Home » What’s Your Favorite Car Sound? Autopian Asks

What’s Your Favorite Car Sound? Autopian Asks

Autopian Asks Favorite Car Sound
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Throughout history, cars frequently marked their character by soundtrack. After all, who didn’t make racecar noises as a kid? Even today, under the watchful eyes of noise, vibration and harshness targets, cars still make a wide array of satisfying noises, so let’s celebrate some of them. Today we want to know what your favorite car sound is.

As for engine sound, there’s nothing like the organ notes of induction noise. Sure, forced induction is cool, but indulging your senses in the sheer intake of internal combustion is pupil-widening stuff. It’s especially scintillating in a McLaren 600LT with a roof scoop, or a 718 GT4 RS that pulls air from vents in the quarter glass, or anything with open velocity stacks. Exhaust noise is so last decade, induction noise is pure selfish hotness.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

However, there are also many car noises that don’t come from an engine, yet are equally mesmerizing. The tuk of an old Porsche door, the rifle-bolt confirmation of the power door lock actuators on a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the flexing of old leather seats, the brashness of a Cadillac four-note horn, I could go on.

I shan’t go on, though, because I want to turn it over to you. What’s your favorite car sound and why? Whether it’s the whirr of a V12 starter motor, the ground-shaking roar of a nitro dragster, the clink of a gated shifter, or something else entirely, we want to know.

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Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago

The sound I dislike the most… anti-lag backfarts.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 month ago

Roadrunner horn…and the engine, of course!

Drew Hampel
Drew Hampel
1 month ago

The sound of a Honda starter. I grew up around Hondas, and the sound of the engine turning over is unique. It’s quick and … crunchy? … very textured. No other make’s engines (across the board, not talking individual engines here) have such an identifiable start up sound. And it’s been consistent for at least the past 32 years (as long as I’ve paid attention, so probably longer; definitely predates VTEC, and I’m guessing has to do with the starter motor).

The same goes for Honda horns. They have sounded *exactly* the same across the model range for as long as I can remember. There’s something more immediate about them than other makes’ horns.

Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew Hampel

I could not second this comment more. My brother and I talk about this too. The starter is amazing. I love the horns too. I think we just became besties.

Panzycake
Panzycake
1 month ago

I inherited my family’s 89 GMC G2500 Explorer conversion van that I grew up in. It has the most solid sounding electronic door locks, latches, and doors. It’s a sound you feel through your bones more than hear. The whole process of unlocking the doors, unlatching them with those huge square push button door handles, and slamming the doors shut is such a nostalgic and comforting sound for me. It’s the sound of long weekend fishing trips, hours of watching Star Wars on VHS, family trips, summer, adventure…

Too bad it’s ruined by the cheapest GM 80s buzzer when you put the keys in and turn the ignition on.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 month ago

Since the majority of vehicles I have owned are air-cooled VWs, the sound of a air-cooled VW engine driving by always brings a smile.
On the other hand, the sound of the 292 V8 starting up in my ’64 F100 coach-built crewcab is a soothing thing.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

The sound a manual transmission makes slotting into first.

Alpine 911
Alpine 911
1 month ago

F12 starting the engine
G-Wagon locking doors

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

Its been a while but for a time it was the sound of a tow truck approaching.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago

Aside from the obvious (V12s and pop-off valves and so on), the snickety-click sound when you pull the trunk release in a nineties’ Japanese car is weirdly satisfying to me. The tactile feel, too – you can feel the clunk and the slight stretch in the cable.

Tagarito
Tagarito
1 month ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Speaking of clunk, the singular meaty fat clonk of a properly made door shut, or flonk if it’s the last door to close, with no brittle crunch of a dry striker or afterclunks of loose door trim and/or coins

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago
Reply to  Tagarito

You’ve reminded me to go put some lithium grease on my hinges.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
1 month ago
Reply to  Tagarito

I love the click-clunk-whoosh of a manual soft top latch. I’m still thankful that Porsche saw fit to give the 986 a manual latch despite the power-raising top. The power operation is just a long whirr with a mildly satisfying creak at the end when everything is squeezed tightly into place, but the latch itself is a joyful contraption.

On that note, there’s a pretty satisfying poof when you karate-chop the soft plastic window to prevent creasing.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
1 month ago

For a long time I felt immense relief just hearing the engine actually start just one more time….

Jeep Liberty, MY LEG!
Jeep Liberty, MY LEG!
1 month ago

“Key in” squealing chime of my dearly departed aunt’s mulletmobile 3rd gen IROC-Z in accesory then the shudder of the ignition as the v8 stirred from rest, teal LCDs flickering to life.

She also bought me one of my first playstation games, which made my second favorite car noise and permanently programmed my brain to associate speed with super-fast, loud 90s dnb.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago

The fwompk of a heavy Benz door closing. <3

Óscar Morales Vivó
Óscar Morales Vivó
1 month ago

The rumble my TTRS’ Turbo I5 makes in the few seconds after you start it.

I don’t know that I’d want it to always make that kind of noise but that low growl always brings a smile to my face.

NAMiata
NAMiata
1 month ago

The sound my garage door makes when it opens in front of me. Game on …

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

6-71 Detroit.

Martin Witkosky
Martin Witkosky
1 month ago

For me it’s the sound wiggling a gearlever makes when you check to make sure you’re in neutral before pressing down the clutch pedal and then cranking over the engine. With the car still off you really hear all the mechanical noises from the linkage and the gearbox.

Marcus Fnord
Marcus Fnord
1 month ago

I like this one. It’s not something I thought about until you mentioned it but I do love that clicky clack sound in my gearbox as all the bits move around and slot into place.

Drew Hampel
Drew Hampel
1 month ago

It’s like the orchestra warming up, discordant but purposeful and pleasant.

Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
1 month ago

ADHD and a little bit of autism has me hooked on ALL of the noises. Though new cars and old cars are different in terms of sounds.

New cars: The little whine of the tires when going down the highway.

Old cars: Every engine, wind, braking, tire, and transmission noise.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 month ago

The elated noises that come at the eureka moment after a long day and night of wrenching, being stuck on this one damned thing for like over a damned hour and if you can just get it to finally just *sna-click
OH THANK GOD YEAH GOT IT
GOT IT
HELL YEAH GOT IT YOU SUNOVABITCH I GOT YOU!
Because this noise leads to the vehicle making the desirable noises once again, after earning it.
V8s sound great but I love an inline six these days. And yes, the blowoff valve when you let off the gas is always a hoot.

Last edited 1 month ago by Is Travis
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Is Travis

And then you straighten up from hunching over the engine for 45 min and your back says “lol you’ll have to test drive it tomorrow”

Russell Robinson
Russell Robinson
1 month ago

Plenty of engine noises to love, the list can go on forever… but something personal to me that I love is the clack that the interior switches in my w124 make. Large throw mechanical clack.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 month ago

When I was young, I had two friends that built a ’68 Camaro to drag race. Don’t remember every spec, but it was a 350 with huge cams, Holley 4-barrel carb, headers, and a 411 rear end. When they fired that baby up and it’s just sitting there loping along, that was glorious. But then when they took off, the instant roar going from the loping to roar was amazing. Deafening but amazing.

As for anything I’ve owned, the first Saab turbo I ever bought had the sweetest wind up whine. Maybe not that impressive to some, it always put a huge smile on my face.

Guido Sarducci
Guido Sarducci
1 month ago

VW Golf R32. Sounds like a Wookie whether in the Woods or on the Street.

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
1 month ago

-Nitro or alcohol motor cackle.
-Anything over around 13:1 with fairly open exhaust.

MtnCamantalope
MtnCamantalope
1 month ago

The turbo whistle in my big ugly diesel Ram. Specifically when it’s stupid cold out so the truck has to warm up for a minute at a high idle. Just happens to be high enough to spool the turbo so the damn thing sits in my driveway whistling like a jet engine. It’s kind of an obnoxious sound objectively, but so foolishly silly I always giggle when I hear it.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago

Anyone who wants to here my Mondial going past 7000 rpm on its custom exhaust, let me know.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adrian Clarke
notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Yes, please.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

I’ll try and Go-Pro it and drop in the Discord.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

It was one of my main gripes from the old site, was people writing these amazing reviews in the era of technology, speaking of masterful exhaust notes.
Yet no examples to be found in the article. Such a dumbshit overlook, duh, get a hard pull with a levalier mic hanging out the trunk on the license plate ffs. If a bored dude during the pandemic can do it in his spare time why can’t reviewers get good pulls on video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0fF9w6I2PY&ab_channel=IdiotChasingCarsWithDrones
Then they all started doing it, kinda, or adding a video suppliment to the article.

Last edited 1 month ago by Is Travis
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