying overnight, so if I have another hour of travel before I'm actually near you, it pushes things a bit later. My dinner plans seem likely to be around Atlantic City. I can't say yet that I will or won't want lunch, suppose it depends on how the day goes.

                      Yes, speaker grilles sound familiar. I am concerned they've maybe rusted a bit from humidity in my garage but I'll bring them if I find them. Beginning the mad dash for final to-do items right about...

                      .........

                      Originally posted by Lutrova View Post
                      If you're heading over to Jersey you'd probably pass through the DC area, not too far from my neck of the woods. I'd be happy to meet up, or at least wave as you drove by, assuming your itinerary permits.
                      I was trying to figure out any "scenic route" options that might sort of bypass DC, out of concern for traffic volume, but I definitely don't mind popping in somewhere to say hi if the timing works out. This would be Sunday evening.

                      Google's two suggested routes (using Robbinsville NC as start and Salem NJ as end) are:
                      I-40 to either I-26, or I-85

                      A. I-26 to 81, 66, 495, 95 to 895
                      or
                      B: I-85 to 95, 395, Baltimore-Washington Parkway to 895

                      then 895, 95, 295

                      If you have a suggestion for which is better (or a better scenic route option - favouring something that would allow a neat car photo somewhere cool) please do let me know.

                      Originally posted by sick88tbird View Post
                      You are going to enjoy 129…some good driving there! Parts of TN and North GA have some wicked good roads too. If I had a road-worthy Panther and free-time, I’d be in. It’s only about a 2 hr drive from me, but it’s scenic and never feels like it takes that much time. Have fun and be safe-ish. Lol
                      Probably not the world's best choice of car for a long twisty road, but I'm confident she'll make it just fine. Looking forward to the scenery. This will be my longest drive and will by my first time on the ground in most of the states along the journey.






                      .........now.

                      Current driver: 91
                      Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
                      | 88 TC | 91 GM
                      Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
                      Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
                      | Junkyards

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I took 8 hours off friday, bank was at 148 and I stop accumulating vacation at 140 so if I take Monday off it will be zero issue.


                        the route from the southern-most bridge to Atlantic City pretty much sucks though. Basically its get on 40 and go. Its a questionably kept 2 lane that goes through every town along the way. Figure about an hour from the bottom of the bridge to AC
                        86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
                        5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

                        91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

                        1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

                        Originally posted by phayzer5
                        I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I've never driven through Richmond, but going up through the Shenandoah Valley is probably the more scenic route. Beyond that, which route is best may come down to traffic conditions on that day. I've seen 95 and the Baltimore Washington Parkway jammed up even on a Sunday. One alternate route that bypasses all of that would be to cut over from 81 to 70 by way of Harper's Ferry. That would save you the toll from taking the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

                          What would make for a good stop depends on which way you go and just how late in the evening you're passing through. Sun sets a little after 8 here. I'm in between 495 and 70, so whichever way you go I can say hello.

                          (Fun fact: the Baltimore Washington Parkway and the George Washington Memorial Parkway are both run by the National Park Service. They use the signage standards of that agency, which was designed for roads in national parks, not divided highways, so figuring out which exit to take can be a little screwy.)
                          1987 Lincoln Town Car - Signature, "Prudence"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I might be able to meet up on Monday, just keep us updated!
                            -Phil

                            sigpic

                            +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. Built 351w, Trickflow 11R 190 Heads, Holley Sniper EFI, RPM Intake+ Hyperspark dizzy, WR-AOD, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Speedway Springs+Bilstein Shocks, Intermediate Brakes, HPP Steering Box.

                            +2003 Acura CL Type S 6-speed

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We made it. Night time arrival to a hotel south of the Tail means we drove it in the dark. I was second car in and absolutely tore it up - the others in the group voiced their astonishment and kudos for me keeping it within the lines. Tossed it around like a Miata with a little more weight. I'm really glad I did the work to the car that I've done recently because it would have been a bad time if I hadn't.

                              More to follow. If you're out and about in the area and see some Ontario plates on a C6 Corvette, or black R32 GT-R, or of course the wagon, give us a wave.

                              Current driver: 91
                              Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
                              | 88 TC | 91 GM
                              Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
                              Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
                              | Junkyards

                              Comment

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