Leaves are Reaching Peak Color for Fall 2015

2015 Fall Car Club Ride to Highlands, NC

We took a ride this weekend to Highlands, North Carolina, for the monthly outing of our community’s sports car club. It’s about an hour and a half trip, with lots of twists and turns, and beautiful fall leaves at their peak. The scenery was spectacular.

Sunrise Sun Beams, Fall, 2015-Leaves-Peaking

When we woke up and looked out our front window we were greeted with an amazing display of sunbeams and color. Our smart phone cameras couldn’t do it justice, of course. Then we met near the entrance to our community to coordinate our ride…

2015 October Carriage Park Sports Car Club

We headed out about 10:00 am and arrived just in time for an early lunch at Wild Thyme on Main Street in Highlands…

Downtown Highlands, NC, Fall 2015

We enjoyed our lunch at Wild Thyme, thanks to great friends, good food and terrific service. Our waitress treated us exceptionally well, despite the large number of guests with lots of special requests. If you haven’t taken the time to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains, try to do it this week. The leaves are gorgeous! Here’s what they look like today from my driveway…

Oct. 26, 2015 Fall Leaf Color

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MINIacs Gather for Annual MINIPalooza Event

Miniacs at the MINIPalooza Little Switzerland Run

Over 100 MINI Coopers registered for the MINIpalooza in Asheville, North Carolina, recently. They came from up and down the east coast and as far away as California.

Annual MINIpalooza Event Tar Heel MINI Club

As new MINI owners we joined the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club for a drive up to Little Switzerland off the Blue Ridge Parkway. There were 24 cars in our “Diamond Back” run.

2014 MINI Palooza by Tar Heel MINI Club

We’ve seen and heard the slogan “Not Normal” in our MINI club, and we’re starting to understand it. There was even a pair of these riding as passengers in one of the cars…

2014 MINIPalooza Passengers

The drivers were Not Normal, too. The biggest Miniac (as they call themselves) was our lead driver, who definitely looked and drove like a Miniac…

MINIPalooza Lead Driver

Some of us were glad when the Diamondback portion of our tour was over (and very thankful we didn’t wreck or get a ticket!). We took a break at an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The view was spectacular…

2014 MINIPalooza Parkway View

We got back to Asheville just in time for dinner, which was sponsored by Flow MINI from Winston-Salem. Their motoring advisor, service manager and service technician answered lots of questions about our fun little cars…

2014 MINIPalooza Dinner

The next big MINI event hosted by the Tar Heel Mini Club will be the MINIs Slay the Sleeping Dragon (MSSD) at the Tail of the Dragon, October 24-26, 2014. We’ll see you there… to take pictures (sorry, we can’t keep up).

Bennett Classics Auto Museum, Forest City, NC

I visited the Bennett Classics Auto Museum in Forest City, North Carolina, this week. It’s a fun trip down memory lane, and a reminder of our nation’s love for everything with wheels…

Bennett Classics Auto Museum, Forest City, NC

It’s no wonder Bennett Classics Auto Museum won the National Antique Automobile Club of America Museum Award this year. The collection and presentation are terrific, with everything from Model T’s to Mack trucks, and from a Shelby Mustang to a 1963 Ford Mayberry sheriff’s car signed by actor Don Knots (Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith Show)…

Bennett Classics Car Museum, Forest City, NC

The Great Smoky Mountains Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America was touring the Bennett Classics Museum yesterday. As a result, there were almost as many museum-quality cars outside as inside…

Picture Outside the Bennett  Classic Car Museum in Forest City, NC

My personal favorite is this Army Jeep, which reminded me a little of my first car…

Army Jeep at the Bennett Classic Car Museum

Bennett Classics is located at 241 Vance Street, Forest City, NC; phone: 828-247-1767. It’s open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. Admission is $10-adults; $8-seniors; $4-child (7-16). For more information visit the Bennett Classics website.

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Antique Chevy Corvairs Show, Maggie Valley, NC

While I was in Maggie Valley this weekend I spent some time at the 2011 “Vairs in the Valley” car show and I saw some of the most nostalgic cars around. Here’s one of my favorites. The Chevrolet Corvair was available in a variety of body styles from 1961 through 1969. This Corvair camper at the show reminded me of the 60’s and 70’s hippie era…

In the Corvair pick-up truck both the driver and passenger sat next to the engine, which allowed more carrying room in the back. Notice the side-loading ramp…

Chevrolet also offered this small, fuel-efficient Corvair stationwagon…

Although the second generation body style supposedly had design contributions from both the Corvette and Camaro, it looked very different from anything else on the road…

Corvairs were popular during my high-school years when most of us couldn’t afford them. Now some guys are turning their dreams into reality by restoring and driving them, and joining and volunteering in local Corvair clubs to help others enjoy them.

To see a professional slide show of Chevy Corvairs and the “Vairs in the Valley” event click here or on the picture below of photographer Barbara Sammons and NC Mountain Corvairs President John Nickel…

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