Alan Wilzig, the former CEO of The Trust Company of New Jersey, is also a semi-professional racecar driver. Rather than going to the racetrack like others, he made the racetrack come to him, building his own at his Taghkanic, New York property.
The 1.15-mile-long, 40-foot wide racetrack is designed for high-performance cars and motorcycles. It has nine turns, 80 feet of elevation changes and special fences that limits the impact of going off course.
“You’re going fast enough to make your ass pucker,” the 52-year-old told the New York Post. “The f—ing hairs on your neck stand up.” He called the track the "field of dreams for motor sports.”
Wilzig came up with the idea for the racetrack in the late 1990s after a friend was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident.
“After 100,000 miles of around-the-world motorcycle riding without incident, I realized it was only a matter of time before somebody pulled out in a fancy car and hit me," he told the Post.
After Wilzig's father, Siggi Wilzig, died in 2003, he sold the Trust Company for $726 million in 2004. The next year, he spent $3.35 million on the Taghkanic mansion with the intent of building the racetrack.
Getting the track built was no easy task. The Post first reported on his plans in 2006, and his neighbors used a court injunction to stop him. After two years in court, he finally got the greenlight to finish it. It was completed in May 2010 and cost him $3 million.
Wilzig is a divorced father of two. He's been dating 23-year-old Clemence Lapeyre for three years. The recent Duke University graduate loves cars as much as Wilzig does.
“The most fun I ever had here was this past summer when we raced motorcycles on the track every day,” Wilzig told the Post on Nov. 26. “I would wake up with my girlfriend at 7 in the morning, watch a live Formula One race from Singapore or Bahrain or wherever on TV, then go downstairs and make breakfast for my 10- and 11-year-old children — who, sadly, do not share my enthusiasm for racing. After that, Clem and I would spend two hours chasing each other around the track before coming back, making love for a half-hour and then enjoying three or four hours in the pool with the kids. What could be a better day?"
Wilzig also refuses to let German cars be driven on the racetrack. His father was a Holocaust survivor and 59 of his relatives died in Nazi death camps.
Aside from his racetrack and collection, Wilzig's other claim to fame is a small role in the life of Jordan Belfort, the author of The Wolf of Wall Street. He introduced Belfort to his second wife, Nadine. Wilzig wasn't too happy with Martin Scorsese's version of events in his 2013 film adaptation.
Photo: Alan Wilzig/Instagram