Sunday Sounds: All about the automobile.

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Here’s a list of all the cars I owned in my life: 1966 Chevy Nova, 1986 Nissan 300ZX, 1982 Cadillac Sedan Deville, 1985 Volkswagen Golf, 1996 Mazda 626 and a 1999 Saturn SC1. Most were hand me downs or bought used off a lot. Each car had something I loved and hated about it. The 66 Chevy had a V8 and no brakes. It had brakes but they rarely stopped the car. I remember flying through entire intersections with my brakes pegged to the floor. True I was usually going 80MPH+ but hey I was 17 years old (sorry). The Nissan had a digital display, beige leather and an awesome T-Top. Unfortunately, if there was one drop of water on the road the car would go flying off the street into the surrounding woods. It happened to me 3 times before the last instance of slippy fun when the car was totaled. Once I reached my 20s I gained an incredible sense of respect (fear!) of crashing so I rarely go more than 5 miles over the speed limit these days. I put a high powered amp and Alpine stereo into the Cadillac and whenever it would rain the lights would dim whenever the bass drum kicked. The VW handled great but everyday it took all my strength to squeeze the rusted door handle open. The Mazda was the best car of the bunch. It was fast, handled incredibly and never needed a repair. The only problem with it was it the color burgundy (maroon?). Not just the outside paint but the seats and every bit of plastic inside the car. I refuse to buy anything with that color on it to this day.

If your a musician there is a good reason to own a car which I appropriately call the “car test”. Car speakers range from suck badly to sick bass and testing your tunes in a range of cars will without doubt help you find the perfect mix. The following is six songs I like about cars. I wonder do you think the members of Kraftwerk took their song Autobahn and played it in a few Bimmers or VWs to check it’s mix?

My favorite online spot for car news is Autoblog. If you want to see something crazy take a look at Steve Green’s AMC collection: click here

Did you own a car you loved?

photo credit: macwagen

33 Comments

  1. Nice piece…. i love cars, and especially my old Range rover has stolen a piece of my heart.
    It had a standard Harman/Kardon prologic sound system and remember driving at night from The Netherlands to the south of Spain through France….These are trips the ipod was made for :)

    Loved the Ford of your friend Rob also btw. and i can make a list of my cars…but that would be a long list…wish i wasn’t a carfreak….but it’s stronger than me i guess.

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    1. Yeah old Range Rovers are great. How long is that Netherlands -> Spain trip? Ah Rob’s Ford Probe… that car was really cool actually. The engine was from Mazda.

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      1. The Range was a familyroom on wheels indeed…
        PROBE, inside a Mazda… but the name could not be any cooler :)

        Holland > Spain…2400 km / 1500 miles of pure highway pleasure.
        Altough California was also a good drive.

        And dont start with the music… haha, theres so much to enjoy while driving.
        We enjoyed your album actually last time in Yosemite :)

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        1. Oh nice to know my tunes were blasting in the western woods!

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  2. Love Alfa Romeo (although i would buy a Maserati if i could :)) and driving a GT or a Brera on italian highways at night from studio to home,with my music on the stereo is something which give me always great ispiration and the best way to check how is it.

    When i want to relax,i put Nintendo (Metroid and my favourite Kirby recently)japanese software house music in general or my favourite Joe Hisaishi’s themes.
    Recently also dark wave music,such Sister of Mercy’s First and last and always.

    And with those,it’s also great to drive on japanese highways.
    Initial D for life!

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    1. Magneto loves your Clio the best!

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      1. Hehe,but Mario like my Alfa the most :)
        Implant rmx sounds great on Alfa stereo either

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  3. My first Car was a Renault R4 – very spartanic and with this funny revolver gearshift. Incredible how it would lay to the side if you would go round any corner with a little more speed than apropriate. Lots of memories are connected with that car.

    I would recommend another song for that list : Warm Leatherette – the original version done by The Normal :-)

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    1. Ah yeah Warm Leatherette! That’s the best one of the bunch without a doubt.

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  4. I’m a Lancia and Alfa nut (but I do love all Italian cars in general).
    This is quite sad but tbh I usually prefer listening to the engines while I drive :p – the only time I really bother to turn on the stereo is on long journeys or if Im testing something I made. I really like all the clich├ęd car music when Im driving eheh – think Dazed And Confused soundtrack and you’re pretty much there :p. My wife’s 147 actually has a v good sound system – the higher options on modern Alfa’s include a Bose soundsystem – its a little bit too much on the ‘warm/bassy’ side but tbh I prefer that to the usual abrasive white noise car stereos provide…

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    1. Great car tastes,man.:)
      I’m the one in Italy we call “Alfista” althought i owned many japanese cars too (which i love,especially Honda) and a Renault Clio.

      Engine sounds is quite ispiring sometimes,above all the old Alfa 164.
      When my dad was driving it i was around 12 years old and i had a lot of ideas for my music just listening that engine,which was always tuned on A minor or B minor.

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      1. yeh Ive often contemplated a 164 – I love them as they are so cubic futuristic looking – id love a Lusso V6 :p –

        I have a Thema VIS 2.0 myself and an integrale (Evoluzione 1) – I rarely drive her though – shes kept under cover (she doesnt even have any radio at all :D)

        My last car before the Thema was a 155 1.8 (the later wide bodied one) – absolutely beautiful – the sound of the filter on them is beautiful, in fact you can actually hear the same noise from Tipo/Tempra/Bravo/Brava/Marea…

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        1. My father used to drive a Thema too when i was a kid and i remember that car very well.Above all Thema Ferrari was amazing.
          I wonder why they did not decided yet to do a new version,like they did with Delta or 500 talking about Fiat (with all Abarth version too).Or like they will with Fiat Uno.

          Oh cool,i see now you were in Torino at Lancia Centenario.
          I went there (since i live just one hour from Torino) at Fiat 500 launch party.

          You mentioned my favourite car of all time (with Ferrari Testarossa): the Lancia Stratos.
          I really hope they will come out with a new model someday.And i hope it will be legendary like the old one was.

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  5. Mr. Horrorist – could you please reduce the size reduction on the nested threads if possible? – your second reply to Frank’s post is fairly difficult to see :D

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  6. PS G. – I was in Torino in 2006 for the Centenerare del Lancia (hope thats spelt right :p). Watching a Stratos and Fulvias and many integrales driving around the roof of the Lingoto Factory – (I actually sampled the Stratos from my video camera and put it in something I made)

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    1. there actually was a remake of the Stratos by a third party:
      http://archive.cardesignnews.com/autoshows/2005/geneva/preview/fenomenon-stratos/index.html

      it was a very limited run though.

      yeh the 8.32 Thema was amazing – there is one in Ireland which Ive seen. The Thema Turbos are actually faster than the 8.32 (theyre basically the integrale engine (16v Lampredi) but with a larger boost limit on the turbo. My grale’s turbo is delimited a bit also. However the sound of the 8.32 is just incredible…

      my favourite Ferrari is probably a 512BB (which is kinda like an early Testarossa) or an F40. Id prefer an S4, 037 or Stratos over them anyday though ;) – or indeed a Martini 6 integrale :D

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      1. Oh yeah,i’ve seen it,thanks.

        I think F40 is really cool model too.You may be interested on this then:
        http://www.autoblog.it/post/7839/video-costruzione-e-test-in-pista-a-fiorano-della-ferrari-f40
        Directly from Maranello.

        Among italian supercars i tend to prefer Maserati than Ferrari,Lamborghini or Pagani.
        If i could afford,i would really love to buy the new GT or the old Biturbo.:)

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  7. @ Raytrace (sorry Oliver,i post it here again,since it’s difficult to read above).

    My father used to drive a Thema too when i was a kid and i remember that car very well.Above all Thema Ferrari was amazing.
    I wonder why they did not decided yet to do a new version,like they did with Delta or 500 talking about Fiat (with all Abarth version too).Or like they will with Fiat Uno.

    Oh cool,i see now you were in Torino at Lancia Centenario.
    I went there (since i live just one hour from Torino) at Fiat 500 launch party.

    You mentioned my favourite car of all time (with Ferrari Testarossa): the Lancia Stratos.
    I really hope they will come out with a new model someday.And i hope it will be legendary like the old one was.

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    1. a great video for a great car :) – yeh I tend to like Maserati a bit more – Im definitely not really a Pagani/Lamborghini fan that much although I like the original Countach and a Muira is very nice :D

      The old BiTurbos are incredible – so wide and aggressive – id love one in giallio ;)

      Id love an MC12 in purple and cream though – yum yum :p

      sorry to descend this thread into full on car talk Oliver :D

      do you play Forza2 G?

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  8. Hehe,you’re right,sorry Oliver.:)

    No,actually i’m not an Xbox360 fan.I just tried the first Forza on Xbox and Project Gotham 3.
    I prefer much more Nintendo systems or Sony ones.
    So about racing games (my favourites are Mario Kart and F-Zero) i play usually Sony’s Gran Turismo.
    I used to like a lot F355 Challenge by Sega,Sega Rally and Initial D,always made by Sega but available only in Japan.

    But when is about games,i prefer much more not realistic racing,like MK,F-Zero,Diddy Kong Racing etc etc.
    I don’t dare to think how i would feel if i see someone throwing a red shell to a Maserati :D

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  9. Hey don’t worry I love these comments. When I am out all day in the city I read them on my iPhone and enjoy the conversation 100%!

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  10. haha glad you enjoy the car-geek talk Oliver :p

    yeh I really like Forza2 because of the ‘ebay’ like car trading and vehicle damage modelling – ‘normal’ Italian cars are seriously underrepresented in it though >:|

    yeh Im a Nintendo/SEGA man myself originally

    yeh I have all GTs too – I wish theyd bring out a ‘proper’ GT5 sometime soon though.

    F355 Challenge on my beloved Dreamcast is awesome your right – even just the sound of the engine is just so right. When I visited the Ferrari museum in Maranello they actually had a proper F355 Challenge cabinet, which was great in two ways for me as a Dreamcast and Ferrari lover :D
    Obviously as a Lancisti Sega Rally has a special place in my heart seeing that Martini grale jump in the air in the intro video is always a joy…

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  11. Very happy to see you’re enjoying the comments,Oliver :)

    @Raytrace: yeah,i know about Forza (the funny things is the title is an italian word,haha).
    Indeed here is not famous at all as title and Sony’s GranTurismo sells much better.
    Maybe because japanese are crazy for italian cars (in the japanese version of the last one,on Ps2 you can find even car brand’s such Innocenti or old Abarth).

    GT5 i think will arrive next year on Ps3.Now they are releasing demos,but i don’t think we will see the title before 2010 (this year they have Final Fantasy XIII as main one).

    Hehe,i enjoyed a lot F355 on Dreamcast too and on arcade version either.Yu Suzuki is always really good when is about racing games.

    Sega Rally is a must for people which love Lancia Delta with Martini sponsor.:)

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  12. Raytrace,few days ago they showed the new Alfa MiTo GTA:
    http://www.autoblog.it/post/18959/alfa-romeo-mito-gta-26000-e-per-la-nuova-piccola-bomba-italiana

    I love the new MiTo,althought many Alfisti are not so happy about that (italian alfa lovers are nuts about Brera,GT and 8cc)
    The only thing is the price: in this article they says it may cost 26.000 Euro,which is a lot if compared to the normal one (which cost around 14.000 Euro).

    I hope they will think carefully about that,above all since the new MiTo is selling very well here.

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  13. Ah I c – you’re Japanes – yes Japanese really do love Italian cars – some of the finest Lancias in the world are there :) – there was a Japanese guy at the Centenerary who had a works S4, 037 and Stratos and 3 integrales :p

    yeh in GT4 I loved the ‘Italian Street’ type level – that was great – I remeber driving the (original) cloverleaf Alfa GTA in that – amazing stuff – I took some nice pics of it and my black GTV in Venice in the game :D. Ive gone around a track here in both a 156GTA and 156GTA SW – beautiful sound – the limiter sound is incredible – there really is nothing like an Alfa V6 (even with an American bottom-end ;))

    Yu Suzuki is indeed a legend :D

    that Mito GTA is beautiful – although I wish the wheels were a little less sharp looking.
    I have to say my fave modern alfa would probably be a black 159 Q4 SW (I love alfa estates for some reason :p)

    do you like SZ/RZ’s? – there was one for sale from Walkers a while back – incredible – I love those pepperpot wheels too – as seen on many Alfa’s, Lancia 037′s and indeed the 8v/16v integrales :D

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  14. Oliver this is now officially an Italian Car Blog lol

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  15. Haha,no.I’m Italian,nothing japanese in my blood.:)
    I go often in Japan because i love the country,because my job and since my girlfriend is japanese,living in Tokyo.

    I like Yu Suzuki too (althought my favourite is Shigeru Miyamoto from Nintendo).
    I think Shenmue was one of the most beautiful experience i had in my life.It’s the perfect example of modern art in everything: design,music,gameplay etc etc.

    I played some year ago the new Out Run,but it does not have the feeling of the old one…

    I love black Alfa 159 either.My favourite i think is Alfa Brera (and 8cc).I love the design of the first one,something really cool.
    Next year (i saw your wife own an Alfa 149) the new one should be out.
    Yeah i like SZ/RZ’s too.

    Hehe,yeah the blog has changed.:)
    And after that,Fiat will release a new 500 Abarth Things to Come edition.:D

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  16. oh i c cool

    yeh Shiggy is great too – although Im not that into Wii Music – Im a massive Zelda and Mario fan though – i was the second person in Ireland to get a Wii lol – queued up till 12:00 on that december 7th night :D – yeh Shenmue was incredible – did you ever see the videos of the Saturn beta that was made?

    I quite like the new OutRun, but yeh nothing can match the feel of those ridiculously intense and fast sprite-scales on the System16 board :p

    yeh the original 8C prototype was a lot nicer i think too. do you know what disappointed me when I was in Italy? – the amount of Mercedes and BMW’s – even in Turin and even Maranello FFS!!!- did you ever see the ‘Fulvietta’ concept? – that would have been lovely and affordable (based on the Barchetta platform) – but alas like so many of my Lancia dreams – it never came about :’( – its in the Lancia museum in Turin though which is cool – I got to see it. yeh SZ’s are cool – a 75 V6 in a fibre glass body = good fun :D

    Hey G – if you want you can PM me on my myspace page and I’ll give you e-mail address and we can talk that way lol – this thread is probably bringin WordPress to its knees at this stage :p

    my myspace is:

    http://www.myspace.com/raytrace

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  17. Hehe,you’re right.I will send you an PM on your Myspace there after this answer.

    I’m not into Wii Music either.Something wrong with that game.
    I’m a big Mario and Zelda fan,but my favourites Nintendo games are Kirby and Mother (Earthbound in the US).

    I saw the Saturn beta videos about Shenmue.Really,one of the most undersold masterpieces of all times.Sega at those day was really great,if you think about games such Space Channel Five,Rez,Jet Set Radio and many others.

    I suggest you to buy Mad World if you like them.It’s really,really good one (and i’m not the type of person which usually loves violent games).

    Well,about Mercedes and BMW i don’t understand either.
    Italians are very conservative people usually and before to buy a foreign products (which can be cars,clothes or whatever else) they buy a local one.

    I think Mercedes and BMW increased their number here during the ’90,because Fiat group at that time was really doing shitty cars and people was tired of them.
    I think for the first time their market share indeed dropped under 30%

    Since Sergio Marchionne is the new AD,things changed completely.
    He called back people such Giugiaro or Pininfarina as designers and they start to do great cars again.
    Indeed nowadays they reach again the market share they had in the ’80.
    They have still to do some effort with Lancia,which need a complete relaunch (new Delta is selling quite well though) and that’s it.
    I’m curious to see what’s gonna happen now with Crysler.

    Oliver,really sorry for talking so much off the topic here and thank you very much for understanding! :)

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  18. cool ill respond from Myspace later :)

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  19. omg, this has become a whole other discussion….
    nice to know there is so much italian car enthousiasts around…
    I used to drive a GT, but now i drive a 159 TI Berlina Compressore (Autodelta)
    Best sedan i have ever owned!!!

    Waiting in great despair for the new real Alfa V6 engines….

    And if anyone is able to buy the SZ, do it in an instant….its getting harder and harder to find parts each year!

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  20. cool – Autodelta stuff is great – Ive never seen one of those – but I presume its a supercharged 159? :o – very nice

    this was only sold in the last month or so btw:

    http://www.walkers-garage.co.uk/walkers/listings/l0016.html

    are the actual structural parts of the SZ not taken from 75′s a lot though – I presume your talking about the beautiful body panels?

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  21. for car speakers, i use Kicker Audio. i think Kicker is the best brand of car speaker–’

    Reply

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