The smell of exhausted brakes permeates the air here at Ford’s Dearborn Development Center. Nineteen very happy campers have spent a day living the dream of car testing and evaluation.
In the morning we drove ten different sedans on a track and road course to evaluate their handling, braking, and accelerating characteristics. Ford provided a team of their best test drivers to introduce us to the course layout and how to take advantage of the insights each different section would provide.
In the afternoon three more test areas were set up for our use. One was a huge wet skid pad.
Another area was a handling course where the limits of each car’s handling could be exposed.
The third was an long autocross circuit where times were taken and the cars could be taken to their limits in a slightly different environment.
You would think that all of that was more than enough to fill a car enthusiast’s day, but there was icing on the cake in the form of hot laps driven by the Ford test drivers with campers as passengers.
Here are some shots of the campers in the hot lap cars:
As a special treat Tommy Kendall piloted a Mustang Boss 302, Leguna Seca edition, around the course as well. The line for that ride was a long one.
Then it was on to a coach the brought us back to the Dearborn Inn where we will get together tonight an celebrate with music, fine food, and plenty of good company.
I’ll follow up with some details of the whole weekend, but right now I will get some rest before the celebrations.