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‘Car Couples’ Valentine’s Day Guide from Power & Performance

It’s almost that time of the year again – the day when happy couples give gifts and extend declarations of their affection for one another. For some, Valentine’s Day consists of a nice dinner at home or at a fancy restaurant, but for couples that love their cars it has the potential to be so much more.

To that end, I thought I would have a bit of fun and offer all of you auto-obsessed love birds some ideas on how to make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable ever.

Without further ado, I’m pleased to present to you The Power & Performance Valentine’s Day Guide for “Car Couples!”

At the Bondurant Racing School, couples can learn to race a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. (Photo courtesy of Bondurant Racing School.)

Attend a Racing School

What really says love more than ‘his and her’ racecars? Although Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday this year, celebrating the occasion on the following weekend by attending a two-day racing course is just about the most fun we can think of for a car couple.

Bondurant Racing School offers a variety of driving courses that range from high-performance driving to advanced teen driving and so on. But their racing and advanced racing programs offer the biggest bang for the buck.

Couples who attend Bondurant’s Forza Motorsport Grand Prix Road Racing Program will get behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat racecar, and, in the case of the four-day program, an open-wheel Formula Mazda race car.

The program focuses on progressively building the driver’s skill levels. Techniques taught in the classroom as well as out on the track by Bondurant instructors include car control, weight transfer, ABS braking, accident avoidance, heel-to-toe downshifting, skid control, starts, race line theory, cornering and passing techniques, racing etiquette and race flags.

Attendees’ experiences are noted in a logbook, and with an instructor’s endorsement, an SCCA regional race license may be granted. Advanced racing classes take things even further, offering an understanding of the finer aspects of competitive driving, including improved lap times, defining vehicle limits, race craft, and passing techniques.

If your special someone doesn’t love you more after giving them the gift of a racing weekend, then we’d be shocked!

For more info on Bondurant racing programs, head over to www.bondurant.com.

The fabulous Petersen Automotive Museum on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum.)

Visit an Automotive Museum

A fine way to celebrate one’s affection for their partner, as well as their obsession with cars, is to head over to a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the automobile.

Significant collections can be found all over the country, but based in Southern California,  it’s no surprise that my favorite is the enormous and fabulous Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard, right in the heart of Los Angeles.

Dedicated to all things automotive, the Petersen opened in 1994 with a mission to explore and present the history of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example.

The museum’s first floor focuses on the artistry of the automobile with the large Peter and Merle Mullin Design salon devoted to the world’s most beautiful automobiles, and an art gallery in which the works of well-known artists treat the automobile as both inspiration and medium.

Floor two is centered around the industry of the automobile and explores racing, customization, manufacturing, and alternative-fuel technologies.

The top floor is dedicated to the history of the automobile, both in Southern California and around the world, and includes a close look at Hollywood’s love of cars.

For those who need to see more, the Petersen’s legendary vault, containing some of the rarest and most important cars in the world, may be toured.

With its full-size dioramas, engaging thematic galleries and a rotating collection of over 300 automobiles and motorcycles on display at any given time, the Petersen Museum is a can’t miss for the car couple. Visit www.petersen.org for more information.

Indoor Karting is a great idea for a Valentine’s date. (Photo courtesy of Accelerate Indoor Speedway.)

Go to a Karting Track

Want to have a super-fun Valentine’s Day date with your significant other? Then head over to your local karting facility and hit the track, because nothing is more fun than drifting an underpowered,  lightweight kart around with reckless abandon.

Featuring indoor tracks with electric cars or outdoor tracks with gas-powered karts, most of the facilities also have additional attractions such as arcades, restaurants and more.

The Accelerate Indoor Speedway in Chicago Illinois has added an unusual extra for Valentine’s Day in the form of their “Dinner and a Throw” attraction, that gives lovebirds an edgy way to celebrate. Couples receive an hour of ax throwing (yes, you read that right), arcade time, two entrees, two craft beers, glasses of wine, signature cocktails or well drinks and a shared dessert to go with their racing.

We’ve never thrown an ax with our loved one, but who says axes and racing don’t go together? www.acceleratespeed.com has all the details.

The drag strip at Auto Club Speedway at Fontana offers open house days and Wednesday Night Lights, where amateurs can take their own cars out on the track and test their reactions and skills. (Photo courtesy of Auto Club Speedway, Fontana.)

Participate at a Local Drag Strip

Taking your personal car out on a quarter-mile track  is more fun than you can imagine. Not only are you able to explore the power and traction limits of your car, but you can do so surrounded by like-minded folks who are out there doing the very same thing. When it comes to the car couple celebrating their Valentine’s Day, we can’t think of anything more satisfying.

With thousands of strips across the country, many offer amateur days for anyone can run their street legal or drag specific vehicle. It won’t be hard to find a drag strip that provides a Valentine’s Day celebration of speed near you.

My favorite here in SoCal is Auto Club Speedway, located in Fontana. Featuring a quarter-mile strip utilized by the NHRA for pro events, ACS holds open house days every weekend in addition to “Wednesday Night Lights,” an evening of food, fun and fast that will have you and your partner having loads of automotive excitement.

Cars that are of a particular power rating or above must have a roll cage installed, all cars must be fully insured, and any potential damages are solely the responsibility of the owner. Enjoy plenty of seat time and a chance to time the lights perfectly and trip the clock like the pros do.

Fontana’s gates open at 4:00pm, and a $20 fee for racers and $10 for spectators buys you an evening of thrills. Kids 12 and under are free. Visit Auto Club Speedway’s website for their schedule and details.

Photo Courtesy of US Auto Supplies.

The ultimate Valentines Day activity?

Buy your Valentine a car. Enough said!

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

About the author

Rob Finkelman

Rob combined his two great passions of writing and cars; and began authoring columns for several Formula 1 racing websites and Street Muscle Magazine. He is an avid automotive enthusiast with a burgeoning collection of classic and muscle cars.
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