Every so often, I get an e-mail from a reader that inspires me to stand up, put on some pants, and actually go outside. I received such an e-mail about two weeks ago, from a guy who wanted to see if I'd go with him to the Tail of the Dragon in a rented BMW M5.
That's right: a random Internet stranger asked me to meet up with him, borrow someone else's 550-horsepower luxury car, and drive it to one of the most heavily policed areas in the United States. So I said yes, and we did it. You'd know this if you followed me on Twitter, where I posted a really cool picture of the M5 next to some large, scary-looking silver thing, and also a metal dragon.
I met up with this reader, who I'll call "John" because that's his name, one morning last week at the Atlanta airport. Even though we both drove to the meeting, and we were both planning to drive away from the meeting, we had to meet at the airport for one simple reason: that's the only place where Hertz is crazy enough to rent you a BMW M5. They also have a C63 AMG, a couple of M3s, and at least one SLS, all coming to a used luxury car dealer near you, where they'll be advertised as "well-kept lease returns."
So we picked up the M5, and John headed up towards the Tail of the Dragon, while I followed closely behind in my own vehicle: a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS. If you're curious how I ended up with a Camaro, it went something like this: I called the press car people, I informed them of my plan to drive to the Tail of the Dragon, and I asked for a light, tossable, fun sports car. And a few days later, they showed up with a Camaro.
Not that I'm complaining. In fact, I happen to like the Camaro, as I've explained in the video above. Oh, sure, at one point I use the phrase "cheapest materials that currently exist in the known universe." And there's that part where I say it has "more blind spots than a panel van." But that's just good-natured ribbing, sort of like when rival athletes meet up on the field and tell each other to drop dead.
And anyway, I've got more to discuss here than just the Camaro. I'll start with the Tail of the Dragon. For those of you who don't know what the Tail of the Dragon is, here's the deal: it's an incredibly tight, curvy, exciting road located in a part of the country I once referred to as the "marry-your-cousin hills of eastern Tennessee." In fact, I've said a lot of things about the Tail of the Dragon – and I pissed off a lot of Tennessee residents in doing so, if I recall correctly.