The Gearhead Bucket List: 8 Things To Do Before You Die

For the average person, a list of things to do before kicking the bucket is pretty predictable.

Things like skydiving and seeing Niagra Falls are well and good, but where’s the originality?

As gearheads we are people who love cars and anything related to their history, design, performance and development. We love the competition of racing cars and the dedication it takes to keep them running in top condition. In short, we love the absolute thrill cars provide.

Folks like us need our own bucket list – things to see and do that will epitomize our love of cars and leave a lasting legacy of our passion for the automobile.

Keep reading for eight essential gearhead experiences!

See the Nurburgring

Nurburgring Nordschleife

Built around the city of Nurburg, Germany, the Nurburgring is a true mecca of automobile racing and the standard for measuring a vehicle’s performance. Yeah, a car might have 800 horsepower, but the real question is, what’s its time around the ‘Ring?

The greatest cars in the history of the world have been, and still are, tested here. The annual 24 Hours of Nurburgring happens every May, and the track is occasionally open for tourist drives. Don’t let your life pass by without seeing an event here or, better yet, driving the course for yourself.

Drive the Dead Man’s Curve in Los Angeles

Dead Man's Curve

This dangerous curve has taken on near-mythical qualities due to stories of L.A. stars falling victim to the unforgiving temptation to take it too fast. Head east on Sunset Blvd in L.A. toward the UCLA campus, and you’ll come to a long downhill stretch with a speed limit of 35 mph. It’s a limit you’ll do well to heed, since the sharp left bank at the bottom will sneak up on you. Drivers unfamiliar with the turn will find themselves pulling the steering wheel too far to the left, resulting in either a crash through a wall of trees or spinning out into oncoming traffic. Make the drive, but take it slow, and be sure to listen to Jan & Dean’s famous song, “Dead Man’s Curve” while navigating the famous left.

See the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany

Porsche Museum

Even if you’re not a fan of the flat six, Porsche’s new museum will thrill any auto enthusiast with its vast collection of historical vehicle breakthroughs, concept cars and modern supercars.

Experience the Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats

Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist. Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats.

That’s the opening paragraph from the Salt Flat’s website, creating an accurate description of what just might be the world’s fastest race track. Racing at Bonneville has been happening since 1896, and the first land speed record set there was in 1914, when Teddy Tezlaff drove to an official record speed of 141.73 mph. Since then, countless records have been set and broken at the 30,000-acre salt flats. Plan a trip during the annual World of Speed event, and you are guaranteed to witness some of the fastest racing on Earth.

Visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Imagine a roller coaster that pits two F430 cars against each other on parallel tracks. Or a ride that simulates the G-forces a person would feel in a legendary Ferrari Enzo, while sitting in seats modeled after the famous supercar’s. If that’s not enough, how about taking a spin on the world’s fastest coaster, reaching speeds of almost 150 mph? Add in a journey through Ferrari’s history, one fabled model at the time, and you’ve got the world’s first single-make automotive theme park. Book your tickets now and plan on being first in line when the park opens on October 28!

Live it up at Salon Prive in London

Salon Prive

Currently wrapping up its fifth year, the annual automotive exhibit at London’s Hurlingham Club packs more luxury metal per acre than any other auto show. This is the place where high-profile people and high-profile cars collide in a brillant fireball of pure class. For 2010, visitors were treated to wicked modern technology in the form of the Lexus LFA and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in addition to modern classics like the McLaren F1 and Ferrari F50.

Go to a collector car auction

Barrett Jackson auction

Even if you have no intent to buy, hanging out at an auction where some of the world’s most famous and expensive cars are sold is a thrill not to be missed!

Take in the Geneva Motor Show

Zagato Perana Z One

Attending your local auto show might be an interesting way to see the latest Toyota Camry, but if you want to be among the first to see radical concepts and world premier production cars (not to mention hot booth babes), head to Geneva at least once in your life.

What are some of your coolest or most memorable gearhead moments?


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  1. WOW! That’s as close as we’ll ever get to setting a ‘ring record. Cool!

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