Willow Springs International Raceway is like the dandelion of racetracks — you don’t think about it much, but when you look around, you see it crop up everywhere. Located in Southern California about an hour northeast of Los Angeles and established with the help of Ken Miles in 1953, Bill and Maxine Huth bought it from Miles in 1962 and expanded the recreational options over the decades while keeping the place accessible. For decades, it has hosted the average track day for cars and motorcycles, racing schools, drift events, commercial shoots like that for the Jeep Wagoneer S, movie shoots like Ford vs. Ferrari,” and car launches like the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the 1965 Shelby GT350R Competition, and the 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS.   

The Huth’s stewardship earned Willow Springs designation as a California Point of Historical Interest in 1996. Bill Huth died at 91 years old in 2015; his family has run the track since then as they thought he would. Now, the site calling itself the “Fastest Road in the West” is for sale with listing agents Team Scarborough. Daughter Stephanie Huth wrote to Road Racing World, “Five generations of our family have enjoyed being stewards of America’s first purpose-built road racing circuit. Our parents, Bill and Maxine, bought a ghost of a 2.5-mile road course in the middle of nowhere. They had no backing. Dad had $17 the day they paved it. Sacrifices were made. Today, it is a unique and substantial motorsport and technological complex, ready for its new chapter. Personally, I can’t wait to see what the next stewards will do. Like Dad, I’m still waiting for someone to do a one-minute lap on ‘the Fastest Road in the West.’”

The 600-acre complex is a Disneyland for racers, but larger — counting 100 acres more than Anaheim’s Disneyland and California Adventure parks put together. There are seven racetracks: Balcony Autocross & Skidpad (¼-mile autocross and drift course); Big Willow (2.5-mile road course available in Gran Turismo and iRacing, pictured above); Horse Thief Mile (the famous mile-long road course with numerous elevation changes); Kart Track (0.625-mile paved sprint track); Speedway Willow Springs (¼-mile paved oval); Streets of Willow Springs (1.8-mile road course); Walt James Stadium (3/8-mile clay and paved ovals). Outside of that, there are off-roading options among 160 desert acres.

For those not hard at it behind the wheel, there are admin areas, spaces for dining and catering, gift shops, a fuel depot with thousands of gallons of tank space, a pit complex, and the other ancillaries a running track would need. Oh, there are also water wells, good to have in Willow’s inland desert location.  

The listing advertises everything Willow Springs will offer a new owner. However, it didn’t list a price, instead inviting the interested to submit an offering memorandum, which would be a first step to being considered a viable buyer. An assessment on the site from June 4, 2024, values the complex at $2,253,440. Yes, the location is going to need some investment, but the stated value is less than the price of a single example of the dozen or so supercars that have debuted in the past few years. 

Even if you’re not going to buy, we recommend visiting the listing to check out the Timeline and Family Legacy pages. Fascinating stuff.

Source link