A ghost track you’ve never heard of: Palm Coast International | Column

J.G.
By J.G. Pasterjak
Jul 14, 2022 | Mazda, Mazdaspeed3, Column, Palm Coast International | Posted in Columns | From the Aug. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

This issue’s column is exciting because there’s additional online content. So what I want you to do now is go to Google Maps, and I’ll give you a look at a ghost track you may have never heard of. 

Navigate to the humble burg of Palm Coast, Florida, and look all the way down in the southeast corner of Flagler County …

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CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/6/22 12:11 p.m.

Florida is craaaaazy.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 12:17 p.m.

If only photos existed....

 

 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/6/22 1:16 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

If only photos existed....

 

 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

They should be ready at Eckerd's soon.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
7/6/22 1:37 p.m.

I witnessed a Consulier test there.  Did a few laps in my Elva Courier there at night toodevil

J&DMiata
J&DMiata New Reader
7/6/22 3:35 p.m.

Deb & I saw an SCCA autocross there once when we were visiting my parents in Daytona.  We saw the SCCA sign on the access road and went and viewed the event.  If I remember correctly a car had gone off course and was back in the woods, it was a Renault or Golf I think.  Those were the days in the early days of Palm Coast.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/6/22 4:20 p.m.

I can't remember if I heard it in person, or read it on the website, but the story about the entire German race team that came over to do some test laps was awesome. 
 

edit: Consider this a request, please.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/6/22 4:31 p.m.

That is awesome!  In for more pics!  

When I was a kid, my Dad brought me to a similar un-developed residential set of roads down near Cape Coral, iirc, where they held sanctioned autocrosses.  I don't recall if it was SCCA or another group, but it was cool!  There's another similar area out in the Palm Bay area known as "The Compound" where the drift boys go to practice and there are tons of offroad trails.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 4:52 p.m.

I'm not saying that this photo was taken there. I just happen to like Subarus and recently came across this image in our files.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/6/22 4:52 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I can't remember if I heard it in person, or read it on the website, but the story about the entire German race team that came over to do some test laps was awesome. 
 

edit: Consider this a request, please.

That anecdote was actually going to be part of this column but I ran out of room to do it justice, so it'll get its own column at some point in the future.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
7/6/22 5:17 p.m.
Lof8 - Andy said:

That is awesome!  In for more pics!  

When I was a kid, my Dad brought me to a similar un-developed residential set of roads down near Cape Coral, iirc, where they held sanctioned autocrosses.  I don't recall if it was SCCA or another group, but it was cool!  There's another similar area out in the Palm Bay area known as "The Compound" where the drift boys go to practice and there are tons of offroad trails.

That was SAFE, which was anything but with the two guys who ran it.  One was a builder, and the other was a lawyer, which was handy for the first brother.  It's gone through a couple of owners, and is now running autocrosses at Buckingham Airstrip under the name Gulf Coast Auto Cross

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 5:41 p.m.

Not just an IS 300, but one with a five-speed. Again, not saying where this was taken. I just like these cars. :) 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/6/22 7:18 p.m.

I don't intend to hijack the thread, but I love this type of stuff. Here's a video from when I attended the "Bay Bottom Crawl" a few years back. It used to be held on some undeveloped neighborhood roads down in the Keys.  Nothing but mangroves and salt water if you biff it off course.  ($2k challenge miata)
 


And here's an event that became dubbed the "Zombiecross". The previous owner of the Firm bought an abandoned army training facility near Arcadia. It was supposed to become another rally training facility, "Carlstromring".  But at the first and only event ever held there, a car went off course, hit an electrical box, and started a fire.  To my knowledge, the dude sold the place afterward. :(  (not me, I did not get to attend). 

 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/6/22 8:00 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

I an the Bay Bottom back in about '92 or '93. Fun and incredibly sketchy. Last I heard that road was pretty much hurricaned out after the last couple storms dumped a lot of sand on it. They were still running up until just a few years ago, though. The club down there actualy has a pretty active schedule at the community college in Key West. Almost worth a couple nights in a $300 crappy hotel to check one out sometime.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 8:14 p.m.

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Years ago, we ran a TSD rally through Rocket City, a planned community between Orlando and the Cape that didn't take off as expected. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/6/22 9:03 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

I an the Bay Bottom back in about '92 or '93. Fun and incredibly sketchy. Last I heard that road was pretty much hurricaned out after the last couple storms dumped a lot of sand on it. They were still running up until just a few years ago, though. The club down there actualy has a pretty active schedule at the community college in Key West. Almost worth a couple nights in a $300 crappy hotel to check one out sometime.

Sketchy indeed!  But very fun!  Key West autox sounds like a cool road trip.

David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Lof8 - Andy :

Years ago, we ran a TSD rally through Rocket City, a planned community between Orlando and the Cape that didn't take off as expected. 

that sounds sweet. Is Rocket City still "abandoned"?  Google seems to indicate it's transformed into Wedgefield. 

johndej
johndej SuperDork
7/6/22 9:11 p.m.

Definitely got the hang of some similar stuff back following the 08 housing bust. Totally paved subdivisions with no housing built.

RobMason
RobMason New Reader
7/6/22 9:38 p.m.

I have flown RC Planes at "The Compound" in Palm Bay and may or may not have run a '69 Austin Healey Sprite around there many years ago as well. :) 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 10:26 p.m.

Oh no I've said too much. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 10:32 p.m.

I haven't said enough

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/6/22 10:32 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Oh no I've said too much. 

Not gonna lie I completely forgot photos existed

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 10:37 p.m.

Yup. They're safe. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 10:42 p.m.

And let's just say that I have a bit of scanning to do. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 11:15 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:
David S. Wallens said:

If only photos existed....

 

 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

They should be ready at Eckerd's soon.

And yup.

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/7/22 5:30 a.m.

The Spirit Of Daytona team was a frequent visitor to PCI in the mid 90s. It was a great way for all of us volunteers to get together to work out our race organization and duties.

We may have had to replace the pavement in turn 1 after a fuel spill. Thankfully one of the team members worked for a paving contractor and had access to supplies and equipment.

Did lots of SCCA club car testing there too.

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/7/22 5:33 a.m.

Directions from US1 were something like: Seminole, sesame, seneca, secretary.

All S's but every street in the development seemed to start with S.

CrashDummy
CrashDummy Reader
7/7/22 7:12 a.m.

IIRC, there was a GRM podcast about this a few years back. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/7/22 9:10 a.m.

In reply to CrashDummy :

You can find our old podcasts here

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/7/22 9:58 a.m.
stafford1500 said:

Directions from US1 were something like: Seminole, sesame, seneca, secretary.

All S's but every street in the development seemed to start with S.

Seminole, Sesame, Selma, Secretary, but, yeah, you were close. 

Getting a pizza delivered when we lived up there was a living hell.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/7/22 12:39 p.m.

I don't believe this one is from Palm Coast, but it's from the same era. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/7/22 1:13 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

I don't believe this one is from Palm Coast, but it's from the same era. 

I think this might be 11th st (now LPGA) out bythe stadium when it was closed off at the highway basically making it a long, blind dead end. We may or may not have done a few things there as well.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/7/22 1:17 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

If I knew what you were talking about, I'd say that I believe that you are correct. 

jmabarone
jmabarone Reader
7/7/22 1:18 p.m.
Lof8 - Andy said:

And here's an event that became dubbed the "Zombiecross". The previous owner of the Firm bought an abandoned army training facility near Arcadia. It was supposed to become another rally training facility, "Carlstromring".  But at the first and only event ever held there, a car went off course, hit an electrical box, and started a fire.  To my knowledge, the dude sold the place afterward. :(  (not me, I did not get to attend). 

 

I wondered what happened to that.  I grew up 1 county north of that and that seemed like a good opportunity to move back to FL and have an awesome job.  

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
7/7/22 1:20 p.m.

So, you know how we have that nifty assist list map?  What if we had another one for secret test tracks?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/7/22 1:24 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

So, you know how we have that nifty assist list map?  What if we had another one for secret test tracks?

Never write down anything you don't want read back to you in a courtroom.

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
7/13/22 12:45 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Rocket City? Didn't take off?cheeky

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/13/22 2:09 p.m.

In reply to jerel77494 :

It's nice to see people reading my stuff. :) 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/13/22 9:57 p.m.

Oh? 15 minutes away from Mom's house?
Mom, who I'm visiting this weekend?  That Mom?

Yes, that Mom.

Now, how to explain why I want to go visit some random neighborhood

aw614
aw614 Reader
7/14/22 10:18 a.m.
Lof8 - Andy said:

And here's an event that became dubbed the "Zombiecross". The previous owner of the Firm bought an abandoned army training facility near Arcadia. It was supposed to become another rally training facility, "Carlstromring".  But at the first and only event ever held there, a car went off course, hit an electrical box, and started a fire.  To my knowledge, the dude sold the place afterward. :(  (not me, I did not get to attend). 

A two people I know went to this, one friend loved it in his stock Miata, another thought it was sketchy as hell and only ran once before tapping out. His shop is doing more spec e30, and other sanctioned stuff now. It's interesting to see the few news articles on Carlstromring before their first event. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/14/22 10:30 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Don't expect to run any hot laps, but you can see some possible GRM history. 

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