MINI’s on the Dragon 2009

MINIs, Mountains and Dragons OH MY. That’s right, it’s time to gear up for the largest Annual Gathering of MINIs in the United States. The 7th Annual MINIs on the Dragon, taking place once again in the beautiful Smokey Mountains of Robbinsville, North Carolina from Wednesday April 29th to Sunday May 3rd 2009.

This event is based around a section of road called the Dragon, aka US 129, that runs from North Carolina into Tennessee. Can you say Twisties? How bout 318 of them in just 11 miles. We’re talking some white knuckle driving. But the event is so much more than just the road. Imagine getting up each morning and driving around breathtaking mountain scenery and every turn you take another MINI passes you by. No… haven’t died and gone to MINI heaven…….you’re at the Dragon!!

Each year as the event has grown, so has the addition of things to do. Just like the last couple of years we’ll have a Welcome Dinner and a Farewell Dinner, the Brewswap will be coming back for the 4th year, the good folks at Pittstop MINIs will be hosting our first Dragon Bingo, and the MINI Car show will be back again also. This year will also feature the return of the “Drive-In” Movie night, so come park yourself on a lawn chair or in your MINI and watch a free showing of the Bourne Identity.

Of course we’ll have plenty of day drives to choose from, vendors doing Mods and selling their MINI wares and so much more.

This year Mark Ferguson and NAM will not be organizing the event (but I would be amiss if I did not give a big Thank You to Mark for all the time and hard work he put in over the past several years) For all the up to date info and registration news, make sure to check out our website at

  • txdesign

    I notice that most enthusiasts car groups have a day on the Dragon now. How is it that the cops are not lined up 3 deep writing tickets during these events?

    I did the run in 97 for the Labor Day reunion at the BMW factory. 14 Z-cars coming from Texas we hit the dragon at 1am. I was dead tired after a full day of driving but after the first few decreasing radius with a 15 degree drop turns I was wide awake. It still rates as on of the most memorable driving experiences of my life.

  • C4

    I am not sure how fun it is to drive on this road with 400 MINIs in it.

    I went the last day of Dragon ’06 and it was great because mostly everyone was gone and the road was mostly deserted (But was pretty rainy and foggy).

    I thinks this event has reached a plateau…. Too big and too commercialized.

    Just my humble opinion…

  • Thanks to Barry (Snooter) for stepping up and organizing this year’s event!

  • Mark

    @C4: You say this while acknowleging a very limited frame of reference?

    Show up. Enjoy the surroundings and comradery. A more stripped down, back to basics event should be just what was needed. Any event is what you make of it anyway.

  • DUDE!

    Someday I’ll have to try this event though a long drive from SoCal.

  • greg

    I’ll be there so all you haters can gang up on me and kick my butt 😉

    C4 I have to dissagree. I feel the bigger this becomes as an “event” the more special it becomes. What does commercialized mean? Is Walmart putting up a tent?

    As far as number of Minis, this will be my third trip and even with an excess of 500 cars attending I have never felt the Dragon was even remotely crowded. I actually have marvelled at how open it always seems to be.

  • nicole

    Oh man, I wish we could go this year. Thank’s a lot Gabe, I feel like someone just waved a delicious piece of chocolate cake in front of my face!

  • AN

    I love when people use the expression “Just my humble opinion.” Kinda like when someone starts a sentence with “To be perfecetly honest…”

    You just know you’re being lied to.

    Signed, C5.

    Like C4 but better.

  • Jon

    Can’t go (yet again). Someday I’ll tame the dragon… someday.

    To all those lucky folks going, have fun, and be safe. We’ve all seen how the Dragon can bite back sometimes. Pack your Red Bull and Jolt Cola, and good luck to you.

  • Wish I could make it this year… Snooter has done a great job (along with his team of volunteers) to make this year’s MOTD a fantastic event. Too crowded? In the past two years at the Dragon I don’t think I ever thought it was too crowded. With the day drives and other wonderful roads, the entire area is MINI heaven. I’m jealous to all those who are going… be safe and have fun.

  • Hey! What’s that apostrophe doing there? 🙂

  • C4

    AN, very profound and smart. I am impressed.

    Signed, your daddy.

  • goat

    I’ve been to the miata weekend at the Gap three times and I think what C4 is trying to say is not that the overall event isn’t a great time, but that if you are planning to REALLY drive that road quickly… well it is becoming increasingly difficult to do this each year between increasing “Gap traffic” and police presence.

    In my experience it’s always a very satisfying drive, mind you, and the scenery alone is spectacular, but a quick driver will very often find frustration somewhere along their run, catching up to a hapless Harley rider (most annoying) or another car not going as quickly. But driving 9/10’s is not what the Gap is all about…at least not during a car club weekend… you will get a good driving workout, meet some great people, and see and hear a lot of great cars revving up and down the mountain.

  • THE DRAGON is the event that every MINI/Mini owner should experience, at least once. But once you go, you will most likely go back. We are sorry we can’t make it this year. Have fun, be safe, and don’t cross the yellow line!!! Cheers

  • Thanks for posting the article Gabe. Sorry you won’t be able to join us. Looking forward to seeing a bunch of you out there. Sure numbers might be down a little this year. But what is our MINI motto: “Size Does Not Matter”. We’ve got a great group of folks stepping up to host some awesome drives and events and we’ve made a strong effort to keep the cost down for everyone too. Viva La Dragon!!!

  • veggivet

    Looks like someone crossed the yellow line judging by the tire marks in the shot. Tsk, tsk. Couldn’t have been a MINI, though.

  • Looks like someone crossed the yellow line judging by the tire marks in the shot. Tsk, tsk. Couldn’t have been a MINI, though.

    If I remember right there were a lot of S2000s that weekend. Must have been them 🙂

  • greg

    Hey Gabe are we gonna see you this year? And you will be driving a……………………?

  • Hey Gabe are we gonna see you this year? And you will be driving a……………………?

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it.

  • greg

    Too bad. Come to the PUB 6/6/09 in Cleveland. Kind of a one day “mini Dragon”. We expect 200+ Minis and have a national Beatles tribute performing. Details on NAM “National events”.

  • Trashman s

    Ive never been to the dragon but it sounds like tha bomb!! Very interested in driving from Houston to the Dragon.

  • My navigator (wife) and I just returned to New Hampshire from MOTD 7. Wow! 2,786 miles and feeling fine. Thanks a bunch to all of you who made this event what it was. Our first Dragon, we couldn’t have been more pleased. New friends, and some aquaintances from MTTS too. Moving the Mini to the British Virgin Islands next month with many fond memories and a new Helix 17% / CAI mod – she’s performing so well on the hills now, thanks Eric. All the Best. Jeff & Beth