Hooniverse Asks – What Do You Consider Automobiledom’s Most Hallowed Ground?

Religions have Jerusaelem, celebrity stalkers have the Beverly Hills hotel, and car nuts have the. . . Geez, where to start? The Nürburgring? Ford’s Rouge River plant? Louisville? There are so many places that a car nut could call their nirvana, it’s impossible to point out one as the center of every petrol head’s world.
Funny thing, for me, it’s probably Monterey, as I have so many amazing memories of the historics there, as well as Pebble Beach, and yes, part of that is the piper at sunset. I also consider Brooklands (see all those Astons above?), the first bespoke car track, as a place of reverence. Of course, that’s my penchant for all things British poking up like a plumber’s ass crack, but still, you could do worse.
But what about you? You could do worse, but I don’t expect you to. Do you genuflect before Glencoe in Venice CA, where a guy named Shelby tuned innocent British sportscars into an iconic brute force of nature? Maybe the brick yard – the actual three-feet of ruddy brick establishing the start-finish of Indy is your Shangri-La? Whatever it is, I’m sure you speak of it reverently and in hushed tones. So what is it? Where is your alter to the automotive gods, and is it a dream to see, or an achievement list check off?
Image source: [Benstantay via Flickr]

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  1. CptSevere Avatar

    Daytona Beach bills itself as "The Birthplace Of Speed," as that's where the first land speed record runs were held. When they started stock car racing there, they ran the cars down the beach, up onto the highway, along the highway, then back onto the beach. They've been racing in Daytona since the very beginning. I know Longroofian will agree with me that Daytona is in the running for this title.

    1. Alff Avatar

      THIS is the birthplace of speed…
      <img src="http://www.condometropolis.com/blog/images/meth2"&gt;

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        Independence, MO?

      2. TK421 Avatar

        Nicely done.

      3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi


  2. citroen67 Avatar

    Miller Motors in Ypsilanti, MI is pretty sweet too!

  3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/brickyard-mann.jpg"&gt;
    "The one constant through all the years, Robert, has been Indy. America is ruled by it like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But the Brickyard has marked the time. This track, this race: it's a part of our past, Robert. It reminds of us of all that once was good, and what could be again."

    1. Alff Avatar

      Build it and I will come.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi


    2. P161911 Avatar

      Indy is the one place that has remained somewhat constant for 100+ years. Plus they still keep the yard of bricks. Daytona/Ormond Beach is a close second, but things have moved around down there and they haven't raced on the beach in years. Maybe if the Speedway had a yard of sand it would help.
      Having been to Indy (once for 500 qualifying and once for the USGP), it is truly a special place.

  4. Maxichamp Avatar

    Monaco GP.

  5. OA5599 Avatar

    I don't think there is any one particular place that does it for me, but I'd like to do a tour of all the car dealerships that used to offer something special for their customers–Yenko, Baldwin, Grand Spaulding, etc.
    <img src="http://www.cartype.com/pics/5944/full/mr-norm_grand-spaulding-club_1s.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. joshuman Avatar

      Does anybody else see the fallopian tubes?

    2. Lotte Avatar

      I know there's a reply somewhere here I may or may not agree with.

  6. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Well, I probably should vote for the home team and call out the Brickyard. But I think LeMans beats it.
    However, the best for me would be the parking lot at Mound Park in Moundsville, WV where my dad and I used to show his Model A when I was a toddler. Yeah, probably won't do much for most, but to me that parking lot is holy.

  7. lilwillie Avatar

    Easily Road America for me. I've never had anything but a flippn awesome time going there. It was even the place my wife finally realized why I loved racing and automobiles so much. She watched me act like a 4 year old at Christmas as I played around Vintage cars or helped crew there.
    <img src="http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i65/lilwillie_wi/Croped-version.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    I ran my ass off the weekend of the above picture. I had three drivers and four cars I made sure knew when and where they had to be at all times. Made sure the two on the right were squared away mechanically, fueled up and goodtogo. The Civic Si won the Improved Touring class that day. All I worked for was Beer and food and put my name on the hood. Fun times. I miss them, the owner has other responsibilities to look after now.

  8. RichardKopf Avatar

    For me it is the Nürburgring. I was so disappointed that I was not able to go there while I lived in Germany, school and teaching got in the way. I will go back, however, and I will drive the Nürburgring.

  9. SSurfer321 Avatar

    <img src="http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/img-WoodwardSign.JPG"&gt;
    Detroit and hot-rodding started here. There's nothing better than cruising Woodward on a Friday night, drooling over all the horsepower, young and old.

  10. TK421 Avatar

    The 'ring has to take it. It's vehicular Mecca. All true car guys/galls, who are in good health, and financially capable of doing so, must at some point in their lives, make a pilgrimage there.

  11. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I would have to agree with the Salt Flats, too. The one thing that it has over nearly any other place is that it encompasses every type of motorsport vehicle —&nbsp;bikes, hot rods, streamliners, jet cars, go-karts, muscle cars, late model door slammers, even a 150 MPH powered streetluge.

  12. scroggzilla Avatar

    Sooo many places to choose from…..Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Nordschleife, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza Autodromo, Silverstone, Monaco, Bonneville, The Glen, Road America, Circuit de la Sarthe, Bathurst…….to name a few.

  13. dukeisduke Avatar

    The 'ring, Brooklands, and Monza for starters, along with Daytona, Indy, and Talledega. And Monaco and the Monte Carlo WRC course, and some dragstrips like Pomona, Englishtown, and Milan Dragway.

  14. Black Steelies Avatar

    For being the head photo and not being mentioned yet, I have to say Brooklands. Plus found this slick picture.
    <img src="http://www.allaboutweybridge.co.uk/aaw/weybridge/surrey/weybridge-photos/london-bus-brooklands-rich007a_550.jpg"&gt;
    Though honestly, for me, it's probably the Ring.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      That picture is so awesomely British it melted my brain.
      …into a little puddle of weak, lukewarm tea.

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      I wanna ride on the upper deck! And I'd have to vote for the 'Ring too, although there are lots of other places, like Silverstone and Le Mans, that are right up there.

  15. mdharrell Avatar

    See the stretch of gravel road running along the north side of the highway with the loop at the west end?
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4130/5396067318_985f470815.jpg&quot; width="450">
    That's where my father started teaching me to drive in his three-in-the-tree 1969 F-100. Nowhere else will ever matter as much.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      My parents never taught me to drive.
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b1/VentureSign.jpg&quot; height="199">
      After going through the ordeal with my three older sisters, they hired a rather creepy, odd-smelling man from the Venture Driver Training School to teach me.
      I have no hallowed memories of him, or where I drove with him.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Dad soldiered on gamely with my three older siblings before it was my turn to get behind the wheel. It may have helped that there's a gap of several years between us.
        As a slightly less sentimental runner-up for hallowed ground, this is the KV factory in Chassieu, France:
        <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/5395548121_be5def80bf.jpg&quot; width="400">
        It now houses an electrical supply firm called D&D, but the old KV/KVS diamond logo is still visible above the main entrance. The structure is almost as boxy as its products.

  16. Ryans92L Avatar

    My personal Hallowed Ground is (was) Silver Spring Speedway in Mechanicsburg PA. It was designed to be a 1/2 mile dirt oval, but when being built the builder accidentally made the outside of the track where the inside was supposed to be thus making it a 3/8mile track. In operation for 52 (1953-2005) years, it was revered as one of the greatest dirt tracks in Pennsylvania. Silver Spring even boasted its own class of cars, not raced anywhere else called "Super Sportsman" (Self Starting, Carburetted, Narrow winged, without front wing Sprint cars) which could hit speeds over 90mph. The track didn't use the standard Time Trials, C Main, B Main, A Main show, but instead used Heat, Consolation and Feature, and all line ups were luck of the draw, adding pure randomness to the show. But now the track has been torn down and it is now a Wegman's Grocery store. I will never forget that track, it was a part of my childhood, and my dad's childhood not to mention most of my family.
    RIP Silver Spring Speedway
    <img src="http://www.silverspringspeedway.com/images/HistoryPgsPics/1964aerial.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    Ariel Shot of the track
    follow this link for more shots of the track
    <img src="http://www.silverspringspeedway.com/images/HistoryPhotoPages/5page3.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    Super Sportsman Action
    EDIT-Forgot to mention I have the wing of the 23 in my dads garage somewhere…
    <img src="http://www.silverspringspeedway.com/images/history/L/LightDene/111lightcar.jpg&quot; widht="500/">
    plus our car out on turn 3
    Teared up a little while writing this.
    <a href="http://www.silverspringspeedway.com” target=”_blank”>www.silverspringspeedway.com

  17. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    I thought it was the Bugatti works. But I was wrong.

  18. salguod Avatar

    Indy used to be, but it's faded from relevance in recent years. Same goes for the Detroit Auto Show, although I still don't miss it each year. I really want to get to the Dream Cruise on Woodward someday.
    But the thing that came to my mind was Spuds junkyard in Toledo where I grew up. Yeah, not what you had in mind, but this is car guy nirvana to me.
    Thing is, in my automotive youth when I was learning cars and trying to keep mine running I spent a lot of time in yards and Spud's was the best. Not because ti was organized or fast, but because it wasn't. Spud's was the quintessential yard – Spud was the owner and he was always there in his grimy overalls and grimy black cowboy hat. (In the summer he'd be shirtless, which was a bit disturbing.) The 'office' had a dirt floor and various engines, radios and transmissions scattered about seemingly randomly. There was no computer, heck, there wasn't even any sort of log book or inventory. It was in Spud's head. You'd ask for a spoiler for a Chevy Monza and the flunky behind the counter would ask Pud. He at least knew if he had one of those cars out there, whether it had the part you needed, well go out and look.
    There was no organization to the yard at all, and unless you wanted to wait forever, you went out an yanked it yourself. I haven't been to many junk yards in recent years, but when I have, it's been an experience more like going to Pep Boys than Spud's. At Spud's I got to see what the insides of cars looked like. I got to take stuff apart that I didn't need to get back together before school on Monday. I got to play with other people's cars without worrying about breaking them.
    I bought many a part for my '76 Camaro there, and later, while shopping for '80 Monza parts I saw that same Camaro in Spud's yard, giving its parts back to others.
    When I think about what it means to be a car guy, I always think back to my days climbing over the cars at Spud's, looking for a Monza with the 3 piece rear spoiler that I just had to have.

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      small world. I too grew up in Spud's/Diller's. With the car on the container with a tree growing up through it. We used to put on boxing gloves and go punch out the broken windshields on bored saturdays. Then, in 2000, the city wanted to develop the area and the pile of tires "mysteriously" caught fire and burned for days.
      RIP Spud

  19. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    I tend to think of the Mountain Circuit on the Isle of Man as seriously important, but more for motorcycles than cars. I can think of any number of places that could be automotive sacred ground but turning it on its head, what places would you consider automotive desecrated ground? Tops on that list for me would be Bridgehampton, a great road course turned into more Long Island condos by skulduggery and nimbyism.

  20. pjstevens77 Avatar

    screw it…THE RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. skitter Avatar

    The derestricted autobahns.

  22. hwyengr Avatar

    My personal hallowed ground is the Mulholland Highway and the various other canyon roads through Southern California. When I was a 16-year old kid living in Central Illinois (with it's miles-long straight roads through farmland), the absolute highlight of my year was the annual vacation to visit my grandparents in SoCal. My grandfather would let me take his Vette and tear through the mountains.
    I ended up moving to LA just to get closer. Unfortunately my grandpa and his Corvette have passed on, but I still run out to Mulholland whenever I need to clear my head.

  23. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://www.curtispublishing.com/images/NonRockwell/9500520.jpg"&gt;
    Actually, it's not a single location, but many. It's every back-alley garage where somebody who didn't know how to put a car together took one apart anyway, and learned something in the process. It's where everybody who lost a race on Saturday went searching on Sunday afternoon for whatever advantage their tools and know-how could conjure up before the next weekend's drags. It's where every wide-eyed kid was given an opportunity to hand over wrenches and "hold onto this part right here," …in the process, beginning the journey we all still find ourselves on today.

  24. Lotte Avatar

    Another Nurburgring here, just due to the fact that I can only get my driving fix virtually. I know it'll never match the real experience, but one day I will really experience what it's like to rush past Flugplatz; can never get that one right. At least I kinda know where everything is and presumably wouldn't crash.

  25. facelvega Avatar

    Well, Le Mans, the actual city of Monaco, the Nurburgring, Indy, and maybe also Spa-Francorchamps and Brooklands are probably the most storied among tracks. Among these, I'd take the ring in a second, because it seems more fun to me to drive on a long twisty road through the woods than on a concrete oval or small track. Maybe if I ever saw the Grand Prix de Monaco I'd change my mind.
    For speed, you also have to add in the Bonneville salt flats. Also a nicely eerie location for hallowed ground-iness.
    Where cars were made, of course the buildings in Maranello, River Rouge, a few others. Somehow these just don't feel like hallowed ground in the same way, because they're less of a destination. But how about the Fiat's huge Lingotto factory of 1928, with the racetrack on the roof?
    Personally, I'm from New York, so I get that hallowed ground feeling at Watkins Glen, which also offers some good history and road-course-in-the-woods feel. It's also a good compromise between the rednecks and the tweedy old car guys.
    <img src="http://iamtheweather.com/weather/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/lingotto.jpg"&gt;

  26. JayP Avatar

    I'll throw in the backroads I learned to drive on. The foothills of the Appalachians. Not the Blue Ridge Parkway stuff but 1 lane bridges, sheer drop offs without barriers, off-camber, 50mph gets you airborne stuff. Learned snap oversteer in a SuperBeetle and toe-heel shifting in an MG. Spring, summer, fall, winter- any time it's a beautiful drive.
    I didn't appreciate it when I lived there so when I go back to visit, I make the rounds.

  27. JoeyM Avatar

    I'd love to see the Nissan Heritage Collection in Zama

  28. alewifecove Avatar

    I either need to be cloned or just accept my split personality.
    Le Mans or the Ring……
    Tetre Rouge or Karussell…..

  29. newedgeperformance Avatar

    Any curvy 2 lane road on the way to the races! Always puts a smile on my face.

  30. Dutch Avatar

    Lions Drag Strip. Indy (Indianapolis Raceway Park, Not that round place). Thunder Valley Dragway, Marion South Dakota (where all this foolishness started for me).

  31. Apexpredator Avatar

    Better question would be what is the most lamented ground now that it is gone?
    My answer would be Riverside Raceway in Riverside California. Who raced there? PJ Jones, Dan Gurney, Carol Shelby, and many others. It was where the Ford vs Ferrari competition heated up.
    To pour salt on the wound, the place that bought up the property planted a bloody shopping mall on top of it!!??! Sacrilege!! The only comfort I get is that the mall on that property has been a dismal failure since day one!