Meet the Mini Cooper S Clubman Laurel Sport Special Edition – complete with a John Cooper Works aero kit, 17 -inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Traction Control, and of course, Mini driving lights. It also boasts cosmetic tweaks in the manor of special door sills, side scuttles, and Laurel Sport Edition stripes on the hood, roof, tailgate and side panels.
Only 100 of these special edition hardtops were produced and we just put it to the test on Tennessee's famous , also known as the . With 318 curves in an 11 mile stretch, this Mini has met its asphalt soul mate.
So, how did this drive come about? For the past eight years, Mini owners from all over the U.S. (and some as far away as Canada and even Germany) have converged on the North Carolina/Tennessee border for an event known as . The first year the event was held, there were 60 Minis in attendance. Now, jump forward eight years to the 2010 event, where over 635 Mini owners registered to make their own pilgrimage to the Dragon.
The driving kicked off with the Dragon parade, where hundreds of Minis lined up at the Fontana Dam and drove the Tail of the Dragon in precession. There were Minis as far as the eye could see twisting on the turns in front of you, behind you and coming back down the road in the left lane – and not one of them looked the same, it was Mini customization to the max.
One trip up and down this special stretch of Highway 129 is never enough, and we ended up hugging those curves for over five hours.
We even went back for more after a quick pit stop for food and strategy on avoiding the State Troopers (which ended up being unsuccessful).