Chrysler paid $7 million to buy the old Ford and Harley-Davidson test track located in eastern Collier County.
“The road surfaces that they have on the track there really offer optimum conditions for weather season testing,” said Chrysler spokesman Michael Palese. “We’ll be doing a lot of handling-type tests. We’ll be able to do testing all year round.”
The track is 6 miles long and is on the edge of the Everglades. It’s been four years since the track has been sitting silent, when Harley decided to consolidate its hot-weather testing at a Kingman facility, in Arizona. In 2002 Harley bought the track for $6.5 million from Collier Enterprises and then Ford leased it to test its own cars. In 2011 Harley put the property for sale for $7.5 million.
Among those interested in the property was Corvettes of Naples, which considered the place perfect for holding an autocross. In 2011 Corvettes of Naples president Glenn Hutchinson wanted to lease the track for the high-speed event. Another place perfect for an autocross was the Sebring International Raceway located in central Florida, but “they want like $70,000 a weekend, and you have to use all their people,” said Hutchinson.