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tude of leaves on the curves.

We arrived at the end of the

Dragon, intact and exhilarated at a

parking lot by a lake which had been

drained because of a dam leak, reveal-

ing a really low water level. A couple

of uniformed fellows explained that

they were “Security,” to keep scav-

engers from coming into the exposed

lake bed with their shovels and metal

detectors looking for Cherokee Indian

relics and previously covered home-

stead items. Remember that the TVA

project in the 1930s built numerous

dams which backed up water into

lakes and reservoirs and buried

houses, settlements and small towns

as the lakes filled.

After some cross country touring

over a bit of more rolling terrain we re-

turned to the Lodge via the Cherohala

Skyway, enjoying a lunch stop (food

prepared by the Lodge) at an overview

on the 5,400 ft.-high route that

brought us back to the Lodge en-

trance. That evening after supper I

gave a short version of the early

Shelby 350 program history.

On Wednesday we started what

would be our longest day and encoun-

tered a bit of rain. Heading toward

Hayesville, we crossed the Ap-

palachian Trail in the process. We

stopped at the Jackie Jones Mustang

Collection behind his Dodge-Jeep deal-

ership, a private but highly regarded

collection of cars, parts, signs and lit-

erature that absorbed everyone’s at-

tention for the entire time we had

there. After we left the museum we

headed for the Hayesville town

square, parked, and had lunch in the

Gazebo in the center of town. The

mayor stopped by with the police chief

and pointed out some of the historic

features of the town. While Lee Cross

allowed the mayor to drive his car

around the Square (quite briskly I

might add), we had the police chief en-

gaged. Some of us also enjoyed the

hospitality of an old-time ice cream

shop on the town square.

We reluctantly had to move on to

stay on schedule, and stopped for a

group picture at the Hiwasee Dam

rest stop where we could view the

huge water turbine on display. From

there we were tooling up curvy route

68 in Tennessee when Woody

Woodruff’s ‘67 made a spin to the right

and backed down a 10-ft. bank to a

creek bed. Fortunately, he only mowed

down some underbrush and did some

minor damage to the underside of the

car. No one was hurt and one of the

Tour cars traveled to the next town to

send a wrecker. Cell service was non-

existent at that spot.

We all eventually arrived at the

Snowbird over the Cherohala Skyway

in late afternoon. Tom Cotter volun-

teered to let Woody drive his car back

home to the Charlotte area while he

towed Woody’s car in his trailer, since

their destinations were close to each

other and Woody had driven his car to

the Tour.

After another nice dinner, Steven

Smith gave an interesting talk about

some of his adventures testing various

cars over the years. Then everyone

gathered for the last time in the Lodge

screen house to watch Roger Morri-

son’s videos of prior Cotter and Drew

Serb Tours. This had been a favorite

gathering place before and after din-

ner during the Tour and had a won-

derfully warm gas fire pit in the center

surrounded by comfortable seating.

After breakfast in the morning

there was lots of trailer loading activ-

ity and goodbyes. We headed back to

the Knoxville area to leave our car for


The Tour contained some really

well planned and challenging roads

which we all enjoyed even though they

were damp much of the time and, im-

portantly, there were sufficient rest

and gas stops spaced along the route.

The wet weather probably was to our

advantage as it limited traffic on the

curvy roads and allowed us to keep up

a brisk pace. The scenery was spectac-

ular with brilliant fall colors in every

direction and the many natural attrac-

tions like waterfalls and overlooks

added to everyone’s enjoyment. Over-

all, it was a grand time with good peo-

ple who appreciate the Shelby legend

as well as each other.


Winter 2016 39

Dinners every night were just an enjoyable extension of the

tour’s vehicular camaraderie. Tom Cotter [


] employed his

experience gained in planning Cobra tours over the years to

make it an enjoyable time for everyone.

An especially nice touch were event door emblems that every

participant received carrying their car’s serial number. The mag-

netic American flag/name/CS logo was something Mark Hovan-

der created for the Pebble Beach Concours 75-mile drive when

he shared 5S003.