Hot Rod Lincoln

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About Hot Rod Lincoln

"Hot Rod Lincoln" is a song by American singer-songwriter Charlie Ryan, first released in 1955. It was written as an answer song to Arkie Shibley's 1950 hit "Hot Rod Race" which describes a race in San Pedro, Los Angeles between two hot rod cars, a Ford and a Mercury, which stay neck-and-neck until both are overtaken by "a kid in a hopped-up Model A". "Hot Rod Lincoln" is sung from the perspective of this third driver, whose own hot rod is a Ford Model A body with a Lincoln V8, overdrive, a four-barrel carburetor, 4:11 gear ratio, and safety tubes. Ryan's original rockabilly version of the song was released in 1955 through Souvenir Records under the artist name Charley Ryan and the Livingston Bros. A second version was released in 1959 through Four Star Records, credited to Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders. Ryan based the description of the eponymous car on his own hot rod, built from a 1948 12-cylinder Lincoln chassis shortened two feet, with a 1930 Ford Model A body fitted to it. Ryan raced his hot rod against a Cadillac sedan driven by a friend in Lewiston, Idaho, driving up the Spiral Highway (former U. S. Route 95 in Idaho) to the top of Lewiston Hill; he incorporated elements from this race in his lyrics to "Hot Rod Lincoln", but changed the setting to Grapevine Hill (a long, nearly straight grade up Grapevine Canyon to Tejon Pass, near the town of Gorman, California) to fit it within the narrative of "Hot Rod Race". Another version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" was recorded by country musician Johnny Bond and released in 1960 through Republic Records, with Bond's lyrics changing the hot rod's engine from a V12 to a V8. Bond released a sequel in the same year called "X-15", set in 1997, about an air race in an X-15 plane. 


Year:
1999
50 Views

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Well, you heard the story of the hot rod race, that fatal day
When the Ford and the Mercury went out to play
Well, this is the inside story, and I'm here to say
I was the kid who drivin' that Model-A

It's got a Lincoln motor and it's really souped up
That Model-A body makes it look like a pup
It's got twelve cylinders and it uses 'em all
With an overdrive that just won't stall

Got a four-barrel carb and dual exhausts
Four-eleven gears, you can really get lost
Got safety tubes and I'm not scared
The brakes are good and the tires are fair

We left San Pedro late one night
The moon and the stars were shinin' bright
Eveything went fine up the Grapevine Hill
We was passin' cars like they were standin' still

Then all of a sudden, like a flick of an eye
A Cadillac Sedan had passed us by
A remark was made, "There's the car for me"
But by then the taillights were all you could see

Well, the fellas ribbed me for bein' behind
So I started to make that Lincoln unwind
I took my foot off the gas and, man alive
I shoved it down into overdrive

Well, I wound it up to a hundred-and-ten
Twisted the speedometer cable right off in the end
I had my footfeed clear to the floor
I said, "That's all there is, there ain't no more"

We went around a corner and we passed a truck
I whispered a prayer just for luck
The fenders are clickin' the guard rail post
The guys beside me were white as a ghost

I guess they thought, I'd lost my sense
The telephone poles looked like a picket fence
They said, "Slow down, I see spots"
The lines on the road, they just look like dots

Smoke was a-rollin' out of the back
When I started to gain on that Cadillac
I knew I could catch him and hoped I could pass
But when I did, I'd be short on gas

Went around the corner with the tires on the side
You could feel the tension, man, what a ride
I said, "Hold on, I've got a license to fly"
And the Cadillac pulled over and let me go by

Then all of a sudden the rod started knockin'
Went down in a dip, she started a-rockin'
I looked in the mirror, a red light was blinkin'
Cops was after my Hot Rod Lincoln

Well, they arrested me and put me in jail
I called my pop to go my bail
He said, "Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin'
If you don't quit drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln"

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Charlie Ryan

Charles "Charlie" Ryan (December 19, 1915, Graceville, Minnesota – February 16, 2008, Spokane, Washington) was an American singer and songwriter, best known for co-writing and first recording the rockabilly hit single "Hot Rod Lincoln". more »

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Written by: W.S. Stevenson, Charles Ryan

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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