Enzo’s Birthday + Wine and Cheese event – February 22nd

We had a slight break in the weather and 37 enthusiastic people from a variety of Ohio and Kentucky cities from Columbus to Lexington braved the cold to come to our first event of the year.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the idea of getting together after largely spending the winter inside due to all the snow.  There were many different wine and cheese selections as well as other food goodies – thanks Barb for your delicious shrimp puffs.  We showed the FCA’s 50th Anniversary video we created in Cincinnati – thank you Vince for your many, many hours on that project.  A variety of different conversations were going on all over the house, with ample opportunity to catch up with many old friends and to make some new ones.  The enthusiasm of the group was pervasive and a good time was had by all.  The FCA’s season of fun is underway for 2014!

Michael Kelly

Chapter President


Cincinnati Underground Tour  April 12th

The 2014 event season began on a brisk day with a historic walking tour of downtown Cincinnati in Over the Rhine, and freshly baked doughnuts from Holtman's! The colorful history of Cincinnati's Irish, German, and beer brewing heritage were in full display and ended in a wonderful lunch with 10 FCA friends at the restaurant Taste of Belgium.

Ian De Barros

Cincinnati Area Representative


OSU-CAR Tour - April 19th

Fifteen members of the Ohio Chapter of the FCA and 15 more guests toured the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research (CAR) facility on April 19th.  Dr. Giorgio Rizzoni, CAR's director, gave a very interesting presentation on the history of the Buckeye Bullet (www.buckeyebullet.com).  Dr. Rizzoni stressed that alternative fuels are our future, as our natural resources for current fuels will not last more than two generations. 

All Buckeye Bullets have been designed and created by engineering students at he Ohio State University (OSU), and many of them have broken land speed records for electric vehicles.  The current goal is to design the next generation of the Buckeye Bullet that will hopefully break the 400 mph barrier.  Dr. Rizzoni discussed the various challenges in designing such a vehicle, which range from aerodynamics, to the expansion of tires at high speed, to maximizing power from the batteries in a very short time period. 

Roger Schroer, the driver for the Buckeye Bullet, also shared his experiences at breaking land speed records, and allowed time for questions, of which there were plenty. 

After the presentation, all had an opportunity to see the new Buckeye Bullet 4, and meet the talented students who are creating this amazing vehicle.  Dr. Rizzoni stressed taking advanced math courses and maintaining a high GPA to all future automotive engineers.   A huge thank you to Dr. Rizzoni for the generosity of his time and a very interesting presentation.  His contagious passion in working with these talented students and future automotive engineers was very apparent.

Giorgio Bittoni

Columbus Area Representative


Purdue Grand Prix - April 25th

For the third time we returned to the Purdue Grand Prix to support their scholarship foundation.  Due to bad weather and some mechanical issues, we only had one Testarossa, a student’s Maserati, and a few other student cars.  But, due to the multi-year relationship we’ve had with the event, we’ve been able to establish relationships with the students, and we were able to talk with a lot more students than normal due to the ever increasing number of students who’ve heard about our visit.  As a result, we were a contributing factor to strong attendance and thousands of dollars of scholarship funds being raised.  The kart race turned out to be very exciting.  It was a repeat victory for last year’s winning driver, but he had a very hard fought battle and for a while was in second place until a mechanical failure of the lead kart.  There was plenty of action in the race and it was a great fun to watch.  There are some potential changes being considered for next year which should make it even more exciting.

Thanks to those who actually got to display their cars, and to those who intended to display their cars but couldn’t, to help raise more scholarship money! Mark your calendars for 25 April 2015 for the 58th annual race and 24 April 2015 for Grand Prix Display Day!

Michael Kelly

Chapter President


Mon Ami – May 4th

The annual FCA-Ohio Spring Drive was on May 4th, 2014.  For the third consecutive year it was a combined event, with the Toledo and Cleveland/Akron areas meeting in Port Clinton.  Hal Nichols started the Toledo drive at The Village Inn Café in Sylvania.  After a quick bite to eat, drivers departed and the drive coursed along the Portage River.  Doug Ehrler started the Cleveland/Akron drive at one of our sponsors, Collection Auto Group Maserati, who generously provided a light breakfast.  Local police escorted the group out of city traffic where the drive continued through rural routes of farming country.

The drivers converged at Mon Ami Winery for a 1:00 pm brunch.  The winery’s large, private parking area accommodated the 47 cars in attendance.  Models spanned the generations; some of the models represented were the 330, Dino, 412, 512BBi, 308, 328, 360, Testarossa, 430, California, 599 and the 458.  Other exotics included Lamborghini, Porsche, Lotus, Mercedes and a Spyker.  These beautiful cars all drew the attention of the guests, who enjoyed brunch in a private spacious upstairs loft.  After eating the group socialized and caught up after a long winter.  It was good to see old faces mixing with several new members who joined over the off-season.  The event concluded at a member’s beautiful waterfront house, they provided a fabulous round of desserts for all. 

This event continuous to grow in popularity and this year 89 members and guests took part. Thanks to all who came out to made it a great event!

Hal Nichols and Doug Ehrler

Toledo Area Representative and Cleveland/Akron Area Representative


Northern Kentucky Drive and Lunch– May 10th

On Saturday, 15 cars departed on a riveting drive through the rural Northern Kentucky countryside. We collected spectators along the drive route - including the wandering tortoise in the road! The drive lasted about one and a half hours and ended at Mike and Krysti Trevor's home for a fantastic BBQ! Thank you very much to Mike and Krysti Trevor for putting together a great drive and hosting us at their house for a BBQ.

Ian De Barros

Cincinnati Area Representative


Columbus Spring Drive – May 18th

A perfect and sunny 65 degree day was the setting for the spring drive through southeastern Ohio's Hocking Hills.  Over thirty cars and fifty people participated in the 200 mile drive through the hilly and twisty country roads.  Harvey Ford of Midwestern Auto Group, our primary sponsor, provided coffee and bagels for everyone prior to the start.

A variety of cars participated including Lotus, Corvette, Porsche, Lamborghini, Maserati, De Tomaso and numerous Ferraris.  The vintage era was represented by a 330 GTC that Andy Manganaro drove from Xenia, and a Dino 246 GTS that Marc Hollander drove from Columbus.  An Aventador and a McLaren rounded out the group as great examples of current automotive marvels.

The new Buckeye Lake Winery, with its beautiful views, was our final destination as everyone enjoyed food and vino, mangia, mangia!

Giorgio Bittoni

Columbus Area Representative


Ault Park Concours – June 8th

On a sunny Sunday in June, many of our FCA Members got to enjoy the Concours.  Nine lucky Ohio and Kentucky members’ cars were able to fit in our car corral, due to some extra spaces we were able to get because of high interest.  These lucky Members had a very easy walk to the show and their cars provided a mini show outside the show which as always attracted a number of interested people.  Five FCA members had their cars displayed on the show field as well, so altogether a good turnout to support raising money to fight Juvenile Arthritis.   There were more than 200 vehicles in the show, which over 5500 attendees (the second highest attendance ever) got to enjoy.  The rain co-operated and there was only a brief period of sprinkles to deal with, which was no problem at all.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  The Ault Park Concours is one of the great shows in the country, and the third longest running show, so if you haven’t been, you should add it to your calendar for next year.

Michael Kelly

Chapter President


Valley Vineyards – June 21st

On Saturday June 21 our FCA family met up at Valley Vineyards to enjoy a fine evening together for dinner and conversation.  In the prior years that we've had this event, we would start out in Montgomery and drive up to Valley Vineyards for lunch.  Each member grilled their own steak or salmon and enjoyed the evening with their own bottle of wine!  Salud!

Ian De Barros

Cincinnati Area Representative


Stark County Italian American Festival Exotic Italian Car Show – June 28th

The Italian Car Show at the Stark County Italian American Festival hosted by FCA – Ohio returned this year on Saturday, June 28, 2014 after a short lapse.   It was a hot and breezy, sunny day at the Stark County Fairgrounds displaying 25 hot and fast Italian cars.  Dana and Claudia Little, Perry and Mary Reghetti, and the Chuck Farro family were new members in attendance this year among many returning FCA-OH members totaling at least 36 people.  There were also a number of non FCA members sharing their Italian cars at the show.  The Best of Show went to a 1971 red Lamborghini Miura owned by Jerry Brubaker.  Other cars included multiple Ferraris such as Californias, 458 Italia, 360 Modena, 430, Superamerica, BB512, Testarossa and 308s.  Besides the award winning Miura, Lamborghini included a Gallardo and a Murcielago.  Multiple Maseratis attended including Grand Turismos, Quattroportes and a Spyder.  Collection Auto Group/Cleveland Maserati, one of our sponsors, provided 2 new cars, a Grand Turismo and a Ghibli.  Also on hand were a 1957 Alfa Romeo Guilietta Spyder and a Lancia Zagato.  There was even a Giugaro designed Lotus Esprit to round out the show cars.  Multiple other awards were presented and everyone enjoyed the sights as well as the camaraderie.

This was the 28th year for the Stark County Italian American Festival which boasts 3 days of entertainment, vendors, rides and the awarding of financial scholarships to deserving high school graduates planning to attend college. 

David Bitonte

Canton/Akron Area Representative


Exotics on Park - July 11th

On a beautiful Friday night over 80 cars gathered in support of the Arthritis Foundation in Midwestern Auto Group’s unique event.  26 FCA people attended and we resumed where we left off the last time we were talking to our long-time friends, as well as establish friendships with new members.   There were 100 or so other people at the event as well.  We started with heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshing drinks at Midwestern Auto Group’s main location, as well as an interesting jewelry display.

Paulie Anthony put a great drive together, with a long and winding path around and through the city.  The Dublin and Columbus Police were exceptionally helpful in escorting us.  We drove through Worthington, Clintonville, OSU Campus, Short North, Downtown & German Village.  Once in the city, people lined the streets and were waving and shouting to the drivers and passengers.   We made quite the display going through town.  Once we got downtown we parked chevron style on Goodale Street.  After some more time talking at the cars, people headed over to Eleven restaurant for drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

More than $13,000 was raised for the Arthritis Foundation, a notable achievement. 

A special thanks to Harvey Ford, Justin Bay, Mike Finneran and Tim Clausen of Midwestern Auto Group for making the event happen and for their hard work during the event.  Thank you to Midwestern Auto Group for sponsoring the event

Thanks also to everyone who participated and for their support of the Arthritis Foundation.

Giorgio Bittoni, Columbus Area Representative 
Michael Kelly, Chapter President


PDX at Mid-Ohio, Lexington – August 8th

It was a sunny day for our annual Performance Driving Experience, and while the heat was an issue for some, most didn’t seem to mind.  31 people from both Ohio and Kentucky attended with eight driving, two for the first time.  Our drivers were in each of the four run groups, reflecting our broad range of track experience.  Everyone seemed to learn something and all drove within the limits of their cars so they and their cars were able to return home safely.  Thank you to our instructors who volunteered to help students learn safely and well. 

Lunch and refreshments were provided by FCA Ohio and our great sponsors Midwestern Auto Group, Maserati of Cincinnati, Maserati of Cleveland, Studio 47, Thomarios, North Coast Exotics, Evans Automotive, James Free Jewelers, Merrill Lynch’s Barcza Group, NJB Automotive and Esoteric Auto Detail.  Thank you once again to Bob and Marcella Miller for making the luncheon arrangements for this event; it was a great spread of food.  David Cannon, part of our North Coast Exotics sponsor, Joe Yung and I were able to provide rides to a number of passengers, some of whom had never been on a racetrack before.  All the passengers had a great time and there were many requests to go out again. 

Thanks to the SCCA for again partnering with us for a wonderful event; we appreciate all you do.  The SCCA does an excellent job keeping everyone safe, starting with technical inspection and continuing until the last driving session of the day. 

Michael Kelly

Chapter President


James Free Jewelers Drive and Showroom Tour - August 9th

Under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, some of our most enthusiastic drivers from across Ohio and Kentucky met in Cincinnati to begin a scenic drive to Dayton. Our drive began near James Free's Montgomery store and wound its way along back roads through Indian Hill, Miamiville, Lebanon, and Bellbrook before concluding in Kettering.  Our 13 car convoy included a Testarossa, two 360s, two F430s, a 328 GTS, a 550 Maranello, a Diablo SV, an NSX, a ZR-1, and even a Triumph sports bike.  This grouping made quite a scene for car fans as it travelled north. Aside from some loose stones and a few missed turns, the group enjoyed the cars and the roads very much. We were even joined by some other enthusiasts along the journey. At the jewelry store, we were greeted with a cheering crowd of spectators and family members, and Ferrari-only parking.  The convoy was met by a 275 GTS, a 275 GTB, two 458 Spiders, two Gallardos, a Murcielago, another 360 CS, and a 400si. 

Altogether we had 34 Club members and 5 potential new members attend the event, plus 60 of James Free Jewelers’ existing customers attended.  Our members were treated by James Free Jewelers to outstanding personalized gift bags including custom made shirts, excellent food and drink, informative behind-the-scenes tours of the facility, and generous pricing on beautiful pieces, some of them custom designed for this event.

This was a one-of-a-kind unique event for both James Free Jewelers and the FCA Ohio Chapter, drawing large amounts of publicity on radio and television before the event and two TV interviews during the event.  Thanks to James Free Jewelry for sponsoring the event.  Both groups thoroughly enjoyed all parts of this special engagement!

Rajeev K. Sinha

Dayton Member


Annual Meet – August 16th

By popular demand, the beautiful Brookside Country Club, in Columbus, was again the site for the FCA-Ohio thirteenth Annual meet on August 16.

The weather could not have been better as the sun highlighted the beautiful lines and curves of the almost forty Ferraris that were on display.   Over 65 people came from all corners of Ohio and Kentucky to enjoy great scenery, a beautiful clear sky, fantastic company, and a wonderful lunch provided by Brookside Country Club.  Everyone had an opportunity to mingle and catch up with old friends.

Over 35 Ferraris were beautifully displayed circling the 18th hole of the course.  Several amazing Ferraris including a 330 GTC, an F-40, a Dino 246 GTS, an F-12 Berlinetta and others were all driven to the event by their owners.  

A huge thank you to all our sponsors who make these events possible: Midwestern Auto Group, Maserati of Cincinnati, Maserati of Cleveland, Studio 47, Thomarios, North Coast Exotics, Evans Automotive, James Free Jewelers, Merrill Lynch’s The Barcza Group, NJB Automotive, Block A Chip and Esoteric Auto Detail.  As a result of our sponsors, many raffle prizes were handed out during the event.  As late afternoon arrived and members started to pack up, there was lots of anticipation for next year’s Annual Meet.

Giorgio Bittoni

Columbus Representative


Wyoming Exotic Wheels & Wine – September 6th

On a cool September evening the Wyoming Exotic Wheels & Wine inaugural event packed downtown Wyoming with 40+ sleek super cars and a couple thousand happy onlookers. The September 6th event was threatened by rain all day but in the end it was a gorgeous evening. Along with the beautiful weather was a staggering line up of exotic cars from the Cincinnati area including: A dozen Ferraris from the 308 to the new F12, Lexus LFA, Lamborghini, McLaren, Lotus, Ford GT, Audi R8, Porsche GT3-GT2 RS, and the ultra-rare BMW Z1. There was even an appearance by a vintage Indy roadster which drew an excited crowd every time its Offenhauser engine roared to life. The flashy cars drew the crowd in but the selection of wine, MadTree craft beer offerings, food from nearby Gabbys, and Graeter’s Ice cream kept the event goers happy.  The date has already been set for next year's event.  Mark your calendars- the Second Annual Wyoming Exotic Wheels & Wine will be on September 12 2015. All proceeds benefit The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati. This night would not have been possible without the help of generous sponsors: Lexus River Center, Rookwood Pottery, Wyoming Wines, Hallmark Realty, Distasis at 400, Griot’s Garage and Wyoming Business Association.  A HUGE special thanks to event organizers and members Chris & Angela Schunk; for a first time event they did an amazing job and surpassed everyone’s expectations of what was possible.  Thanks also go to event manager Lynn Tetley, FCA-Ohio Chapter and of course the owners who were so generous with their time and cars. 

Michael Kelly

Chapter President


Bellefontaine Drive, Spelunking and Lunch – September 13th

18 people from around Ohio met at Anderson Ford in Bellefontaine for coffee and doughnuts, which was a great way to start the day as we’d need the energy later on.

11 cars pulled out and started what was an amazingly fun drive.  I don’t know how Aric Hersh and Zef Hernandez did it, but in the midst of corn country they found hills, blind turns, beautiful vistas and impressive corn fields to look at.  Our parade of cars drew attention from many people tending to the land, as well as some kind fellow drivers who blocked the road so we could all get out of places as a group.

We toured underground in Ohio Caverns, the largest cave system in Ohio that contains many crystal formations.  The Crystal King is the largest free-hanging stalactite in Ohio at 4-foot-10.5-inches long.  It is estimated to weigh over 400 pounds and be over 200,000 years old.  There are examples of every type of formation in the cave so we got to see lots of interesting sights: iron oxidemanganese dioxide and calcite formations; stalactites; stalagmites; columnsflowstone; soda straws; helictites and Dual Formations.  Dual Formations are extremely rare.  The Ohio Caverns is the only known North American cave and one of very few in the world known to have Dual Formations - we saw calcite stalactites growing on the ends of iron oxide formations.  It was an amazing tour of a beautiful side of nature only a few have seen.

Marie’s Candies was an added treat to the drive, and quite the shop it was.  Aric and Zef know my love of chocolate and were thoughtful enough to add a stop there.  Our group enjoyed many free samples and a number of us bought some of Marie’s specialty items – chocolate covered cinnamon sticks, chocolate covered bacon and malted milk bark.  It was definitely a great appetizer stop before driving on to lunch at Six Hundred Downtown, operated by a 4 time World & 3 Time US Pizza Champion.  The pizza really is THAT good and is worth stopping for if you are ever near the area. 

America’s first concrete paved street was made in Bellefontaine in 1891, and we got to see it. 

Everyone took home goody bags with event embroidered hats, a CD of specially selected car themed songs to play on the drive, Ferrari themed paper to take notes of where we want to come back and revisit someday and other essential goodies for the drive.

Thank you Aric and Zef for another incredible event, you once again outdid yourselves!

Michael Kelly

Chapter President


Northeast Ohio Garage Tour and Italian Lunch by Lago Winery - September 21st

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, eighty-six FCA members and guests had the rare opportunity to visit the Ferrari collection of fine automobiles at the home of Brian and Kim Ross.  Many members met in the morning with some spotty showers lingering from the night before to caravan to the Ross estate.  Fellow auto lovers traveled from near and far, including Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Canton, Toledo, Lima, Columbus, Cincinnati, and even Chicago and Pennsylvania.  As one drove up the long and winding driveway through the lakes at the home, an F12 was parked outside of the Ferrari barn as if to welcome all members.  Their home presented as a mansion that would be highlighted from the rich and famous.  Soon, the sun came out and shined its beautiful rays upon our Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis and array of other sports cars and daily drivers.  The Ross’ garages were filled with late model supercars such as an Enzo, F50, F40, 288GTO as well as some uniquely rare vintage cars such as the 410, 250MM, 166MM and Fiat Abarth 750 GT Zagato to name a few.  By the end of the day, Brian lit up the tires by demonstrating their power, agility and aural tones.  It was a very special treat to see and hear the cars being driven. 

Wine tasting and a delicious Italian lunch were provided by Lago Winery (Dr. Bob Naples) and Aulizio’s catering.  Members enjoyed not only seeing the fine automobiles, they enjoyed great conversation and strolling around the large estate, meeting new and greeting old friends.

A special thank you goes to Earl Gibbs and North Coast Exotics, who sponsored the event and helped make it all possible.  It was a rare and appreciated opportunity.

David Bitonte

Akron/Canton Representative


Ravenwood Castle – October 5th

A cool fall day was the perfect setting for the Ravenwood Castle drive in the beautiful Hocking Hills area.  16 Members drove from far and near as they didn’t want to miss this opportunity.  Tim Whalen organized another wonderful drive through the challenging, but fun, twisting and hilly roads of southeastern Ohio.  The beautiful fall colors were impossible to miss and enjoyed by all.  The automotive mix was well rounded as we had Ferraris, BMWs, Porsches, an NSX and a DeLorean.  As the drive came to an end we all enjoyed a meal at the beautiful Ravenwood Castle, a bed and breakfast tucked away in the hills, and designed to be a medieval castle.  The staff was welcoming, and provided everyone with an awesome meal and the history of the castle.  As the event winded down plans were made to assure that all would be back next year.

Giorgio Bittoni

Columbus Representative


Italian Festival – October 12th

On an unusually sunny fall day in Columbus, Ohio, the FCA-Central Ohio Area was again invited to participate in the Columbus Italian Festival Parade.  Five of Maranello's finest, a 360, a 456, a 512 TR and two 458s all participated and led the parade.  How appropriate to have five Italian masterpieces in front to get the crowd excited.  Spectators loved seeing the cars and naturally asked everyone to "rev it up".  Some of our members took parade dignitaries, and others enjoyed the parade with their families.  All ten of us that participated had the opportunity to casually enjoy the music, food and culture of the Festival afterwards. 

Giorgio Bittoni

Columbus Representative


2nd Annual North Olmsted Concours - October 12th

On a delightful Sunday, the Collection Auto Group sponsored the 2nd annual North Olmsted Concours at their Mercedes Benz/Porsche dealership.  The weather was ideal with sunny skies from Noon to 4 PM.   The Ohio Chapter of the Ferrari Club of America was asked to display their cars on the front viewing area of the dealership along with awarding trophies to those attending bringing special cars.  This included not only Ferraris, but multiple Porsches, a Triumph, and a Camaro.  

The Collection Auto Group provided the trophies to the winners of the awards as well as providing a great cookout, along with adult beverages, and had WONE radio station on hand playing our favorite music.  And of course there were all of the cars, from Rolls Royce to Maserati, Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes, and Spyker to name a few.

A fantastic time was had by all!  A special thank you goes out to Bernie Moreno, Mark Thomas and Jackie Studor for hosting this great event for a second year.  We look forward to next year!

David Bitonte

Akron/Canton Representative


Cleveland Fall Drive and Dinner – October 18th 

The annual Fall Drive for FCA-Ohio Cleveland/Akron was held on a wet day, with a break in the rain for most of the drive. Cars gathered at Starbuck's coffee In Garfield Heights. After a short freeway drive, we entered the focus area of the event. The route followed the Chagrin River north on its west bank and south on its east bank. Fall foliage was abundant. Traffic was exceedingly light to allow all cars to be in order for nearly the entire trip. The caravan was a red ribbon with a yellow tail (only one non red car). Dinner was at Fleming's Steakhouse and Wine Bar. Ferrari Club members enjoyed conversation and a great meal in a private room. The day was a great end to the most attended year ever for Ferrari events in Northeast Ohio. See you next spring.

Doug Ehrler

Cleveland/Akron Representative


Tail of the Dragon – October 24th-26th

For everybody else, Friday October 24th would start just like any other Friday, eagerly looking ahead to the weekend, family, and friends. For a group of 20 FCA members we anticipated meeting friends, and heading to someplace special, hidden away among the rolling mountains in Tennessee. The time had finally come, and we set off for what would be an epic tour of the legendary Tail of the Dragon.

The Dragon, as it has come to be known, is a length of road on I-129 that stretches eleven miles from the Tabycat Bridge in Southwestern Tennessee to the small town of Deal’s Gap, in North Carolina. Originally used as a Cherokee trail, it was later paved and a legend was born - boasting a mind-bending and adrenalin inducing array of 318 turns. Although various videos can be found on-line showcasing the pitfalls of the road, including the fact that Tennessee has not banned 18-wheeler truck traffic north-bound,  the road is a sumptuous southern belle that welcomes automotive and biker enthusiasts alike, and takes them on a gorgeous journey through the mountains. The October timing of our tour was strategic, with the hope of catching the blanket of golden and fiery leaves in the picturesque landscape. Only drive time would tell if our strategy would coincide with the dragon’s fiery breath alight in the changing leaves…

The drive to Gatlinburg,Tennessee was only about four and a half hours from Cincinnati, Ohio, and was a relatively straight forward cruise down I-75 South. Along the way, we did welcome some Kentucky state troopers following our convoy of ten exotic cars, and the first act of our trip ended at the Back Home Log Cabins, which was a short drive off of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, discreetly tucked away in the mountains. The folks that run the facility have several well equipped and cozy cabins. The one we rented had ten rooms capable of comfortably lodging all of us as we awaited the journey to The Dragon.

That evening, we all enjoyed each other’s company and dinner at No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina in downtown Gatlinburg, and afterwards warmed our spirits with an unaged whiskey tasting at the Olde Smokey Moonshine distillery.

Saturday morning we awoke to a vision of the glory to come, welcomed by the crisp cool kiss of the early-morning air and the embrace of the bright blue sky above. Our drive to The Dragon took about one hour and a half, as we enjoyed the early cruise through the Northwestern main road that carves through The Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Upon exiting the park northbound, we fueled up at a nearby gas station on the way to the Foothills Parkway. The Foothills Parkway gracefully traces a path through the mountains, and at times rides at the very peaks, allowing an unobstructed 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. At the end of the Foothills Parkway, we turned left and travelled South - bound for about five miles to the Tabycat Bridge, where our first greeting with The Dragon would begin.

Upon passing into the Dragon’s lair, we were greeted by the smiles of passing motorcyclists and a yellow sign comically portraying a wavy line above the text “Next 11 miles”. Like a dance partner stepping through a melody, this road does not ask for your attention - it demands it. There are almost no straight stretches for the next twenty-two minutes, and the turns, whether short, tight, wide, or elevated, come quickly like a barrage from a boxer striking through every punch, jab, and hook in his striking combination. The speed limit through here is thirty miles an hour, and it’s strongly recommended that any readers interested in partaking of The Dragon follow that limit. Traveling Southbound, off past your passenger’s window is at times a cliff, watching your every move, reminding you that past that ridge there’s only a precipice clothed in the unwelcoming boughs of trees, with only a ravine at the bottom to greet any unlucky traveler whipped by the Dragon’s tail.

Fortune smiled on our convoy, and the roller coaster themed journey is shrouded from above in the deep blue of the sky, and the Dragon has indeed come out to greet us in a leafy coat ablaze with different shades of yellow and orange fury. Glorious, just glorious! While traveling along, keep an eye out for the photographers along the Dragon - afterwards you can find and purchase your photos on-line! As we pass into North Carolina, the Tail of The Dragon T-Shirt Shop comes up on the right, with a large metallic Dragon statue, and the Deal’s Gap Motor Cycle Lodge is on the left. Both businesses have unique Dragon-themed souvenirs to rekindle your adventure for years to come. The PIG barbecue catering trailer serves up delicious Southern barbecue pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, and the parking area is abound with motorcycle and automotive enthusiasts from all over the world. On this occasion we met bikers from Canada and South Africa, all welcomed by the Southern grace of the Dragon.

Having completed our visit and lunch, we drove back up the Dragon, Northbound retracing our route back to Gatlinburg. The drive back to Gatlinburg was beautiful, yet sad at the same time because we were leaving this fantastic road to return back to our everyday lives. The landscape, the road, and driving company were epic but I also can’t wait to answer The Dragon’s beckoning call again to return to this magical road.

We appreciate the support of our sponsors who make this and all of our events possible: Midwestern Auto Group, Maserati of Cincinnati, Maserati of Cleveland, Studio 47, Thomarios, North Coast Exotics, Evans Automotive, James Free Jewelers, NJB Automotive, The Barcza Group, Block-a-Chip, and Esoteric Auto Detail.

Ian De Barros

Cincinnati Representative


Xenia, Ohio Drive, Lunch, and Garage Tour – Final Event of 2014 – November 8th

On a brisk Saturday morning, nine FCA members met north of Cincinnati for a spirited cruise to Xenia.  Our drive wound through some challenging and beautiful roads as our convoy of mostly red cars enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and fall colors.  The convoy included a 360 Spider, a 308, a 512 TR, and a 550 Maranello.  These beautiful Ferraris were joined by an NSX, a Lamborghini Gallardo Spider, and a Maserati GranTurismo. 

Following this one-hour drive, we were greeted with excellent hospitality and an unparalleled collection of outstanding and rare cars at our member’s garage.  Members from across our state joined in for the drive as well as the tour.  Our gracious host, his family, and his personal mechanic worked hard to ensure our enjoyment and to explain the history and nuances of the collection.  Assembled here were many classic Italian cars as well as several modern supercar marvels.  Overall, 36 people were able to enjoy an outstanding gathering of beautiful and significant cars in a relaxed and jovial atmosphere.

We are so grateful to Andy and his family for hosting this event and making a truly memorable conclusion to an excellent year for the FCA Ohio Chapter!

Rajeev Sinha

Dayton Member