Over 30,000 Hurricane Damaged Vehicles Flood Houston Drag Strip

A drag strip in the Houston suburb of Baytown has opened up its gates as a temporary storage and processing facility for vehicles ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Royal Purple Raceway has offered up 400 acres of its lands and as of the start of this week, around 30,000 vehicles were already being stored there with many more arriving daily.

Track vice president and general manager Seth Angel says insurance adjusters will assess the damage of vehicles and process claims from the raceway. Once a vehicle has been assessed, it will either be returned to its owner, be named a salvage and sold online through Copart or be sent to the scrapyard for demolition.

Speaking to Autoweek, Angel said “It’s been a wild past few weeks. Copart needs places to store all the cars. Insurance adjusters simply can’t go to every car across the city. It’s going to be a very long process.”

Vehicles will be stored at the facility for the next six months meaning all racing events at Royal Purple Raceway have been suspended until February.


  • Craig

    Is there any part of a car that is still OK after being submerged? The engine? Transmission? Or whatever?

    • Mill0048

      Sheet metal… tires… glass. That’s all I can think of. lol Seriously a tear-down and rebuilt could fix a lot of the engines that haven’t been run after ingesting water. But it’ll take a lot of work to assess valves, cranks, and other parts damaged by water compression to fix so many cars that probably aren’t worth the labor costs alone. Then there’s still the electrical issues.

      TL:DR not much. 🙂

    • Howstar

      Its all the electronics modules, ECUs etc that will be the problem.
      Pre 90’s car you’d replace the battery and turn the engine over to push the water out the spark plug holes and off you go.
      With these you’d need to wait for weeks of hot weather to dry everything out thoroughly before you could try to turn it on. Most could be saved provided you’ve got the weeks/ months to dry everything out and you don’t mind your car smelling of flood water.

      • Auf Wiedersehen

        Not to mention the likely amount of salt water and corrosion from it on wires and connectors.

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    Eye bleeding video.But these Ferraris still looking alive:(

  • Lou

    Im guessing that Ford Gt behind the Ferrari is still worth something to someone… do i see the beginning of the next Gas Monkey Garage Rebuild? hmmm