Page 1 of 1

Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:27 am
by JoeCanuck
A few years ago, I rented a Smart car while in Germany...mainly, just because it seemed so absurd. Imagine my surprise when this little beast turned out to be one of the highest quality, most comfortable cars I've ever driven...and I'm a 6'1", 300lbs guy...even if it was one of the slowest with a crappiest transmission ever.

When in Germany, one must check out the Nurbergring...and as it happened, when I was there, it was open to the public. Anybody could take their personal vehicle on the 'Ring for a mere 21 Euros per lap...how could I resist?

Probably the slowest lap in history...I wasn't finished yet and my camera ran out of memory after 12 and a half minutes. One of the scariest and best times ever.

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:36 am
by Pyrex
I thought taking rental cars on the 'Ring was strictly verboten. How did you explain the tires shred to pieces (and the asphalt on the roof?) to the rental car agency?

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:09 am
by JoeCanuck
It's one of the few times where 'don't ask, don't tell' works really well. They didn't ask, and I didn't tell.

Don't damage the thing in any obvious ways and stuff like tires and a faint burning clutch smell won't even raise any flags.

I'm pretty sure the insurance would be void if I totalled it on the 'ring....though I'd do my best to tow it to the side of a likely looking accident spot.

I have a pic of me in the car taken with 'Ring CCTV...but I have no idea how to upload it....

[Edited 2013-01-04 23:55:04]

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:15 am
by trident3
Back in the mid 90s my mate and I whilst driving back from Northern Italy took a 1 litre Mini City E with a dodgy exhaust and faulty clutch round the 'ring twice (we each had to have a go). Once we had got the car back to England it never moved again until the scrap man came to take it away!
There was also of course Top Gear's attempt to do sub 10 mins in a Ford Transit van.

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:16 am
by B777LRF
I lived less than 50 km away from the Nurburgring for 2 years, and you do indeed witness the most ill-fitting vehicles having a go at the Green Hell. RV's are not unusual, neither is 'Bob the builder' in his van, or an old guy gently nursing his precious Audi around, glued to the curb on the right all the way round (no overtaking on the right on the ring).

As for taking a normal rental car on the ring, that is actually pretty stupid. The major rental companies pool up to hire people to stand guard at the entries and exits (there are 2), and if they see you coming off the track in a rental they will stop you, relieve you of the car on the spot and ban you FOREVER MORE from renting with any of the majors anywhere in the world.

But there are, of course, much better options than a boggo VW Golf from Hertz. Several companies in Nurburg specialises in hiring race prepared, but street legal, cars to the general public. Conditions apply, i.e. donĀ“t expect to get something hot the first couple of times you are there - they wisely choose to seize you up before they let you loose in a 300 hp Artega. I am partial to Rent4Ring, which is run by a bunch of very nice guys with well prepared cars at reasonable prices. For beginners they have the Suzuki Swift Sport, completely stripped on the inside and fitted with roll cage, racing seats, -brakes, -suspension and semi slicks. They are seriously good fun, and while in the right hands they will do a lap in around 9 minutes and see top speeds just north of 200 kmh, they are not scary or intimidating - just good fun. 4 laps in a Swift, all inclusive, is around 330 EUR.

From there it is basically only your skills and the size of your wallet setting the limits. You can rent a 911 Turbo, but the insurance excess for that is around 45.000 EUR. The Swift, for comparison, is 2.500.

[Edited 2013-01-05 03:20:24]

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:48 am
by CPH-R
Quoting trident3 (Reply 3):
There was also of course Top Gear's attempt to do sub 10 mins in a Ford Transit van.

10 minutes, 8 seconds in a Ford Transit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQJKQjXpGQA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KiC03_wVjc

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:26 pm
by Kiwirob
Quoting CPH-R (Reply 5):
10 minutes, 8 seconds in a Ford Transit:

I'd love to see how fast the Transit bodied XJ220 would do it in.

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:55 pm
by RussianJet
Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 2):
I'm pretty sure the insurance would be void if I totalled it on the 'ring....though I'd do my best to tow it to the side of a likely looking accident spot.

Insurance fraud, eh? Oh well, I suppose if you got away with it then everyone else would only have to pay more, which I guess is ok, yes? OK, high-horse lectures aside (please DO take what I said with a generous pinch of salt), why is it that insurance fraud is viewed as somehow ok by many?

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:16 pm
by Kiwirob
Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
OK, high-horse lectures aside (please DO take what I said with a generous pinch of salt), why is it that insurance fraud is viewed as somehow ok by many?

People pay for insurance and feel the right to make claims every so often to get some return on the money spent.

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:25 pm
by Pyrex
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):

People pay for insurance and feel the right to make claims every so often to get some return on the money spent.

That is just a really stupid way to think about things. Insurance is supposed to be something you win if you DON'T collect on.That is why you have deductibles, etc. - to keep people honest. Insurance is supposed to buy you "peace of mind", not get you your money back. If you want return of premium, go buy an endowment or whole life policy.

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:32 pm
by JoeCanuck
Quoting B777LRF (Reply 4):
As for taking a normal rental car on the ring, that is actually pretty stupid. The major rental companies pool up to hire people to stand guard at the entries and exits (there are 2), and if they see you coming off the track in a rental they will stop you, relieve you of the car on the spot and ban you FOREVER MORE from renting with any of the majors anywhere in the world.

I guess they never expect a Smart car at the 'Ring.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):

Insurance fraud, eh? Oh well, I suppose if you got away with it then everyone else would only have to pay more, which I guess is ok, yes? OK, high-horse lectures aside (please DO take what I said with a generous pinch of salt), why is it that insurance fraud is viewed as somehow ok by many?

I may have forgotten to add a smiley. But there are plenty of instances where regular people are screwed by insurance companies. For example, if you go too many years without an accident, your rates may go up, because according to the tables, you're due. As well, the rule that the car that hits another from the back is always at fault has filled the pockets of faudsters and insurance companies alike.

Regardless, I paid for the insurance and I really don't think it's possible to sneak broken car off of the track unseen. I had no idea until after that the 'Ring' in a rental was verboten. If I had gotten into an accident playing around off of the track, insurance would have covered me...but my rates would go up. I was also speeding on some of the German highways...nobody seemed to care about that.

As it happens, I have a spotless driving record for over 2 decades...and the average street is much more dangerous than my one lap...by a long shot.

Still, I don't regret the trip around the 'Ring for a second...it was a fantastic experience. Sometimes it's fun to live a little.

[Edited 2013-01-05 15:32:49]

RE: Odd Cars On The 'Ring.

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:03 am
by Kiwirob
Quoting Pyrex (Reply 9):
That is just a really stupid way to think about things.

It's not the way I think, it's just the way many people do. On the other hand there are also many people who don't make claims when they should because they incorrectly think they will be penalised if they use what they pay for.