The North Georgia Mountains
Ed Bolian, of VINwiki fame, has seen a growing paradigm shift in the dynamics of exotic car ownership, away from wanting to preserve vehicles in pristine condition, toward wanting to fully enjoy the ownership experience by driving them; and not worrying (as much) about adding mileage or a few scratches to the car. According to Ed, it’s all about “experiencing what your car can do, and racking up a lot of fun, meaningful miles.”
Toward that end, over the past few years, Ed has hosted several Sunday afternoon group drives for other serious car enthusiasts. He takes them around a 150-mile loop in the North Georgia mountains, near his home in Atlanta. Looking for something more exciting than a typical “Cars & Coffee” event, where owners stand around and talk about their cars, Ed researched and designed a route on some of the most scenic, technically challenging and best maintained roads in the area that he could find.
The route takes the drivers from Atlanta, up along the GA 400 towards Dahlonega. They then travel up US 190 to GA 180. After that, the road takes the group to the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway (GA 348). Heading home, they travel along GA 75 Alternate, back to GA 180 towards Dahlonega, and finally along GA 400 back to Atlanta.
Surrounded by the beauty of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, Ed’s route winds through scenic wonders that include misty waterfalls, and the valleys and mountain gaps of the southern Appalachian range, which feature the vistas atop Brasstown Bald, the highest elevation in Georgia, at nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Ed’s half-day excursion includes at least a few places to pull off for photos or to re-group. The day typically ends with a dinner on their way home.
Ed says, “It’s a great way to spend time with like-minded people who want to push their cars pretty hard through some tough twists and turns on some really awesome mountain roads.” Over the years, there have been a couple minor mishaps. This includes a few speed-related run-ins with local police. They are somewhat forgiving, as long as drivers don’t act in a reckless manner.
Ed notes that actual driving is the key to exotic and vintage car enjoyment, but that all enthusiasts have a responsibility to drive in a safe and sustainable manner so that the privilege of driving high performance cars on public roads is not curtailed or lost forever.
Checkout the video where Ed discusses his favorite drive below.