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Hot Rod Power Tour 2013 Diary

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IMG_6556Concord, North Carolina – Day 7 of the 2013 Hot Rod Power Tour

We went from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Concord, North Carolina and we had a fantastic, long, and slow drive today. The scenery driving through the Appalachians in Tennessee and then North Carolina was certainly the most spectacular of the tour, and the planners definitely saved the best and longest drive for last.

The mist hung low over the rapids on the rivers cutting their way through the narrow gorges to the left and right of the twisting road. The clouds sat amongst the trees that clung to the steep sides of the hills and mountains, and the overcast sky gave a suffocating feel as though a great weight was pressing down from above. Although a slow drive, it is one that everyone should do – take the TN64 from Cleveland, Tennessee which becomes the 74 as it crosses into North Carolina, and you will not be disappointed. Take your swimming trunks and you might be tempted to join one of the many brightly colored rafts filled with tourists setting off down the river.

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The front spoiler of this ZR1 is showing the battle scars of the last week.

The front spoiler of this ZR1 is showing the battle scars of the last week.

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Lingenfelter have had their wicked way with this one.

Lingenfelter have had their wicked way with this one.

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The gentleman had completed the tour from his home in Seattle!

This gentleman had completed the tour from his home in Seattle!

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The final 100 miles into Concord, North Carolina just north of Charlotte was mainly interstate, but this seemed to take forever to complete. We detoured off route to our hotel just south of Charlotte so that I could offload all of our luggage from the back of the ZR1. It is surprising just how much luggage the car will swallow – definitely a class above Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche when it comes to luggage space.

The reason for the luggage offload was so that I could do the drag racing at the ZMax Dragway, which is a unique 4 lane drag strip and an extremely modern facility. I arrived only to be told because of the rain shower that had just fallen, the drag racing had been cancelled. Did I want to queue up 2 hours to enter the world’s largest burnout competition? Er, no thanks! Have you seen the price of a set of new rear Michelins for a ZR1? Thought not…

Overall, I would have to say the ZR1 has met with universal approval. We were woken up last night at 3:40 AM by someone passing our motel room praising the car as the one he would have above a Ferrari. Thanks, but next time please tell your mates quietly so as not to wake the owner! The car has received so many comments, and everyone seems to recognize it as a ZEE RRR 1 rather than just a Corvette.

I have had complements from young and old, black and white, ladies and gents all seem to think the car is both beautiful and fast. The car has so far done 2600 miles on this trip and performed faultlessly, which, given it is a 2010 model, is hardly surprising but it rides beautifully, handles well, can handle our luggage requirements, and when prodded goes like a stabbed rat (this is an English expression for rather quick). My only complaints about the car are it has a bit of drinking problem compared with my previous Z06 in that it averages about 18 MPG, and also even with the Mild2Wild switch permanently in Wild it is way too quiet. I might have to rectify this…

My overall impression of the Hot Rod Power Tour is I have absolutely loved it. For me the highlight has been the driving on roads I would not normally drive on, and seeing parts of America that I would normally bypass on the Interstate for the sake of speed. In the future I will try to plan routes away from the Interstate, as there is a huge variety of places to be seen and explored if people just took the effort to seek them out.

My final day’s pictures are up on Facebook for those who are interested…

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