Driving the Dragon

I’ve had quite a few people ask me what it’s actually like driving the Tail of the Dragon. In the past I’ve always pointed them to a few of the professional DVDs that are available showing MINIs zipping in and out of the turns from every conceivable angle. However sometimes all it takes is some poor quality video taken by a point and shoot camera to convey a sense of pure unadulterated automotive joy that is the Tail of the Dragon. So with that in mind, here’s a little something that I just dug off the SD card that had been sitting in my forgotten point and shoot Pentax Optio.

Since we had both a full load of luggage and some splitting headaches to deal with from the night before this was definitely our most relaxed run of the weekend. Think of it as a relaxed Sunday drive through the Dragon.


[ MF Review: MINIs on the Dragon ] MotoringFile
  • GSKChicago

    Oh my G-d! That looks so fantastic. My wife will never, ever go with me to the Dragon – she would be car sick in the first 5 minutes.

    I don’t know that I can trust myself with that much of a fun stretch of road.

    Thanks for sharing – yet again.

  • totally sweet – all 3rd gear?

  • JimR

    Thanks for the video. What was your approximate speed when the video was taken?

  • freezr

    what a waste of gas, get those tires screeming! Geeez

    “Think of it as a lazy Sunday drive through the Dragon since we had both a full load of luggage and some splitting headaches to deal with from the night before.”

  • Ted

    This drive relates closely with a good dance, motoring the twisting geography, always planning your next move. The more you practice the better you get. Great road surface. Speed is totally irrelavant to the enjoyment of this twisty. Nice video clip, the purr of the exhaust and the occasional whine of the engine sounds so sweet. This roadway matches up with the MINI’s ideal purpose, easily enjoying the motoring experience.

  • what a waste of gas, get those tires screeming! Geeez

    Tires don’t scream when the road is wet. It’s also not a great idea to push the car when you have an extra 200-300lbs in the back.

    I don’t personally think it’s a great idea to post videos of you driving your car exceedingly fast on the internet for all to see. I had other runs that we’re at a very different pace but you won’t see those here.

  • Ted

    Between the 22 to 25 second marks and again the 42 to 44 second marks. Do I hear the sweet sound of the super charger?

  • Ken

    Thanks Gabe,

    This video reminded me just how unwell I was feeling when we shot this. But, I would do it again in a heart beat!

  • JustJay

    I to made a video at the Dragon via the passenger seat. I did from one end to the other and going to the rock durnig the midnight run. I will post some video soon. Nice one Gabe.

  • 05DSMCS

    wow…I won’t be able to concentrate at work at all today…

  • CmdrVimes

    I have my own towhook cam vidoes that I’ll edit at some point. One run (out and back) it was actually mounted to the rear for a slightly different (and slightly more sick-inducing) point of view.

  • That is a cool little video – it looks like it would be pretty easy to grab some gravel or other off road debris, sending the car spinning into one of the many trees…..

    It looks a bit like Sheridan Rd. around Ravinia without the cops!


    Its almost as twisty as the road to Hana on maui… Though the road to Hana is a lot more narrow and built almost entirely on cliffs…

  • Teresa

    Great video. Every run of the Dragon doesn’t need to be made at breakneck, deathspeed. I wish more people would realize that ; )

  • Francis

    Very nice Gabe! I guess this video will have to do for now.. Until the next MOTD!!!!

    I still haven’t tried the Ravines in my MINI… could that be considered a counterfeit Dragon???

  • For those curious, this is but a very small portion of the Dragon and definitely not as tight and winding as some portions.

  • docjohnboy

    wow. I’ve got to get up there this summer.

  • Shamus

    Love the streaming video inserted right on the page! I’m used to most videos popping up in a seperate player…very slick Gabe.

  • Mini2Go

    Good point, Gabe; this seems to be a more “casual” section of the Dragon, not just a relaxed drive. There are certainly sections with a lot tighter and closer in succession turns – you don’t even need to leave 2nd gear for those sections! But even this little video does wonders for my senses! It brings it all back – and OH what a rush! 😉

  • rn3403

    what kind of exhaust do you have on that car???? Sounds good! Great video

  • what kind of exhaust do you have on that car???? Sounds good! Great video

    Supersprint. You can read the review here.

  • goonery

    Just like everyday driving in the UK, but on the wrong side of the road. 🙂 Nice clip ! LOL

  • this is like porn. screw it, this is porn. i have been sans MINI since December and withdrawal is now chronic. lucky lucky lucky bastards.

  • ezra360

    Yesssssss!!! Thanks for the teaser trailer Gabe. I agree there are times to push the MINI, but the silky smooth carving is oh-so-fun!

  • Deborah / NekoWoman

    I can’t tell if I’m more jealous that you have a GPS or if I think it’s cheating to know the turns ahead of time… LOL… I think part of what makes the Dragon so breathtaking (for me) is that it is so fluid and unpredictable (as I can’t go often enough to memorize it and I lack the insight of a GPS).