If you’re anything like me, you dwell on the various sounds that an automobile emits. Whether it’s the “thunk” of a closing door, a clicking turn signal, or haptic infotainment feedback, these sounds are something ever-so-slight that contribute to the overall driving and ownership experience.
In particular, startup chimes are often unique, distinctive sounds that define a specific vehicle or manufacturer. Nothing beats the classic AMC buzzer, or Toyota’s “your reheated microwave coffee is ready” chime. But the one that stands out among the rest is the melodic chime found in the 2020-to-present Lincoln Corsair and Aviator. This has been around for a bit now, but I’ve long found it to be a deeply unappreciated feature on any car—and a lovely one to listen to.
This chime was actually recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and implemented into these two vehicles. Take a listen:
Lovely. On their official website, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra writes:
Earlier on in 2018, Lincoln approached the DSO to dream up new possibilities for the mechanical beeps, dings, and clicks that sound throughout a vehicle when certain things are out of order—a chime when a passenger’s seatbelt isn’t buckled, for example, or a plong plong to indicate that the fuel door was left open.
It’s extremely fitting for Lincoln to approach the DSO rather than the Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles orchestras, in paying homage to their Motor City roots. As highlighted in the video, the sounds include the startup chime of the Lincolns, door open warnings, tailgate operation, and seat belt latch.
I’m bringing up this topic a bit on the later side. These two Lincolns have been around for quite a bit now, since 2020. I myself am actually a musician. I play the violin, piano, and a few other stringed instruments. I was playing around on the violin the other day and nearly replicated the chime. After some squeaks and out-of-tune notes, I finally got it. My next task is to get my hands on a marimba to try and replicate the entire triage of instruments. Does anyone want to lend me theirs?
Additionally, I spent a summer between high school and college working at my local Subaru/Ford/Lincoln dealership. I was delegated to drive customers home or pick them up, often in a Lincoln Corsair. Those chimes bring back fond memories of cruising along the south shore of Long Island, so it’s a particularly special one.
Anyways, that was just a brief insight into the history of one of my all-time favorites, if not number one, automotive car chimes. This melody is still produced on the current Corsair and Aviator. Lincoln has yet to implement it into their other vehicles.
Tell us down below, what’s your favorite startup chime? Does your car even have one?
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