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SVO: Road Trippin
With all the talk about drag racing, here is a 1-2 day trip that will
have you enjoying the scenery, provide long straighaways for flat out
speed, and numerous opportunities to demonstrate the superior handling
characteristics of an SVO, not to mention your driving skill.
Started out in Richmond, VA, one morning early and got on US 33 west.
Passed several small towns with interesting shops, especially antique
stores, and a pretty good winery (cant miss it - on the right near
Montpelier). Even found a Beatles Museum in Lydia. It was kind of a
lazy drive, unitl I got to the west side of Stanardsville, where the
road takes a marked turn up into the Blue Ridge mountains. It's a two
lane up, one lane down affair, and there is hardly any traffic at all.
There are several great S-turns, all banked appropriately for some
tremendous speed. Very near the top is a turn I thought I could hit at
50-55 mph, but it decreases in radius slightly, which required me to
brake in the turn (aargh!) but you can still blast through it if you
approach it right.
Coming down, every turn was graded almost perfect, with several good
turns, and it dumps you out east of Elkton, and then Harrisonburg, VA.
Going through Harrisonburg on 33 takes you through some small farms and
poultry places, and you end up in the Appalachains, George Washington
National Forest. Before you get to the next mountain, there's a
sraightaway that is at least two miles long, and in great shape.
Perfect place to open it up. Found out an SVO with 140K on the odometer
can still get to the 140mph mark.
Shenendoah Mountain is much more difficult, and will really test your
skill. There are three hairpin turns on the way up, one moderately
decreasing radius turn, and several S-turns and switchbacks. The locals
obviously love this road as well, you can tell by the black tire marks
in the corners. Once at the top, you're in West Virginia. The quality
of the road is a little better on this side, but its aggregate makes it
a little more slick. Again there are two great switchbacks, a couple of
S-turns, and generally a great drive; if you push it you'll come away
When you see the second sign that says National Forest shooting range,
with a little arrow pointing to a dirt access road, SLOW DOWN!!!!,
because not too much farther is the source of revenue for the entire
state of W.Va. That would be a state trooper sitting very concealed
among some trees, and you cannot see him until you are past him! Any
way, speed limit is 55.
You'll pass one of the very best bakery restaurants on the left, called
the Cabin. Gene Smith makes the best pies you will ever have.
Take a right to stay on 33 in Brandywine, (2.5 miles later wave to the
house with the gray 86 SVO in front of it), and continue on to Franklin,
WV. There is one more mountain to cross, and it has a couple of good
turns, but nothing like the first two.
There are several bed and breakfasts in Franklin that are very good, so
you can either turn around there, or stay the night, and do it again in
My brother and I did this (my SVO, and his 1989 GT). In the quarter we
are very competitive, each pushing low low 13's, but on these mountains
I left him in the dust!
Anyone know of any other great driver roads??