The speed and agility of modern cars are wasted on too many roads. In same way that off-road vehicles can't be tested by peastone driveways, souped-up sedans can't be pushed to their limits on suburban cul-de-sacs. In order to drive – truly drive – a car, modern commuters have to head out of their way to one of the rare stretches of American asphalt designed to push vehicles to their limits. These winding, curving sections of tarmac not only give great cars a chance to show off the muscle under their hood, but also give great drivers a chance to remind passengers why the American road was once considered the purest embodiment of freedom.
CA 36 (California)
Of all the convoluted ways to get from the thankless bustle of Interstate 5 to the jagged beauty of the Northern California coast, few are as relentlessly windy and appealing as Highway 36. Your first tip-off to the handling-intensive nature of this tarmac might be the sign slapped with the universal symbol for twisties and a "Next 140 Miles" message. But nothing quite prepares you for this epic drive until you address the irresistible asphalt as it rambles its way through deeply forested areas, eventually spilling onto the iconic Highway 101.
Bonus points for venturing east of I-5, where Lassen Volcanic National Park delivers a positively lunar landscape.
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