Last week, I went to Asheville, NC for some much needed vacation time with the family. As usual, I had packed up my trusty old Nikon D5100 for some great picture taking, and again as usual, I forgot it at the house and had to rely solely on my iPhone for taking pictures... So, getting in to Asheville and it’s surrounding areas, I was not expecting to see so many enthusiast cars. I was expecting it all to be Priuses or jacked-up Chevys/Fords. This was not quite the case. Below is my Oppo tour of the Asheville and Swannanoa Valley area, as seen through the lens of an iPhone 5s.
First we’ll start off in the tiny town where we stayed, Montreat, which is about 30 minutes outside of Asheville. The town is mainly a small Presbyterian 2-year college and conference center, but it’s a really nice place to visit. They only have 2 shops, one little grill/ice cream shop, and a ranger station because of the many hiking trails they have. Outside of the shops and ranger station was this CJ-8, which I’m assuming belonged to one of the rangers. This is the first one I’ve ever seen in person and it’s pretty cool. Plus, it’s brown and a manual, so it gets double Oppo-points!
That afternoon, we went in to Black Mountain. First thing I saw was this nice WRC Blue STi. I know it’s not really anything special, but I’m a sucker for that color.
After walking down the street, I came across something peculiar: a Juke NISMO in the wild! I’ve only ever seen one sitting on the lot of my local Nissan dealership and figured it was just silly badging exercise that didn’t really offer any performance value. I never really paid much attention to the Juke because of that, but seeing it with the NISMO package up close and in person, I really kinda dig it.
After doing a little research, I found that they offered a standard NISMO and a NISMO RS. The standard NISMO, which this one was, has a 9hp bump over the standard Juke (197hp vs 188hp), an upgraded suspension, NISMO aero kit, and the NISMO interior. On the RS version, the engine has been slightly tweaked to pump out 215hp, as long as you get the manual FWD. If you opt for the CVT-Xtronic AWD variant, you are rightly punished and only get 211hp. I’m very intrigued by this thing now because it seems like it could be a stout little competitor in auto-x or rally-x. If any of you have one or have driven one, I’d love to hear your impressions of it as I’m starting to consider this as a possible new daily (the Crown Vic needs to be retired/restored).
Yea, I know, it’s a stock FR-S, but if you pay close attention, it’s been badge-swapped to a Toyota. Not really exciting but I still felt like taking a picture of it.
Uhoh, it’s the fuzz!!! On our way in to Asheville, we came across this NCHP trooper rocking his brand new 2015 Charger AWD. You can tell it’s the AWD model from those terrible wheels...
Arrived in Asheville and what am I greeted by?! Huzzah!!! It’s a Polestar V60!!! Another first for me on this trip. God I love that color. Have I mentioned that I convinced my wife to let me paint our bathroom that Polestar blue?
So aero. Much ‘80s. How ricer. Wow.
One good Volvo deserves another! V70R with the Atacama interior!!! This is on my list of possibilities for my next daily as well, but they’re just so hard to find in stick. This is my dream Oppo-mobile.
We went exploring on some back roads outside of Asheville and while trying to find somewhere for lunch, we found the Borg Warner Turbo Systems plant and technical center. Pretty cool thing to just randomly come across.
Later in the week, we headed back in to downtown Asheville to visit some cool little shops and such. So, when you think of Asheville, you typically think of lots of hippies and Priuses and VWs and Subarus. You assume it to be the mecca for those of a liberal mind and free spirit and. And in that assumption, you would be correct. Now, with that though in mind, I want you to try and picture the most un-Asheville vehilce you can think of? That’s right, you guessed it, the DeMuro special, the Hummer H1 wagon!!! And it’s even in GMs favorite color: Sunset Orange Metallic! Everyone knows that lovely color that GM threw on everything from the Aztec to the Corvette, from the Firebird to the Cobalt. Apparently, it even drenched some Hummers as well.
Moving on down the street, we stopped at a cool little coffee shop that was made out of an old London style double-decker bus. And yea, they got really clever with their name...
Took the kids to the toy store. Looks like somebody had some fun in a bigger toy...
Heading back in to Black Mountain. E46 M3 on BBS wheels. Classic. Enough said.
On the way back home, we went though Charlotte because the wife wanted to go to IKEA. I had to get an obligatory shot of the Charlotte Motor Speedway for all my NASCAR guys out there.
After IKEA, we went to the SouthPark Mall. If any of you know Charlotte, then you know SouthPark Mall is the hoighty-toighty mall. And the cars in the parking lot reflect that. Just look at this W222 S63 AMG. It has a Wald Black Bison aero kit and 20” Lorenzo wheels with a matte silver paint job. I’m not really sure what to think of it. Part of me thinks it’s absolutely ridiculous that someone would spend ~$10k on a body kit alone, but at the same time, I kind-of like how it looks. Either way, I don’t have the money to make those kinds of life choices, so more power to the guy who does, lol.
And that wraps it up for the Oppo bits of my vacation. Hope you enjoyed the pics!