Tour Tuesday features the July 2020 Air Brigade drive titled “The Cornucopia” since it tied together some of the best Blue Ridge Mountain driving roads.
Ten air-cooled Porsches and 17 Air Brigade members gathered in Brevard, North Carolina on July 15, 2020 for a planned excursion throughout the mountains of Western North Carolina. The route was planned to use 11 roads from the 100 Great Driving Roads map.
After a quick coffee and hello at the Cup & Saucer in downtown Brevard the line of 10 air-cooled Porsches paraded down Main Street towards the first great road; East Fork Road. The drive included a full complement of air-cooled Porsches with three 356’s, one 914, one 70’s 911, four Carrera 3.2’s and a 993.
Air Brigade Commander Jim Moore led the way with a pace a little quicker than normal to see how the line reacted. No one lagged so the pace continued as we snaked down East Fork Road past the trout fisherman on the Lower Creek off the French Broad River. Eyes left their lures as they heard the distinctive sound of ten air-cooled Porsche engines whizzing by.
A short connector through Rosman and down NC-64 slowed us down before a right turn led us onto Silversteen Road as we entered curves and elevation ups and downs with little sign of other cars, houses or businesses. This makes for great driving as we sped along the sun speckled shaded roads that help to keep the air-cooled engines, drivers and co-drivers cool and exhilarated.
The bonus of empty countryside was countered by where to stop for a rest break. The plan was Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, but COVID has the facility closed. The next plan was a gas station, but a scouting drive discovered their restrooms were out of order. Hopefully too much coffee wasn’t drunk at the Cup & Saucer because our first stop wouldn’t be for an hour and a half until we reached Wolf Creek Overlook Campgrounds.
We scooted down Tanasee Gap Road and up NC-281 to reach the stop where there was a rush to the line for the bathrooms. This was the check: how was the increased speed. A resounding yes from all said not to slow down since everyone was having a blast though drivers were working hard with the gear changes and manual steering muscle required to manhandle the twists and turns at the pace we were traveling.
A short 30-minute drive after the break gave us a chance to experience Slick Fischer Road before arriving at Gorges State Park for our lunch stop. Picnic tables, ledges and the floor allowed us to maintain the proper social distancing to keep us all healthy but within range to talk and share our driving stories.
The lunch break always provides for those needing to get home a chance to exit via a quick drive while the rest of us continue on our meandering way. Five of the ten cars continued on with a drive down Golden Road, Hannah Ford Road to Island Ford Road and then down Wilson Road back into Brevard.
We were rewarded with a cool beer at the Oskar Blues Brewery where we enjoyed the outdoor picnic table seating while talking Porsches and driving. All agreed that the drive title of Cornucopia was well deserved as the route provided for a cornucopia of some of the best roads. Allen Peerson even went so far as to say: “This was the best one yet.”
Tags: Blue Ridge Mountain driving, air-cooled Porsches, Cornucopia Drive