Who here likes cars? I don’t mean you simply like the convenience that the car brings to modern life – running to the store for some milk, back and forth to work/school, and what not. I mean that you really, really like cars. You’re a petrolhead, or gearhead, or whatever other made up word that applies to a person who is perhaps a little nutty about automobiles. Those are the people that I am talking about.
While I am no where near as big of a car nut as I was when I was younger, I am still a more than a fan of the car, than the average runaround person. When I was a kid my bedroom walls were covered with car posters. There was the six foot long poster of a black 1985 Lamborghini Countach, another six foot poster of the Vector W2 Twin Turbo, a poster of the Sbarro Challenge, a poster of the short lived Porsche CART racing car, the Batmobile from the Michael Keeton film, another smaller poster of a 1974 Countach (the first year of that storied model’s 16 year existence), a 427 Cobra, and those are just the ones I can remember. And I still have my collection of 1:18 scale diecast cars, which include the 1984 Ferrari F40, several Corvettes, a 427 Cobra, a 1964 Ford GT40, I think you get my point, I don’t just like cars, I like fast, and beautiful cars.
So, what does all of this have to do with sound? Well, a lot of people don’t realize that the exhaust notes of many a sporty car are actually tuned to sound good; and some cars, like the current Jaguar XK, have special ducting to channel some of that sweet engine sound into the cabin of the car – because the sound deadening has gotten so good in modern cars as to almost completely block the engine noise; which kind of defeats some of the point of owning a sports car. In fact, the new BMW M5’s sound deadening is so good, that BMW’s engineers actually use a digital recording of the engine that plays through the car’s stereo system, in order to provide the aural sensations that many a petrol/gearhead love to hear when the are driving their cars a little harder than a mundane people mover.
If you are person who sees the car as simply a means to move you and yours from point A to point B, then none of this makes any sense to you. If however, you get a little sparkle in your eyes when you see the sculpted lines of a performance oriented car, perhaps with a little tinge of lust, then you know exactly what I am talking about.
So, for all of you car nuts out there, below is a list of some cars that, to me, have terrific engine notes (click each photo to be taken to a video of that car’s engine notes):