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Thread: Our recent trip to the mountains
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Our recent trip to the mountains

     



    Just thought I would post a few pics of a trip we recently took in our 46 coupe. Due to covid, we havenít really been able to go anywhere far off for several months, like everyone else, and my wife and I were anxious to see some scenery.

    We have been to the Pigeon Forge area several times on the motorcycle and love the area for sight seeing. We both love the mountains. Iím not interested at all in the typical tourist stuff that seems to fill up the area, like getting shot out of a giant slingshot or being spun at high speed until I puke. We love the beautiful high vistas and the curvy mountain roads. When we found out that there is a car show in northern Georgia that is put on by the same folks that do the Emerald Coast Cruizin in Panama City Beach, we decided to kill two birds with one stone.


    To get the old coupe ready, I had to repair a small leak on the master cylinder cover that turned out to be a bad gasket and a little rust build up on the gasket surface of the MC. Also, had a bad connection on the right taillight. Checked the fluids and tires and she was ready to go.

    A little introduction to the old car before I get into the trip. I actually bought this car as an unfinished project car about 28 years ago when I was married to my first wife. The chassis work that came under the car was really, really bad. I trashed everything but the frame rails and rebuilt the chassis quite literally under a shade tree using my Dadís welding truck. All I had was a drill press and a grinder for 95% of the fab work. I did have occasional access to a lathe, but not very often. I didnít have a lot of money to spend on it, so all the parts came out of a back woods junk yard that my second wife called the red neck mall.


    She helped me put the car together while we were dating and we have been driving and enjoying it for about 25 years. My kids grew up riding in the back seat, so I never put a finished interior in it. I wanted them to enjoy it too and didnít want to be constantly fussing about the interior. The back seat is a Cadillac Deville leather job and still looks good for what it is. The European smooth monochrome look was the fad when I built the car and I wanted to rebel against that, so I went for the resto-rod look. I think itís timeless and looks just as ďin styleĒ now as it ever did. It even has rubber covered running boards. We drove it in black primer for a couple of years before I painted it.


    The chassis is typical street rod stuff. Mustang II front end done the old school way. I actually cut a MII front crossmember out of the MII and grafted that to the 46 chassis. It still has the stock strut rods, although I donít really like them because they make running exhaust harder. The front brakes are Granada rotors with Thunderbird calipers on Chassis Engineering brackets. Carrera coilovers in the front and junk yard anti-roll bars front and rear. The front sway bar is a GM metric part and the rear is a 2nd Gen F-body unit.


    The rearend is a 9Ē Ford with Explorer disc brakes. The springs are some kind of parallel leaf springs that I found in the junk yard. Over the years, Iíve added and subtracted leaves several times. What I have is fair compromise, but not ideal. This is the second 9Ē that has been under this car. The first one turned out to be bent bad and I replaced it with another one. Rear gears have been 3.25ís or 2.75ís. The 2.75ís are in there now for a poor manís overdrive. Theyíve been in there ever since we did the Power Tour in 2015.


    Engine started out as a 383 stroker with 3x2ís, but that motor overheated too many times until I finally killed it and I never got around to redoing it. I had a low mileage Goodwrench crate engine with a very mild Howards retro roller cam conversion and stuck that in the car. Performer intake, Q-jet carb and recurved HEI. Pretty much the equivalent of a 1970ís era 1 ton truck motor. Nothing to write home about for sure. I do miss the 383 and hope to add another one soon. Sheís a big, ole heavy girl and needs more gear and motor, but thatís another story for another day.


    The trans is a TH350 with a shift kit and extra clutches in the clutch packs and came out of my grandfatherís old station wagon. Heís the one that had it built that way. I had it freshened up many years ago. It was behind the 383, too. Shifter is a B and M ratchet unit and I use it a lot with the crappy rear gears. Around town, I often leave it in 2nd and drive it like a Powerglide.


    I eventually fixed the cooling issue that killed the 383 with a big Griffin Rat Rod series aluminum radiator and a very high output Cooling Components slim line fan (about a 60 amp motor), along with the solid state fan controller that Cooling Components sells for their fans. I still canít run the AC in heavy traffic, but in spite of insane traffic in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg (I actually saw a lady with a walker moving faster than we were!!), as well as many long ( 15+ miles) mountain road pulls, I never saw it get over 205 and it never puked. Most of the time it stayed under 200.


    Here are some pics of the car from several years ago before it picked up the ďdriven for several yearsĒ patina. I even included a shot of the old 383.





    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  2. #2
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Now for the actual trip.

    We spent three days in Pigeon Forge before moving on to Georgia.

    During that time, we made a trip over to Maggie Valley, NC to visit the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum. This is the museum that was on the TV show ďWhatís in the BarnĒ and featured Dale Walksler and his son Matt.

    This is a unique museum that features antique American made motorcycles and all of them run. Some are restored and some are as found and conserved. They start many of them often during the day. Itís worth seeing if youíre in the area. Sadly, Dale passed away a few months ago, but Matt is carrying on. I have been several times and found both of them approachable and willing to talk when theyíre not busy.



    This is a 1913 Henderson four cylinder. Matt started this one for me a few years ago. I had read an article about one being ridden around the world in 1912 and asked him if they had one. The í13 is virtually the same machine. Amazing that someone made it all the way around the world on one. The thing runs as smooth as a sewing machine.



    That Henderson engine would eventually morph into the vaunted Indian Four like this one. Lotís of good stories like that to be had at WTT.



    I had to include a picture of this Shovel Head Electra-Glide. Except for the color, it is virtually identical to my first Harley. Mine was maroon.

    More coming!
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  3. #3
    36 sedan's Avatar
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    LOVE IT!
    Great story, great pictures! 5 stars!!!

    stars.png
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  4. #4
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Thanks 36. We had a great time.





    As I said, we just like to drive around and look a the scenery and there are some great views in the PF area.





    We did the Foothills Parkway and a few miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The new extension to the Foothills Parkway is amazing with bridges that wrap around the mountain. We also stopped by Hillbilly’s restaurant in Wear’s Valley for a burger and some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had. It's a never miss for us.





    Lot’s of waterfalls in the area, too. Unfortunately, I’m having a few health issues and couldn’t hike to the better ones. These were along the road.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  5. #5
    NTFDAY's Avatar
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    Did you by chance take Route 441 from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, NC ? As I remember it's full of beautiful scenery with an observation station at the top of the mountain. To me, the only drawback is that wicked hairpin a little less than halfway to Cherokee, but then the last time I drove it was on the way back to Dayton, Ohio from Florida in 1961.
    I'm sure things have changed considerably since then as Gatlinburg wasn't much more than a peek and plum town.
    peek and plum= peek around the corner and you're plum out of town.
    glennsexton likes this.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  6. #6
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Yes, we did 441 a couple of times that week. That accounted for most of the long mountain pulls. I think it's something like 16 miles of just about constant grade on one side. Luckily, there was enough traffic that I was able to pull it in second without holding up folks behind me. Those 2.75 gears really suck in that kind of situation.

    Gatlinburg has definitely changed since you were there. There is a casino and the town has turned into a mega shopping area. Traffic was just about at parking lot status. We usually bypass it when we can. Absolutely no fun on a motorcycle unless you like walking your bike.

    Edit - That casino is in Cherokee, but there may be one in Gatlinburg, too.
    Last edited by Hotrod46; 08-09-2021 at 09:49 AM.
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    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  7. #7
    rspears's Avatar
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    Smokie 057a.jpg
    -
    We took the Jeep on a Smokie's trip and did a few of the Forest Service roads between points. Came around a curve to Mama Bear and triplet cubs - two of them shown here. We backed up and watched the cubs play, then Mama decided to go down the hill to dig and we scooted by. Beautiful country!
    Roger
    Enjoy the little things in life, and you may look back one day and realize that they were really the BIG things.

  8. #8
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    I don't own a Jeep, but there are several places in the area that rent side by side ATV's. Apparently they are legal to operate on road in Tennessee. I mentioned to my wife that we might need to check into one in the future. Checking out some real back roads seems like it would be interesting.
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    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  9. #9
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    There was also no way I was going to be in that area without heading over US129 to Deals Gap. This is the infamous ďTail of the DragonĒ that advertises 318 curves in 11 miles. Itís known by motorcycle and sports car people all over the world.

    The neat thing is that professional photographers set up every day and shoot virtually everything that comes by. You can visit their websites and buy pictures of whatever your machine was that day. Yeah, itís a gimmick, but it makes for a nice souvenir shot of your car or bike in action instead of just sitting in a parking lot.







    Here are a couple of shots of the old 46 in action. You can see in one that she is healed over in a right hand curve. I gave the junk yard sway bars a work out that day.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  10. #10
    NTFDAY's Avatar
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    That's such a neat little coupe, very traditional and quite functional.
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    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  11. #11
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    Thanks a bunch for that compliment NTFDAY! That was my goal when I built the car. I wanted a usable, reasonably high performance touring car. She's lost some of the performance I built in, but still remains reliable and fun.
    Mike P, NTFDAY, falconvan and 1 others like this.
    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrod46 View Post
    I don't own a Jeep, but there are several places in the area that rent side by side ATV's. Apparently they are legal to operate on road in Tennessee. I mentioned to my wife that we might need to check into one in the future. Checking out some real back roads seems like it would be interesting.
    Mike, we were in the Wear Valley area as I recall, and decided to jump off and take a back road up to a little town further down the highway. The local map warned of unpaved roads that might not be maintained, etc, etc but the one we took was at least 20 feet wide, gravel (metal to our NZ folks), and smooth as silk. The only "warning" needed was "your vehicle may get dusty if you go too fast". In 15 miles or so we never met another vehicle, and only saw one pulled off at a place where there was a hiking trail to a fishing spot up the hill. We had packed lunch and thoroughly enjoyed being out in the woods away from the hustle & bustle.
    Hotrod46 likes this.
    Roger
    Enjoy the little things in life, and you may look back one day and realize that they were really the BIG things.

  13. #13
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    Looks like a great trip d the coupe looks killer. I really dig the old bike museum. There's a place in downtown St Louis called the Triumph cafe. It's a restaurant with a really nice museum of about 300 motorcycles. Very cool looking stuff, lots of old European bikes, Russian military bikes; stuff you don't see everywhere.
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  14. #14
    Hotrod46's Avatar
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    After the day at the Dragon, we headed over to Hiawassee, Georgia for the car show. The show was actually in Blairsville, but we stayed in Hiawassee. We took the long way and did some of the Moonshiner 28 road. We couldnít do the whole thing.

    In case youíre wondering about these road names, there are several different routes that have been laid out, mostly for motorcycles, and many of them have names. They have names like Thunder Road, The Rattler, and Copperhead. Some are not named, but are just loops that are laid out on websites and in pamphlets that are available at local motorcycle shops. Mostly, it plays into the local motorcycle tourism industry, but it does make it easy for someone from out of town to find interesting roads to ride.

    The car show wasnít super big, but we had a good time and there were many nice cars to look at. There were also some vendors.







    The Hemi Under Glass wheelie car was there and was cranked up several times. Wish I could have posted a video. This is the same car that Leno was in when it rolled on his show. They told me that the whole side of the car had to be replaced after that incident. I found the engineering in it interesting. It used a boat type gearbox to redirect the power back to the rearend that had been turned around. The wheelie bars used 6 shocks to soften the hit. If you saw the Roadkill episode where they built Stubby Bob, you saw the same type of gearbox setup.





    We made some new friends, too. These folks lived locally and showed up in the first day without a tent. The sun was relentless and we shared our canopy with them. We hung out with them for the rest of the weekend. One day they brought a small grille and we supplied some hot dogs and smoked sausage. Lots of good conversation and visiting.

    Then, sadly, it was time to start home. During the week we put just about 2000 miles on the coupe and I donít think it stumbled once the whole time. The only real trouble we had with the car was on the first day, when we got caught in the rain. The cowl vent apparently leaks and some water dripped onto a relay I have on the brakes. This caused the LED taillights to flicker and the cruise control to not work. It also must have dripped in the sound system and shut that down. I figured the brake and cruise problem out while driving and dried the relay out when we stopped to eat at Rising Fawn, Georgia. The radio issue was a problem off and on the whole week, but that was solved with Bluetooth speakers and headphones on the road.

    Weíre already looking forward to our next road trip! Thanks for following along.
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    Mike

    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc-
    I'm following my pass​ion

  15. #15
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    Thanks for sharing

     



    I remembered your car from here when you showed up for the HRPT in Gonzales, La.
    Lamar-Dixon Expo Center is in our back yard. We were there with our HISS and HERZ Camaro's. We did the first leg of the tour in HERZ to Baytown, Texas then headed north and went to visit with Emmett(Meller)(MelloYello) for an afternoon.
    I got a photo but you were not around the car, otherwise I would have introduced myself.
    Thanks for sharing your trip photos.
    Nolanhotrod power tour 2015 063.jpghotrod power tour 2015 139.jpg
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    It's All Good

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