These Are Our Favourite-Sounding Vintage Race Cars
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…
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