“. . . I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there. . . “
I was in Atlanta on business and the business was over. It was a pleasant Fall Friday and instead of heading home to Florida I decided to drive up to The Blue Ridge Parkway and spend some tome looking at leaves.I pushed the Z through a day’s worth of mountain hairpins and switchbacks and got as far as Boone, NC. a cool little college town in the Outback of The Piedmont. I decided to stay in Boone for the night.
The sun had dipped behind the surrounding mountains, bathing the low clouds in a haunting yellow glow and electrifying the colored leaves. I left the Parkway and dipped into Boone Hollow on a winding, tree shrouded road, when directly in front of me, exiting a rural path in a cloud of dust, a little silver roadster hit the tarmac and smoked his gears. It was an AC Cobra, hauling ass.
I had to know if it was an original–a classic–or if it was one of those fiberglass reproductions, so down through the gears I went and I caught him.
Tree shadows flew past like strobes. He led me around several challenging curves, enjoying the chase, which lasted for about five vigorous miles. A couple of motor homes slowed us, and coming into Boone he turned into a closed restaurant parking lot. There were twenty five cars parked there, all classics. I followed him.
There were old Zs, MGB’s, Mustangs and ‘Vettes of every age. I saw a Z3, an Austin Healey, a beautiful red Alfa Duetto. There was even a Ferrari, a “Magnum” 308. I had stumbled into a virulent strain of Car Culture in the mountains, and I was immediately a part of it. My Z, at the time virtually unknown to even the most ardent of car nuts, became the focus of the meet, and all these car freaks–of all ages and sexes–had a million questions about the car.
I never expected that.
Oh, yeah. . . the Cobra was a real one, a by-God Classic.
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