I was lucky enough, to be at MPG every day or every other day from Aug 1995 until spring of 2004, working for a supplier. We would constanty work with GM enginering on issues pertaining to our parts. Anyhow I got so used to going there that I took it for granted after awhile. I would complain that I had to drive over there, spend the day in a garage help tearing apart cars, looking at noise complaints, testing the vehicles, etc. It got to the point that you just see future products so much I lost desire to even go to the NAIAS each year, or when I did I completly skipped the GM exhibit. There was a fun exercise that you had to take place in every five years to keep your driving priviliges at Milford. You had to take this advance driver's training and another 2 hour tour of the grounds for safety purposes and to review any new guidelines, roads, tracks, procedures, etc. The advance driver's training (last time I took it in 2004) consisted of 3 people renewing their badges and two instructors. We were given a Grand Prix GTP and the testing takes place on the northwestern part of the grounds on "Black Lake" which is literally a lake of ashpalt it's so large. It also has a group of trees on the north and south end and test drivers so laps around Black Lake. But we did five exercises, such as get the car up to sixty heading towards a set of cones and at the last second the instructor would tell you, "left" or "right" and you could usually do that part ok but the problem was you would, say turn left then have to make a right through the cones and exit out of them. The instructor would have you do it with and without ABS and without ABS you would almost always end up just losing control of the car and taking out cones. Another one was doing a 30 mph salom though the cones. Looks easy has hell on tv....definitely was not. I had to slow it down considerably to not hit a cone. They seem spread out far but eventually at that speed they catch up to you, your turns become further spread out, and you are not able to go through the cones. There were other small ones but the best one was the last one. A truck would spray down a portion of the asphalt there was jenite and it's like a hockey rink when wet. We would floor those G/P's, get half on the wet jenite and half the car on dry pavement, with and without ABS. ABS on, stopped in a straight line. Turn that baby off and man, I do not know how many 360's we did. Our instructor was a former Marine so he put the brake though the floorboard and did so many 360's that I thought I was going to puke, and I've never gotten car sick. That car smelled of burning rubber and brakes something fierce after that day. Some other cool things at MPG are the 5 mile circular track. If the test vehicle is alligned and balanced perfectly you can set the cruise and take your hands off the wheel and because it's a perfect circle it will drive itself. There used to be a legend that back in the 80's test drivers who were on 3rd shift would sleep while driving the cars. Test driving at the proving grounds sounds exciting at first but after about two weeks is very boring. There is also a shortcut that is a 30 degree climb for about 1/4 mile from the middle end of the grounds up to near a traffic circle next to an enginering testing building and close to the gate to leave. But the grade is so steep you have to floor it all the way up the hill (at least on most vehicles...I was running Suburbans/Silverados so yeah they were heavy and had to be floored.) But when you got to the top of this hill you had to get off the gas and get on the brakes immediately b/c the road system and parking lots for test vehicles were immediately upon you. There is a beligan blocks road that rattles the heck out of the vehicle to find areas that will not hold up, and off road area that has deep concrete divets to test the frames of trucks. You can literally only go 1-2 mph because these things actually twist the frame. You can see it if you are watching. GM has also added to the crash testing lab a rollover testing lab that shows the results of when a vehicle rolls over. It's the first of it's kind as far as that testing goes. I did get the chance once (an engineer asked if I wanted to sit in and watch one) to see the barrier testing on the last Grand Prix that was released, the 2004 to see how the fuel tank and components held up. It's again one of those things you don't appreciate at the time. GM will have some older test cars that will be scrapped or used for barrier tests, etc. First, safety is such a overriding priorty at the grounds, but really such an important priority in crash testing a car. Everyone is put in a lab with windows to witness the crash testing. A wall of flashbulbs rises up and is ready to film and take frame by frame pics of the test. These crash tests are not easy to schedule either and are just extremely expensive so engineering has to get it perfect on the first attempt. Anyhow the Grand Prix (test engineering vehicle) is put in place so it will be hit just below the filler neck by the, at the time, was an old "A" body Olds Ciera. The Ciera is backed up about 50 yards (this was a 35 mph test) and then released. It's dragged up to speed by a wire in a groove that runs the length of the testing area, is released when it hits the desired speed, and it hits the Grand Prix. It's so fast that you really can't tell what happened. The G/P had the left side glass shattered and door/filler neck caved in and the backglass exploded. But you then watch the results of was was actually the particular test, what happended to the fuel tank and sending unit. Each part is painted a different color so when taken apart you can tell what hit what part, similar to why crash dummies are painted, to see where they strike the interior. There are cameras that catch the impact underneath the car and it's amazing how parts shift around at impact but yet no failures to anything on the components. Unfortunately I took another position and do not get back to the grounds anymore. I left as they were building the "Lutzbering" track there to simulate the Nubering in Germany. Very intersting place to work though.