Rock ‘n’ roll and hot rods have always gone hand in hand. One of the greatest feelings of any auto enthusiast is jumping into their favorite automobile and cruising down the highway while cranking their favorite song during vacation or before taking a defensive driving course. Below is a list of the greatest car songs ever written. Which one is your favorite?
“Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett
Outside of “Freebird” (which has nothing to do with vehicles whatsoever), “Mustang Sally” has become the poster child of blacklisted bar songs. Nobody dare play it and nobody dare request it. There was a time, however, when Mack Rice’s ode to famed singer Della Reece was a staple among auto enthusiasts who know what is NY trip insuranceand bar dwellers alike.
“Little Red Corvette” by Prince
“Little Red Corvette” was not Prince’s first entry into mainstream radio, but it was his first smash hit. The song was conceived while Prince was lying in the back of band member Lisa Coleman’s pink Mercury Montclair Marauder. The infectious ditty is about a beautiful promiscuous woman that Prince dubs as the Little Red Corvette. In the song he pleads with the woman to slow down because she needs to “find a love that’s gonna last”.
“Red Barchetta” by Rush
If you want to know what a sports car sounds like on vinyl, then listen to one of Rush’s most beloved tunes, “Red Barchetta”. Midway through the song, the driving guitar riff accented by the blistering chords makes you feel like you’re actually in the Italian sports car hurtling down the highway at max speed. Luckily for drummer, Neil Peart, his uncle kept the car – still in pristine condition – stowed away on the family farm.
“Little Deuce Coupe” by The Beach Boys
If you tallied up all the car songs written by Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, you’d have enough to fill up a large Ford dealership. “Little Deuce Coupe” was a 1962 mega hit for one of America’s greatest bands. The car referred to in the song was a Ford Model 18 built in 1932. Coupes were a favorite of surfers in California during the 60’s. Naturally, the song struck a chord with both surfers and car collectors alike.
“Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner
Depending on who you talk to and which historical camp you enter, “Rocket 88” is arguably the first rock ‘n’ roll song in history. It’s no surprise that the song is about a muscle car – one of the most enduring symbols of rock ‘n’ roll. The song pays homage to the Oldsmobile 88, one of General Motors’ longest running series of cars. The first model rolled out of the factory in 1949. General Motors cancelled the 88 in 1999.
“GTO” by Ronnie & the Daytonas
There comes a point when a song written about a car is almost as big as the car itself. Such is the case with “GTO”, a surprise million-selling radio buster by little known band, Ronnie & the Daytonas. In essence, the Daytonas were a Beach Boys clone, but had distinguished themselves by claiming to write songs that were more in-tune with what the surfers were listening to. Little is known about the song except for the fact that the GTO in question was a “modified Pon-Pon”.
“Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen
Numerous artists through the years have covered “Pink Cadillac”. Bruce Springsteen’s penned version, however, is still the most popular. Like many other songs about cars, “Pink Cadillac” is nothing more than a sexual innuendo about a girl. When the song was first released, it was met with a mild reception. Springsteen has reported, however, that through the year it’s become a concert favorite.
“Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys
If there was ever a song written about an excruciating parental reprimand it would have to be “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys. It’s the story about a girl who decides to take a joyride through town in her father’s Thunderbird. When dad finds out about it, he takes the car away. But, alas, the boyfriend saves the teen girl from agony, by picking her up in his own hot rod. Boyfriend for the win.