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Bob Bondurant School Closes Down a Month After Filing Bankruptcy

Illustration for article titled Bob Bondurant School Closes Down a Month After Filing Bankruptcy
Image: Vimeo

The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, the official school of Dodge and its SRT performance line, closed down Monday, according to reports. The closure comes a month after the school filed for bankruptcy in “a difficult yet important step towards becoming a stronger company,” it said at the time.

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Started by former Le Mans racer Bob Bondurant in 1968 after recovering from racing injuries that ended his career, the school filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Arizona on Oct. 2. Motor Authority reports that a spokesperson for the school confirmed its closure on Monday, but that not much else was said about it.

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From the story:

A call to the school’s president and CEO, Patricia Bondurant, was not immediately returned.

There was no immediate word on why the decision was made to close the school. The spokesman said more details would likely be released in the coming days.

The school’s Facebook page last posted two days before the school’s reported closure, so we’ve also reached out for comment.

Initial bankruptcy filings are simple and have a bunch of checkboxes, and the filing for the Bondurant school checked the box for owing an estimated 50 to 99 creditors between $1 million and $10 million. Patricia Bondurant, the school’s president and CEO and Bob Bondurant’s wife, signed the documents.

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After the school filed for bankruptcy last month, it posted on Facebook that it would continue operating and working with students and corporate groups during the proceedings while “develop[ing] new business relationships to ensure the vitality of the Company in the future.”

“The Chapter 11 ensures we will have sufficient time to reorganize and position the Company for sustained success,” the post said. “Our plan is to emerge from this process as a stronger company and continue to drive this Company into the next 50 years.”

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The Bondurant school became the official driving school for Dodge and SRT in 2015, according to Autoblog, and the school’s website says owners and lessees of 2017 and 2018 SRT vehicles get a one-day driving experience with the school, which is $999 otherwise, included in the cars’ purchase price. The experience is redeemable within a year of the purchase, meaning there could be any number of people still eligible for it now that the school has reportedly closed.

The official Dodge Garage website still has the Bondurant driving school listed on it, and we’ve reached out to Dodge and SRT to ask what will be done in terms of future driving schools and SRT buyers who haven’t redeemed their driving experience with the school yet.

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We’ll update this story if we hear back.

Illustration for article titled Bob Bondurant School Closes Down a Month After Filing Bankruptcy

Staff writer, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

actualrootwyrm
Spamfeller Loves Nazi Clicks

After Skip Barber, I’m not at all surprised. Professional racing schools like Bondurant have been in decline a long time. They were dependent on a market that’s simply dried up, and they never changed the business model to address the competition.

What competition? Simply put: I can pay a couple hundred bucks to my local PCA chapter and get 2 days of instruction in my own car. That’s it. If I want that from Bondurant? $2800 for a 2 day Hellcat ‘High Performance’ class which is not SCCA / NASA license eligible. If you want an SCCA/NASA eligible class, that’s the “Forza Motorsport Grand Prix Road Racing” 3-day at $4800 plus your expenses, or $5500 for the 4-day. Oh, and their student to instructor ratio is 3:1.

Or, I fork over less than a grand and get 2-days of classroom and track time. With an assigned instructor. So it’s all 1-on-1. And it’s recognized as equivalent training and event participation. Or I just participate in some NASA events. It’s gotten cheap and easy to get licensed. Hell, if I really want the ‘full monty,’ the Mid-Ohio School’s 3 day classroom+track is $3000 with their car. And that’s sufficient for a full competition license.