The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving closed its doors Monday amid proceedings for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which it filed in early October. The popular racing institution filed voluntarily as it planned to reorganize its debts, restructure, and continue operating. Unfortunately, it appears it simply ran out of time.
A photograph published by Motor Authority shows a sign claiming that the school is "closed" affixed to what appears to be one of the school's front doors. It also directs people to Bob Bondurant's wife, Pat, for any inquiries regarding the decision. A call by The Drive to the phone number listed on the company's website went unanswered.
In a social media post that came shortly after the filing, Bondurant stated: “The Chapter 11 [filing] ensures we will have sufficient time to reorganize and position the company for sustained success. Our plan is to emerge from this process as a stronger company and continue to drive this company into the next 50 years.”
That, unfortunately, did not happen. Despite a history spanning over fifty years as the world's first racing school, the ride has come to an unfortunate end. Drivers such as Paul Newman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and even David Hasselhoff learned or sharpened their wheelman skills at Bondurant.
According to the filing, Bondurant owes between $1 million and $10 million to its creditors, against an estimated $1 million to $10 million in assets. Those assets include their massive Chandler, Arizona facility, which features a three-mile track, a kart track, and plenty of other areas for driving instruction.
Most recently, the school has had a deal with FCA, using the school for factory-sponsored Dodge SRT training that was included with the purchase price of vehicles like the Hellcat and Demon.
While the Bondurant school has also used vehicles from Ford and GM, we're going to send them off with this classic video, featuring a handful of Datsuns shod with Bandag retread tires back in the late 1970s.