Video of the Week: The Vibe
A certain vibe permeates the atmosphere whenever car enthusiasts meet. Our enthusiasm for this incredible machine combined with the camaraderie of friends creates just such a “vibe” for us at the Wake The Dragon event this spring. Every year, S2000 Owners congregate upon the rolling hills of the Great Smoky Mountains to celebrate the spirit of motoring with one of the greatest roadsters ever built. It is as though the S2000 was tailor-made for such roads. Tiff Needell of the popular television show “Fifth Gear” once noted after driving the S2000 that “if you can take the S2000 somewhere it can sing and dance, it’s a pretty impressive machine”. After the Dragon weekend, I agree wholeheartedly.
The morning of the monster roll out, we met somewhat sleepy but incredibly excited in front of the general store of Fontana Village Resort and lined up for the great event which was about to commence. The tingly sensation of excitement was clearly eminent as airgate (our master of ceremonies) briefed us about proper driving etiquette on this public road.
Pretty soon the drivers’ meeting was done and we approached our cars in preparation for the roll out. Each and every one of us was in direct emotional contact with Schumacher, Senna and Vettel. Our hearts were pumping, the excitement palpable in the air even as our faces wore a mask of intent concentration. Sound of starters cranking was soon replaced by the reverberating “heartbeat” of the S2000 as all our engines idled in unison. Cameras were adjusted, sunglasses were set, and seatbelts were fastened – we were ready to go. As the cars got rolling, residual tiredness still left from the driver’s briefing was history and our eyes were wide open. This was it. US-129, here we come!
We started out of Fontana and took a left onto US-28 “hellbender” where a few of us warmed up our tires. It had rained the night before, and the roads were still damp. After 10 minutes of moderately spirited driving, we reached Deals Gap, the tail of the dragon lay ahead of us; it was show time. The lead cars took off in a surge toward that world famous 6,000 rpm line, where fuel economy ends and happiness begins. The corners of US-129 were tucked so nicely into the mountain side that carving these beauties was nothing but pure joy. One S2000 after the other, we embarked on the rail-less automotive roller coaster stretching from western North Carolina into eastern Tennessee. 318 turns in 11.1 miles. Driving Nirvana was upon us.
Around lunch time, we gathered at Fontana Dam to enjoy our prepackaged lunch overlooking Fontana Lake. After lunch, we formed into little groups and headed out to enjoy the scenic roads around the area. I went on the Cherohala Skyway, experiencing its elevation changes and drastic temperature drops (as much as 30°). At the end of the day, we returned to Fontana for the evening’s entertainment. The celebration continued well into the night as we gathered for our banquet dinner at the village center and enjoyed a bonfire afterwards.
On Sunday, our mood was somber as we realized the adventurous weekend had come to an end and it was time to bid adieu to new-found friends. That sadness though was soon history, as each attendee upon their return, started to post their pictures and videos of all the fun from the event. Now we find ourselves patiently awaiting the announcement for the Dragonball Run event in the fall, the vibe of the event lingering in the air.
See you there.
An original write up by funat9000rpm