Posts Tagged ‘Virginia City’

CENTER STAGE> Hwy 341 Hillclimb Hero Porsche

Just thirty minutes south of Reno Nevada and 40 minutes east of Lake Tahoe lies the most dangerous stretch of highway in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and quite possibly, the entire west coast - Nevada State Route 341.

As the twisty road slices through the mountains towards the oldest city in the state of Nevada, a gold and silver mining town called Virginia City, it allures drivers with breathtaking views of the snow capped mountains in the Sierras - but this is all part of Highway 341's deadly charm.

Drivers who are tempted into gazing upon the majestic beauty of the Sierras while behind the wheel are often fooled into making fatal mistakes at high speed. Taking one's eyes off the single lane road even for just a few seconds can easily lead drivers headfirst into the rocky face of the mountain, or worse - off the treacherous cliff side, where the drop is hundreds of feet, with sharp boulders and abandoned mine shafts below.

For close to twenty years, a man named Duck Fuson has been challenging Highway 341 in a 1974 Porsche 911. This is his story.   Read more...

ROADTRIP> Spectre 341 Virginia City Hillclimb

This weekend, the MotorMavens Crew split up and went to several different events - while most of our friends were out in New Jersey for the latest round of the Formula Drift Championship, I decided to check out the annual Spectre 341 Challenge (aka the Virginia City Hillclimb) event happening roughly 30 minutes outside of Reno, Nevada. As I arrived into the wild west town of Virginia City and walked through the parking lot of the Silverland Hotel (designated the pit area for the race teams), I saw a good mixture of professionally prepared race cars, classic American muscle, and privately owned exotics getting ready to run up the treacherous winding road of Nevada State Highway 341.   Read more...

ROADTRIP> Spectre 341 Challenge Hillclimb

Virginia City is the oldest city in the state of Nevada. It was the site of the Comstock Lode, which is spin-off of the 1849 Gold Rush that brought many fortune seekers out to Northern areas of California and Nevada, with stories of gold and silver mining wealth.

Silver was actually discovered accidentally. Prospectors that were making their way to California were forced to stop in the Sierra Nevada mountains because of snowstorms, so they camped out near present day Virginia City as they continued their efforts in panning and mining for gold. As the miners searched high and low for traces of gold, a bluish-grey mud stuck to their shovels, infuriating the early gold miners, who rapidly disposed of it. Unfortunately for them, the nuisance that stuck to their shovels turned out to be silver ore. Virginia City's silver legacy turned it into the richest city in Nevada at one point, with $400 million in silver excavated from its mines. To put this into perspective, that $400 million would be $12.8 billion in today's economy - not exactly bailout money but definitely enough to keep any city running like a well oiled machine.

In 1862, State Route 341 was established, which is a mountain road that was built to allow trucks carrying silver ore to get from Silver City to Virginia City and Reno. The first roots of an organized hill climb event in Virginia City date back to 1972. Hans Tanner, the President of the Ferrari Owners Club of Southern California, thought that Nevada's Highway 341 would be a perfect place to replicate the legendary hill climbs in Europe.

Enter Amir Rosenbaum. Amir is the founder of Spectre Performance, a manufacturer of innovative air intake systems and other performance parts for muscle cars. Aside from owning a fleet of cars that includes several 1970s Chevrolet Camaros, a mid-engined 1970 Chevy El Camino SS (pictured above), a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1, a 2JZGTE-powered 1970 Ford Maverick, a twin turbo Cadillac powered streamliner land speed racer, and a highly modified 1992 Ferrari F40, Amir set a world record at the famed Virginia City Hillclimb in 2002, driving his infamous F40 up the hill in only 3.10 minutes (more on this car later).   Read more...