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to leave every-

day life behind. Making that break

even sweeter is when you can take

your life companion – in my case, my

wife Mollie – on a great adventure. In

a GT350. We drove over the river and

through the woods last mid-October

for three full days of excursions ex-

pertly planned by Tom Cotter, noted

automotive author (“Cobra in the

Barn”) and car collector, who is also

known for his Cobra driving tours. The

purpose was to celebrate the 50th an-

niversary of the GT350. After ten

years of Cobra tours, Tom has the

whole process down to a science, in-

cluding every last detail – except for

the weather. I’ll get to that later.

Tom and his wife, Pat, the gracious

hosts of the driving tour, went out

weeks in advance and drove all of the

routes, making very exact and detailed

driving directions. Tom made very pro-

fessional tour guide books for each

participant. Each book not only con-

tained the route directions but also

contained past and present photos of

participants and their cars, which Tom

had requested in advance.

The home base for the GT350 tour

was the historic Snowbird Mountain

Lodge, owned by Robert Rankin. It is

located on the mile-high scenic Chero-

hala Skyway in the Natahala National

Forest, about fifteen minutes west of

Robbinsville, North Carolina. The

lodge was built in 1940 and sits high

up on a mountain top with amazing

views of the surrounding mountains.

The driveway leading up to the lodge

was steep enough to challenge the

strongest mountain goat and it sure

sounded good to hear the GT350s

working their way to the top.

We all met at the Snowbird on

Sunday afternoon to settle in, get the

cars lined up and relax before the tour

started on Monday. It was a good time

to catch up with old friends and meet

new ones. The parking area of the

lodge was packed with thirteen


Winter 2016 31



It is a rare occasion

October 26-27-28, 2015