Bondurant Driving School Files for Bankruptcy
One of the best known driving schools in the country, the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The school which teaches everyone from teens to corporate bigwigs about high performance driving says it is trying to reorganize. The school, which advertises itself as the “Official Racing School of Dodge SRT,” has a huge facility in Chandler, Arizona.
The Bondurant School released a statement on its webpage.
“In a difficult yet important step towards becoming a stronger company, Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, Inc. filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona on October 2, 2018. We will continue operating and serving our students and corporate groups as usual while we develop new business relationships to ensure the vitality of the Company in the future.”
Bob Bondurant is one of the most well-known race car drivers in history. He has raced everything from Sting Rays to Ferraris, but really made his name racing for Carroll Shelby. According to his website, “not only did he win the ’63 Grand Prix of Riverside in a 289 Cobra, but he went to Europe in 1964, teaming with Dan Gurney, and again in ’65, teaming with Jo Schlesser; both years, the Shelby team won the GT class at the 24 Hours of LeMans.”
Movie Consultant and Teacher
Bob Bondurant served as a consultant on several racing movies like the epic “Grand Prix”, and has taught many celebrities like Paul Newman, Robert Wagner, James Garner, Tom Cruise and Tim Allen the finer points of racing.
Bondurant opened his own driving school in 1968 and eventually built his own facility in 1990, adjacent to the Firebird Raceway, outside of Phoenix. According to his website, “The school maintains over 200 race-prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open wheel cars, and is the largest dedicated facility of its kind in North America.”
The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving offers several programs geared to different audiences. There are drag racing programs, teen driver programs, high performance driving, and even executive protection and tactical mobility training sessions teaching security personnel how to better protect their employers. My husband has taken the Viper high performance course and needless to say, he loved every second of it.
The company does not say what led to its financial problems, but it did just appoint a new General Manager, Tim Rose, in June. Pat Bondurant released this statement at the time. “He not only has proven business savvy, but as a professional driver and instructor, he fully understands the intricacies of the motorsports market. We’re pleased to elevate him into the General Manager role where he can help steer our company into the next 50 years.”
School Remains Open During Re-organization
The Bondurant school says it has 300,000 satisfied graduates and despite current problems, it is hoping to graduate many more.
“For over 50 years, Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving has been a fixture in Arizona and renowned nationally and internationally in the world of racing, thanks to our loyal students, dedicated employees, and the Gila River Indian Community. The Chapter 11 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.”