Journal: These Are Our Favourite-Sounding Vintage Race Cars

These Are Our Favourite-Sounding Vintage Race Cars

By Michael Banovsky
February 4, 2016
10 Comments

Here, you’ll find factory Formula 1, Le Mans, and historic racing cars. Plus an engine swap (or two).

These clips should give you enough ear-splitting action to prepare you for the upcoming racing season, or inspire you to get that winter project going before you miss another season of driving. As always, if I missed something, please include a link to your favorite-sounding vintage race car in the comments.

You can find just about anything on YouTube, including a channel called HistoricRacingHD that simply uploads well-shot and mic’d footage of vintage racing cars. After the 1m30-long intro, there’s 45 minutes of this best-of-2015 compilation video, shot at circuits, hillclimbs, and rallies throughout Europe. If you’re like us, you’ll probably get 5 minutes in before realizing it’s time to clear the next 40 minutes of your work schedule…

So that’s why these things go for tens of millions of dollars…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h2LOzRrQ4M

As great as anything powered by a Matra V12 may sound from behind the wheel, it’s nothing compared to the wail heard by spectators in the second clip.

Mazda 767B at Spa? You know it’ll be good.

Last time I put one of these sound compilations together, Guitar Slinger was disappointed I’d overlooked this Hayabusa-powered Fiat X1/9 that ran for years in Italian hillclimb competition. Its driver, Vincenzo Manganiello, has since moved to a motorcycle-powered Fiat 127—which also doesn’t seem to like moving in a straight line.

Hillclimb events across Europe are often terrorized by these bombastic Lancia Delta Integrales, many of which have been tuned to far exceed even their Group B specifications. Here, Felix Pailer hustles his orange, box flared hatchback to the backfiring soundtrack akin to unruly teenagers dropping firecrackers down a storm drain.

There are plenty of great Group.B rally compilations on YouTube, but this is one of the more watchable—there’s just 10 minutes of period footage and period sounds.

“The best engine note” debate is something I won’t get into, but I will say that the 3.0-litre V12 that Ferrari bolted into its 1995 412 T2 Formula 1 car makes a very strong case for itself…

…as does a race-prepared BMW M1 Procar.

Thumbnail image by Rosario Liberti 

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Robert Biss
Robert Biss
6 years ago

BRM V16.

Osca1600
Osca1600
7 years ago

Sorry but I think the engine sounds ( videos), are all pretty lame. The best classic engine sounds were captured on Nick Mason’s CD some years ago, Into the red, with the ultimate engine sound going to the BRM V16. It’s impossible to beat this.

Glad Nicolae Părău
Glad Nicolae Părău
8 years ago

hmmm…..group b sound good, but…. the BRM V16 sounds like it want’s to tear the planet in half.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRNoRlLlsD8

Leroy Brown
Leroy Brown
8 years ago

The best sounding car that I’ve ever heard is just a Celica… but, oh boy, what a Celica!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz0A3Nl2XuM

Kris Kopp
Kris Kopp
8 years ago

These are great but the Jaguar XKSS is just fantastic to hear!

Kris Kopp
Kris Kopp
8 years ago

These are great but the Jaguar XKSS is just fantastic to hear!

Juan Carreño
Juan Carreño
8 years ago

May not have been in racing but the Miura SV/J has an astonishing sound.

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo
8 years ago

But what to think of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsdWgmp4TaQ

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Yup ! That X1/9 was a heck of a little beast with a soundtrack to match . The two Matra’s are for all practical purposes the same motor .. and dang do they sound good . As for the rest .. maybe its because I am of a certain age …. heard them all a hundred times before [ other than the hillclimb Lancia ].. most of them in the metal … but to be honest none are really doing much for me . Now if you’d of included [ sorry Banovsky … here I go again making suggestions .. so much for my appreciating the acknowledgment ] the blood curdling scream of the Gurney Westlake Eagle V12 F1 motor . Well now … that’d of got my blood moving .But err … molto grazie .. both for including the bat**** crazy insane giant killing X1/9 .. as well as the shout out .

One more suggestion for a future list I was just recently reminded of ? The Ford Capri 2600 race car . For a V6 that thing had one killer sound … not to mention being quite the giant killer [ as in BMW Mercedes Porsche etc ] itself

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

… Ford Capri 2600 should of read … Ford Capri RS 2600 … mea culpa .. well .. that and there is no editing function I know of …. 😉

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