Rockin’ Down the Highway

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Rockin’ Down the Highway

Ever think about how big a part music plays as it relates to our classic car hobby?

I’ve had my ear buds in for the past half hour and what comes on the iPod? The Doobie Brothers’ “Rockin’ Down The Highway”. A driving song if there ever was one! This particular tune has almost landed me in hot water a few times – it just makes me want to downshift and peg the pedal hard against the floorboard. I’m typing away here – the Doobies’ tune has come to an end, and what’s next on the playlist? The Doors – “Riders On The Storm”. Haunting, to say the least. This one sounds best on a lonely highway at sundown, storm clouds roiling overhead.

It’s amazing how huge a role music plays in our classic car hobby. Listening to Elvis through that tinny 6” dash speaker while cruisin’ ’round the block in your ’62 Corvette, or filling the cockpit of your 2002 Camaro SS with Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” on some wide open stretch of Interstate – the tunes set the mood, big time!

How about car shows? Ever been to one where there’s no music blaring through the loudspeakers? Neither have I. The songs that have been written over the years about cars and driving are too numerous to count! Jan and Dean and The Beach Boys certainly focused their efforts on the road tunes. Oh, here we go – The Eagles’ “Hotel California” just started – that ominous beat coming through my ear buds. As you can imagine, I’ve got a huge “car/road” collection of songs on my iPod. Little Old Lady From Pasadena, 409, Little Deuce Couple, Hot Rod Lincoln – all perennial favs.

The best moments (for me, anyway) come from matching the music to the moment. I took a ride (not as the driver – bummer) in a ’62 Impala SS about 10 years ago. The owner had “409” pumping out of his beefy aftermarket sound system. And yes, that big Chevy happened to sport a 409 under the hood. It was an incredible moment for me and still sticks in my brain. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t even have to be music. I used to love listening to afternoon ball games on the little Sonomatic AM radio in my ’69 Buick. Single dash speaker, kind of crackly, just set the mood – good times indeed.

Like drive-in movie theaters and old time burger joints, music in our cars tugs us (sometimes not so gently) back into days gone by. And sometimes, that’s just where we want to go. Would love to hear your thoughts here. Feel free to use the Comments section below – and post a pic while you’re at it!

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