The ten most awesome auto start-up sounds

Illustration for article titled The ten most awesome auto start-up sounds

The anticipation, the starter whine, the expectant idle, the awaited roar -– it's like foreplay for gearheads. Here are the displays of power Jalopnik readers consider to be the ten most awesome car start-up sounds.


Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: fluid motor union

10.) Aston Martin V12 Vantage Zagato

Suggested By: hoon_n_friends

Why it's awesome: We'll start things off with the supercar category and it's hard to top the killer roar of this little beast.

9.) Porsche 917

Suggested By: Bonhomme7h

Why it's awesome: This particular 917 hadn't been started for some 30 years when it burst into life in this video. There are plenty of "first startup after XX years" on YouTube, but this one surely takes the cake as the most awesome. There may never be another moment quite like this, when a dormant flat-12 comes back to life.

8.) Ford Flathead V8

Suggested By: monkeyraci

Why it's awesome: If there was a ur-V8, a Neolithic V8 sound somehow embedded into our brains, I'd say that it was a deep rumble of a Ford Flathead. Here's some 4.2 liters of V8 starting in the cold, in the dark, building up from that rumble to a harsh roar.

7.) Ford Cosworth V8

Suggested By: serangirvan

Why it's awesome: Cut to 1:05 for the good stuff in this vid. From the dentist's drill starter to the unbelievably purposeful V8, the sound in this thing is amazing. Knowing the kind of power and endurance locked up in the engine only sweetens the deal.

6.) A Mopar with Highland Park Hummingbird starters

Suggested By: Slave2andMG

Why it's awesome: From the everyday road car category, here's a '71 Plymouth Valiant that floods its 318ci V8. What's the owner do? Turn the key, foot to the floor and that massive starter motor just commands the engine into life. This is what all road engines should sound like.

5.) Indoor Ford RS200

Suggested By: Z

Why it's awesome: Cut to about 0:30 in this vid for the good stuff. There is certainly some majesty in the coarse sound of the 2.4L 4 cylinder BDTE in this Pikes Peak Group B rally car, but the whole thing is taken to another level just by being indoors. We know our rally sounds from the open, crosscountry stages, but the blasts out of this Ford's exhaust blast off the metal walls of the shop like nothing else I've heard. Amazing.

4.) The Mazda 787B

Suggested By: stōk

Why it's awesome: Or should that be, "the ungodly howl of the 787B?" There's really nothing that sounds like this engine, whether it's a car or a terrifying swarm of steroid-pumping killer bees. This is by far the most dramatic engine sound on this list.

3.) Mazda 972P

Suggested By: glyphon

Why it's awesome: Unlike the 787B, the 792P wasn't a Le Mans-winning legend of a car, and it didn't sound like the universe was about to explode, but it did have a startup sound to shame almost everything else out there. As reader glyphon said, it's like a 4-rotor mixed with a V8, and it is one of the all time greats.

2.) Brutus

Suggested By: Angela Merkel Reads Spiegel

Why it's awesome: This is a 46 liter V12. It sounds Teutonic. Not a clean, emotionless, modern executive car kind of Teutonic. Not a clean, gray business park kind of Teutonic, but a tear a hole in the world, pagan god kind of teutonic. Watch it roast a bratwurst with its exhaust.

1.) Vintage Nitro Drag Racer

Suggested By: ericseandelaney

Why it's awesome: Cut to about 1:55 or 2:15 to get the good stuff, depending on how much of the video you want to see. This thing hits all the right notes for an engine startup, there's so much of that burbling anticipation, then it starts to sound like the engine is about to go demonic and tear itself to shreds, and then the whole thing explodes into life. Cut to just before the 2:00 mark to get a sense of what I'm talking about.
I never thought a bearded old man caressing and stroking (literally stroking) an engine would look as good as it does now.


airsix73 914-turbo unicorn reserve not met

Come on! Stop asking a question and then changing it when posting the answers. The QOTD did not ask for the most awesome AUTO start-up sound. It asked for the most awesome start-up sound (open-ended). Phrase the question carefully or live with it. I love cars but the flywheel-assisted radials and the jets were the clear winners of this one. My technical dive instructor would call you cherry pickers and make you do extra drills for pulling this kind of crap. I do have to admit you picked some awesome cars though.