By on January 14, 2011

Are you interested in owning your own 7.5-mile high-speed oval and five-mile road course? What about an off-road racing course for motorcycles and Baja trucks? It looks like Honda’s finally come up with a product that appeals to enthusiasts… but they only have one of them, and the pricing is likely to be even more outrageous than the window sticker on the ZDX. Check out the listing here.

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39 Comments on “For Sale: One Test Track, Never Used Enthusiastically...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Honda test track 4-sale. Toyota takes their vehicles from CAD to assembly line, why can’t we? Let the customer work out the kinks through recalls is cheaper than owning a test facility?

  • avatar

    Imagine NASCAR on this track.  Remove the restrictor plates boyz!!!!!!

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Oh to be filthy rich and have my own private track to spend endless days with my close friends just running laps.  That would be an amazing problem to have.

    One question I have is – does Honda have another facility they built, or are sharing?  Why are they devesting from this proving ground???

    • 0 avatar
      PVDave

      Honda owns the Transportation Research Center in Ohio (near their midwest R & D facilities). While the weather differs significantly, the track is much closer to their main US research site.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Actually I believe the State of Ohio owns and lets Honda use it.

    • 0 avatar
      rmlindsay

      Actually, I think its the reverse.  Honda bought TRC from the State of Ohio, but made an agreement to allow the TRC operations by the State to continue.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      Straight from the TRC official site:

      In September 1987, the Center’s property was offered as part of an economic inducement to attract a manufacturing corporation to build an automobile plant in Ohio. On January 26, 1988, the property sale was consummated and TRC Inc. was formed as successor to the Transportation Research Board. TRC Inc., a non-profit Ohio corporation, affiliated with Ohio State, entered into a management agreement with the manufacturer to continue to operate the Research Center as a multi-user, independent test site.

       
      Looks like Ohio State (not to be confused with the State of Ohio) owns and operates it.

    • 0 avatar
      Norma

      Oops. According to Honda.com:
      “Transportation Research Center (East Liberty, OH) – purchased by Honda in January 1988, TRC was an existing vehicle research and testing facility originally developed by the state of Ohio. Comprehensive vehicle testing is conducted at the facility’s laboratories and test courses including a 7.5-mile banked oval, numerous on-road and off-road dynamic test tracks.”
      So, who owns it? The plot thickens…..

  • avatar

    Six square miles of pharmaceutical grade beige.

  • avatar

    Let me get my checkbook…

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Can you imagine the Lemons race you could have here?

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    This place isn’t that far from the new(er) Hyundai test track.  I wonder why they are selling it?  You can’t do low-humidity hot-weather testing in Ohio during any part of the year.  And if you want to find out how your plastic interiors hold up over time, THIS is definitely the place to do it!

    I’ve checked out the Honda test track on Google before, and they have a berm with trees planted on it around the perimeter to make it more difficult to get spy shots of cars out on the track.

    This part of the country fascinates me for some reason, I think part of it is the vast, never-fully-developed California City, for which you can still see the scraped streets that never were from space, a half a century later.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_City,_California

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Another employer driven out of California.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      This. 700 new laws went into effect in the PRoC this month. I’m guessing Honda got tired of the phrase Desert Tortoise Habitat Plan, and decided that some of their money should go into product instead of lawyers and a crooked state government. Rumor has it that all the good paying technology jobs will be replaced by a taxpayer subsidized faux energy scam. I don’t know why we have budget problems here.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I say the B&B all chip in and we rename it the TTAC track or something. Sajeev and Murilee can get us a LeMons race and Jack Baruth can do top speed runs.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Heck let’s even hire obbop to run the snack shack (as he says below) and mow the infield.  That would make it worth a vacation trip on it’s own.  We’ll name it the Jack Baruth Memorial Speedway (cause the way he drives you know it’s only a matter of time) and have Vodka McBribba (sp?) Pit Road.  It’ll be GREAT!  Fargo can set up a shooting range in the infield.
       
      Com’ on, if we all pitch in it can’t be much of an investment!
       
      BTW can I teach summer classes in “Conceited Swagger” (course I could teach classes in Conceded Swagger) and “How to Impress Younger Women”? You know those are important skills for want-a-be race car drivers and general automotive hooligans.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Dan, how can you misspell Vodka McBigbra, winner of the coveted Best Name For A Bond Bad Girl That Hasn’t Actually Been Used In A Film (Yet) award?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I’m so terrible with names I should only have to remember till morning.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Well, the Jalop folks have the same idea, so we need to have the TTAC vs. Jalopnik smack-down fund-raising campaign start ASAP (matching contributions, maybe, any corp folks reading this?)!

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Buy it with Jalop…this way Jack can do back to back testing and humble those knuckleheads with some real track times…

  • avatar
    obbop

    Can I run the snack shack and build a shanty nearby for dwelling.
    I can guard the place and call upon local law enforcement to keep trespassers, vandals and assorted neer-do-wells out of the place.
    My semi-edibles will be diverse and customer wants and desires will be respected.
    Prices will also be minimalized by keeping overhead low and to not allow self-greed to grasp for maximum Coot-profit.
    A win-win situation!!!!!
    Perhaps one marketing ploy would be super-duper coupons for TTAC members.
    Build a better burger and they will order it.
    I can also cook breakfast-type fare of the normal kind.
    Don’t expect the prettiest eggs, though. They will be edible, however.
    I also wash my hands and step outside for the few smokes I allow myself throughout the day.
    I would also stock crinkle-cut french fries.
    The bestest type for dipping in whatever you dip ‘em into.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Someone should buy this place and set it up as a ‘Pay per lap’ course for anyone who wants a go – either pay for a lap of the racing circuit or the high speed ring. Heck, I’d drive all the way down from British Columbia for the chance.

    • 0 avatar
      donkensler

      Sounds promising.  I can see the ad slogan “Whatever the top speed of your machine, we guarantee you’ll top out if you dare”.  Unfortunately, beyond buying the place and paying taxes, the liability insurance would kill you.  All it would take would be one Wall Street moron crashing his machine at top speed to put you out of business.

    • 0 avatar
      wallstreet

      +1
      Sort of like Nurburgring.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Almost anything. But not long enough for the Veyron to reach the top speed.  VW’s Ehra-Lessien track has a 5.6-mile straight … not to mention a total of 60 miles of track rather than this facility’s 12 miles.

  • avatar
    CamaroKid

    Did I miss something?  Price?

  • avatar
    202mph

    Asking 2.1 million, they would take (I bet) approaching half that…. If you want to cry your eyes out, google up memphis motorsports auction and see what a guy bought for less than 2 million…..
     
    If only I’d hit that powerball…..

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    $2.1 mil sounds on the low side
    i would think 4,000 acres by itself is way more than that

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It would be worth a lot more, IF Californians still had private property rights. Honda bailed because just getting permits to maintain parts of the place meant having to file compliance plans with Desert Tortoise Habitat Protection initiatives and agreements to stop using huge tracts of the property for anything. Owning it will be a bloody burden for anyone other than the chosen crony of the villains in Sacramento. For that guy, it will open the flood gates to the taxpayers’ credit line. He’ll drown in cost plus subsidies for a unicorn fart energy farce, we’ll get the bills.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    If this property gets used for its intended pruposes (more or less) I’d say that its suited for LeMans/ALMS, GRAND-AM races and SCCA events.  It would also be good for Moto racing, and any form of off roading.  If the state will allow it.
    Its far too undeveloped for a NASCAR event, though it would be interesting to see a 500 mile race run on a 7.5 mile track.  That comes out to 66.6 laps for the race.  Maybe they could call it “the beast’ 500.  More likely it would be a rather dull race given how far the pack would be spread out.  It might suit an IRL race if the road course were shortended a bit.  Definitely not for Formula One, the closest Bernie Ecclstone would get to this place is Rodeo Drive. 

  • avatar
    plee

    I wish that everyone could experience driving on a test track like this.  Back in the 90′s when I was selling Audis,  Brand specialists were invited to go the VW proving ground track near Phoenix and drive all the different models.  We were given a speed limit of 110mph,  it was a hoot driving with hands off the wheel going into the banked curves on the track which was about 4 miles long and having the car stay in its lane. The test drivers we talked to said that they had A8′s cruising at 160mph with the speed governor off.  This experience really helped build enthusaism for selling the brand.


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