Nurburgring crucifix trackside

If you've been wondering what to do with that $165-million stack of pennies in your bedroom, we may have an idea for you. The Nürburgring is officially up for sale, including the arena, museum, Norschleife and even the defunct roller coaster. The government-owned motorsports complex fell into bankruptcy last July, and while we heard plenty of rumors on the topic of potential buyers, the list of serious parties interested in the complex has reportedly shrunk from somewhere around 50 to a more manageable five or 10. Jens Lieser, a state-appointed liquidator told BridgetoGantry.com that there isn't "a single Oligarch or Sheik amongst them."

That's good news for fans of the 'Ring who worried some impossibly wealthy individual would turn the track into their own personal playground. But those close to the fate of the facility say that doesn't mean the Nürburgring will necessarily continue on as fans know it right now. Any private company that looks to sink their teeth into the motorsports icon will undoubtedly start by looking into ways to reduce the track's losses, and that will likely start with cutting grassroots motorsports events and nixing public driving. While those two activities make the Nürburgring an icon the world over, they don't rake in cash.

Us? We can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be wise for automakers to pool their resources and set up a joint-venture of sorts. After all, many of them have dedicated skunkworks facilities near the track for testing purposes, and if the 'Ring falls into private hands, their ability to continue to operate may be drawn into question.