This Guy Built an $8 Million Formula 1 Racetrack In His Backyard
There are a lot things one can build in the backyard. Swimming pool, BBQ pit, and playground set for the kids all come to mind. But a full blown Formula One racetrack? Now, that’s something else and that is exactly what banking heir Alan Wilzig did.
Alan Wilzig, 57, is the son of Siggi Wilzig, a survivor of concentration camps Auschwitz and Mauthausen who arrived in the US in 1947 with little money and only a grade school education. By the time of his death in 2003, he had created a banking empire. Upon his death, Alan inherited his father’s company and sold it less than a year later to North Fork Bank for $752 million in cash and stock. Then he decided to have a lot of fun. His instagram page even states “NO ONE has more fun.”
Alan’s idea of having fun is racing cars and motorcycles, and since he’s super rich, he can afford to indulge his passion by buying a 275-acre estate just outside Craryville, N.Y. to build Wilzig Racing Manor. Wilzig claims this is the only private property in the world to incorporate its own private racetrack.
The track is 1.15 mile in length and 40 feet wide, contains an elevation change of 80 feet from the highest to lowest point, and is capable of being run in several configurations. The longest such configuration, intended for time trials, allows for a 2.75 mile lap with only one pair of consecutive turns in the same direction. The track was build at a cost of $7.5 million plus another $500,000 in legal fees after town residents opposed the project.
In addition to the racetrack, Wilzig Racing Manor also has a three-story steel-and-glass garage to house Wilzig’s collection of a dozen cars and 110 motorcycles.
While Wilzig’s vehicle collection is impressive, it does not include any German cars or bike and he does not allow them on his track. His father was an Auschwitz survivor, and 59 of his relatives perished in Nazi death camps. That means no BMWs, Porsches or Mercedes allowed.
“I don’t need to see that three-pointed star when I know it was the last thing my grandparents saw before they were murdered by the Nazis.”
Wilzig said he has done over 20,000 laps of his track since it was built. Sadly, Wilzid’s two children do not share his enthusiasm for racing. Luckily, his girlfriend does, and so do a lot of his friends. Weekends at Wilzig Racing Manor must be a rocking good time.
The Wilzig Racing Manor track is open to the public one day a year as part of the WRM Gives charity event. Just remember to not bring a German car.