Drives: Final Dragon Run of 2017

As 2017 draws to a merciful close, I decided to cap the year off with an impromptu Dragon Run. Of course, I was in the middle of reattaching my eBay v2 lip. I took out the center screws and attached the inner portions to the bumper cover with double-sided tape. I tried using some 3M tape for body trim, however, it managed to only stick to the backing plastic. I used what was left of my gorilla double-sided tape, which sticks to almost everything.

Since I was going for a drive, I threw some tape on to help hold the lip down in place; along with some weights to hold the lip down while I got ready to go.20171230-IMG_3236

The trip to the Dragon was pretty uneventful. I usually get stuck behind at least one car that drove like they never seen a curve before. I can understand that in Iowa, however, this is East Tennessee; a straight road is hard to find. Finding a spot to datalog a 3rd gear pull is pretty tough.

Normally, if no one is in front of me when I get to the beginning of the Dragon I just drive through. Otherwise, while I am in the parking area taking pics, I will end up catching every single car that drives past.

Other than the unmarked car in the background of the pic below, there was very little police presence at the Dragon.


Could really use a v7 grill.



While I was snapping pics of the Bugeye, I noticed this orange Z driving past.20171230-IMG_3253.jpg

I eventually caught up to him in the Dragon (he was in a pull-off), then he pulled in at the Deal’s Gap store. The driver was an older gentleman and I believe he said the Z was a ’78. I don’t know much about Z cars so after talking to him for a bit, I grabbed my camera to snap a few pics. 20171230-IMG_3283.jpg

1978 Datsun 260Z


I also ran into another Subie owner and his VA WRX (I think he said his name was Alex; I don’t remember; I’m bad with names, however, I will refer to him as Alex forever). His car was mostly stock, sans a Nameless muffler delete and an STi wing. He did mention he planned on getting a Cobb Accessport to fix the rev hang issue. 20171230-IMG_3290.jpg20171230-IMG_3269.jpg


While I was talking to Alex a couple more Subies showed up. However, everyone was drawn the orange Z so I didn’t get their names. I also forgot to take pics of their Subies; my hands were freezing.

I did somehow manage to get more pics of my own car though. Haha!

That Prius was all over the road.




I wanted to go to the Skyway but it was getting late (winter sun sux) and I don’t like driving through the mountains in the dark. I also couldn’t remember where this rockslide was at, so I headed back through the Dragon. Alex offered to follow me through the Dragon, I obliged.

I took off first as Alex wanted to hear my exhaust. While I waited for him at a pull-off I snagged some more pics of the Bugeye.

While I waited for Alex to arrive, I couldn’t help but notice an S550 Mustang lurking just around the corner. I thought that maybe he was with Alex, but I didn’t recall seeing the Mustang at the Deal’s Gap store.

Once Alex arrived, we set off with Mustang right behind us.

Before I continue, I have to say, I like Mustangs. I have owned two in the past (one Fox Body and one S197); along with three Fox Body Thunderbirds if you want to count those too. If there was ever a car that would replace my Bugeye, it would probably be Fox-based Ford car. I know that chassis inside and out, or at least I used to.

That said, I don’t like Mustangs at the Dragon. In my experience, they are one of the slowest cars on US-129. They almost never use the pull-offs despite a line of cars behind them; they rev at almost everything in the pull-offs. If someone catches up to me, I utilize the pull-off and let them, along with myself, enjoy the rest of the drive.

So with Alex behind me, I set a decent pace to give him a chance to shake off the Mustang. However, I don’t think Alex was comfortable with the pace as he kept falling behind. The Mustang was right behind him the whole time. At some point, I lost sight of both of them so I slowed down. Seeing the dark blue appear in my rear view I picked up the pace again only to notice that Alex seemed excessively aggressive now. As I sped up to get a look at the headlights, I realized it was the S550 Mustang! It was the same dark blue color as the VA WRX.

Normally I would just pull over and let him go on but I was curious what this new Mustang could do. So as I sped up, the Mustang kept pace. I was impressed. Maybe I will snag one in 15 years. However, I noticed that he or she was crossing the double-yellows into the oncoming lane in nearly every single turn to keep pace. A big no-no! After this discovery, I should have just concentrated on my own driving to keep from driving off the road. I just couldn’t believe how bad his or her driving was.

I decided to just focus on the road ahead of me for a few miles. If the Mustang was still behind me then I would just let it pass. Even though I saw him or her overshoot many turns, even after using the entire road. I was astonished. After a few miles of finding my rhythm, the Mustang disappeared from sight, behind a series of blind corners and hairpin turns.  I eventually caught up to the orange Z (he passed by earlier while I waited for Alex). I slowed down to a respectable distance, wondering, what happened to that Mustang. Did he or she crash? Did he or she give up? Did he or she find a new hobby? Like staying in one’s own lane? I had my answer shortly afterward.

Thankfully, we were nearly done with the Dragon at this point, but I wanted out of this scenario. The Z pulled over into the available spot at the Overlook and I continued on looking for the next available pull-off. Unfortunately, all of the remaining pull-offs were filled with leaves and broken branches. I eventually caught up to a truck towing a trailer and the Mustang soon recognized the situation and backed off of my personal space.

We reached the parking area at the beginning of the Dragon and I pulled over; part of me wanted the Mustang to pull over as well so I could talk to the driver. He or she did not. While I waited for Alex, I snapped a few more pics.

After waiting a while, I figured Alex pulled over somewhere to snap some pics, so I headed home.

Additional Notes

The flipped LCA pins helped out tremendously at the Dragon. No doubt I gained most, if not all, of my front end grip back. Highly recommend.