Honda’s California City Test Track For Sale, Commence Scheming!

honda proving grounds for sale
Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman this is big. Certainly literally the physically largest and likely the most expensive thing we’ve ever featured, at least until the whole state of Rhode Island comes up for sale. Located just north of the failed master planned community and Hooniverse playground, California City, is Honda’s  huge vehicle testing facility. The property features a 7.5 mile oval, “windy road” course, multiple dirt tracks, and other vehicle testing features. In addition to the paved features, there are a number of large buildings set up to be offices, warehouses, storage and garages. The facility’s fully wired with fiber optic and fully plumbed, with on-site wells supplying water.
Basically, it’s got everything to live out the rest of your days in total bliss. Now, let’s make this happen…


Unfortunately, the CB Richard Ellis listing lacks a key detail: price. Off-hand, we’d guess in the $50 million range, which is a humongous pile of money, but viewed as a business with a number of shareholders, not really that big. The good news is the place is already built and permitted, meaning you get to skip the years of studies and litigation required to get a place like this built. Operational costs scale with what you’re trying to get done, but are probably single-digit millions per year. Assuming a goal of paying off the initial investment in five years, you’d have to gross roughly $15 million per year. Think some combination of track days, OEM or media testing, fuel sales and building rentals could pay the bills? Maybe open up a membership option and have a motor club thing going on?

honda test facility for sale

There’s obviously room for someone to be a live-in on-site manager, and plenty of potential to run both solar and wind farms on the facility. Personally, I’d quit the day job right now and hit the road (it’s a mere 2 hours north of El Lay) if I thought I could swing it.

CB Richard Ellis, via Bring a Trailer

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  1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    Hooniversal International Commune?

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      Hoonican City?

    2. JAYRAY Avatar
      JAYRAY

      ITS SOLD A SOLAR POWER PLANT IS GOING TO BE BUILT THERE. I LIVE IN CAL. CITY.

  2. discontinuuity Avatar
    discontinuuity

    Prime spot for a Hooniversalist Hoonitarian commune/cult compound if you ask me. I can just imagine Dearthair running around on the roof, keeping the ATF at bay…

    1. njhoon Avatar
      njhoon

      We'll need some ATF. I'm sure few slush boxes are going to be there.

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        Hey, my car uses it for power steering fluid, too. Not that the pump isn't seized or anything.

    2. bzr Avatar

      Don't drink the Kool Aid.

    3. Deartháir Avatar
      Deartháir

      We prefer to think of it as a "religious retreat", rather than a commune or cult compound.
      It's all about marketing.

  3. Stumack Avatar
    Stumack

    $50M/500 = $100,000 each. Not quite so incredibly affordable.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      pshh… who invited the poor guy?

  4. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Commune? Cult compound? Sheesh, you guys got no monies, and we gots to pay for it somehow…
    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/clubhoon.jpg"&gt;
    "Good Morning, Mr. Millionaire, I'm Pedro. You're confirmed for a Pro Formula car on the Winding Road at nine, and for the Diesel School Bus Races on the Oval at four. I've taken the liberty of making lunch reservations for you at Jackie Stewart's Bar-B-Hoon Pit at noon…"

  5. Justin Avatar
    Justin

    4 weekends / month = 8 weekend days/month (not including obvious holidays)
    500 "members" / 8 track days = 63 participants / day
    Going twice/month => 126 participants / day.
    Do you pay $100 / track day to share the track with 125 other cars?

    1. Justin Avatar
      Justin

      lol. Stumack wins.

    2. Black Steelies Avatar

      It was a fantastic/dangerous idea until we learned we would have to share.

    3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      There are 5 tracks there, remember. So you'd only be sharing the track with 24 other cars.

      1. Deartháir Avatar
        Deartháir

        And there would be some of us who work weekends, so we'd have to go during the week. That cuts it down significantly.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          And knowing most of the hoons here, only a minority of the cars there will be in running condition at any given moment. I think perhaps we'd need to worry less about track congestion as much as pit & paddock congestion.

  6. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    You scooped J'nik! Excellent reportage. Let me know if you need someone to keep dust from building up on the track, by driving around it all the time.

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      Wouldn't be the first time. I get endless amusement out of watching random things that show up here appear on [REDACTED] six to twelve hours later. 😀

  7. tiberiusẅisë Avatar
    tiberiusẅisë

    Can I apply for the position of groundskeeper yet?
    <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_I3vy8a7Bfqw/S98h6aCtyXI/AAAAAAAACpM/PEJmR-yTeeY/s1600/tiktok1.JPG&quot; width="600">

    1. thomasmac Avatar
      thomasmac

      And really what isnt Jack Daniels good for?

  8. chrystlubitshi Avatar
    chrystlubitshi

    whoever buys this* has got to run a LeMons race on the road course with top speed runs on the outisde ring after day two (of racing).
    (I would do this next part to help fund improvements!)
    bets should be accepted both on who will make it to the end of day two (of racing), as well as who will hit what speed (whole numbers only, no decimals and mph.. )
    (*i want to buy this)

  9. lilwillie Avatar

    Buying Powerball and Megamillions in stupid amounts this evening.

  10. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    I call dibs on the dirt portion of the track.

  11. LTDScott Avatar

    I got 5 on it.

  12. SSurfer321 Avatar
    SSurfer321

    OOPS! Who knew one little zero could mean so much!
    *walks to corner wearing dunce cap*
    I'll be over here if you need me 🙁

  13. Thrashy Avatar

    This fits in perfectly with my ill-advised foolproof plan to launch a niche sports-car brand built around Honda powerplants. Now I just need to find some gullible forward-thinking venture capitalists!

    1. OA5599 Avatar
      OA5599

      I HAVE A BUTTON ON MY KEYBOARD THAT GIVES ME ALL THE CAPITALS I WANT.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Just don't hit the N button. Your keyboard will burst into flames.

  14. damnelantra-for now Avatar
    damnelantra-for now

    mitch, get on this would ya?

    1. Deartháir Avatar
      Deartháir

      How am I supposed to get on this? Talk to Glucker, he's the one with all the money!

  15. scroggzilla Avatar
    scroggzilla

    Well, I've purchased a Powerball ticket. It it hits, you're all welcome to visit me at the Scroggsburgring, and watch me while I drive around and get super-jealous.

  16. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    How many of us already drive Hondas? I'm wondering if we could try and go for a loyalty discount, get it pushed down to $45 million or so.
    In addition, think we could land small aircraft on the oval's straightaways? If so, I'm absolutely in (once I win the lottery or something).

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      Just eyeballing them against the scale on Google Earth, the strights appear to be 7 or 8 thousand feet long. Nevermind small aircraft, you could very nearly fly widebodies out of there.

  17. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Knowing my luck, as soon as I hand over the required millions and relocated to CA to spend the rest of my days in sun-baked hi-octane heaven, Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire would come onto the market for a fraction of the cost.
    Why drive on endless perfect blacktop under blue and sunny skies when you can do the same thing in persistent blustery English drizzle?

  18. Maxichamp Avatar

    That's a lot of Google ad clicks.

  19. Richard Truesdell Avatar
    Richard Truesdell

    Over on Automotive Traveler we were on this story back on Monday and posted our story on Tuesday. You can read the initialre port at http://bit.ly/eMXDps.
    I called the broker and got some of the particulars. With far acreage in this part of California running about $1000 an acre, the unimproved value of the property is somewhere in the area of $4m. Then you have to add all the improvements that Honda has invested over the years and you have another $30-$40m.
    From Honda's position, the facility has maximum value to another vehicle manufacturer, possibly a Chinese competitor like BYD. What's $40m to someone like Warren Buffet who is heavily invested in BYD? Would Honda be willing to sell to a competitor, or would they even care so long that they received the best return on its investment. From the perspective of BYD, they would obviously want to pay less than building a new facility from scratch as Hyundai-Kia did less than 20 miles away.
    As auto buffs we'd like to see it end up in the hands of a group sympathetic to our passions, I think the chance of that happening are remote at best.
    Richard Truesdell
    Editorial Director, Automotive Traveler Magazine, automotivetraveler.com

  20. engineerd Avatar

    I've been working hard at convincing Mrs. engineerd that we should cash in our 401(k)s to invest in buying this.

  21. LUCIANO MIRANDA Avatar
    LUCIANO MIRANDA

    wat kind of COMPANY IS COMING ON THAT SITE THEN????????????

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