When it comes to high-performance driving schools, few names come to mind faster than Bondurant, but there’s no road left for the iconic driving school. Bondurant’s closing, the details and terms of which are still unclear, comes after serving the industry for 50 years, following a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October of 2018. ClassicCars.com posted a picture of a note taped to the school’s door indicating the closure.
The founder, Bob Bondurant, began his career as a racing driver in the 1950s, campaigning everything from Indian motorcycles to race-spec Corvettes. Bondurant went on to drive for Carroll Shelby in the ’60s, becoming a part of the Le Mans-winning GT40 dream team in 1965, in addition to his numerous other racing achievements. But it was a near-fatal, 150-mph crash in 1967 that benched his racing career and even threatened his ability to walk. Luckily, he would recover and open the Bondurant Driving School—later named Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving—on February 14th, 1968.
Recently the school was in financial trouble, with legal filings showing $1 to $10 million owed to between 50 and 100 creditors. After announcing the company’s bankruptcy, Bondurant assured the community that they would remain open throughout the Chapter 11 process. It would appear those plans are now off.
The future of the school is still unclear, but for now, thundering engines and squealing tires won’t be heard from Bondurant’s historic facility for the foreseeable future. We’ve reached out to representatives for Bondurant and will report back when we have more information.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Bondurant released this statement: In October, the 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. This was an important first step to help us restructure the School. Yesterday, we experienced circumstances that unexpectedly caused the School to close its doors temporarily. The Bondurants intend on continuing the School’s restructuring efforts, negotiating with potential investors, and implementing a new management team to assure the successful future of the School. We remain optimistic and hope to keep the School's legacy alive for years to come.