On our most recent urban hike up to Skinner Butte, we were greeted with a sight that is essentially timeless: two young guys with their Chevy V8 ‘project’ cars. I asked for permission to shoot them, which was duly granted. And shortly afterwards, they took off noisily down the winding road, and put on quite an aural display of Chevy V8 heavy-metal music on the one longer straight stretch directly below the viewing terrace. It’s got to be one of the most timeless sounds for anyone who’s lived these past 60 years. Will I be hearing it 30 years from now, if I’m still around and able to get out?
The whole experience, seeing these kids hanging out with their Chevys, and then watching and hearing them gunning down the straight right below the summit, the sound of two bellowing V8s reverberating up the hillside, was utterly time warping. How many times have I heard that sound, of a couple of Chevys strutting their stuff? I’ve heard it in big cities and little towns all over the country, ever since I was a kid in Iowa City in the early 60s, when ’55 – ’57 hot rod Chevys were just coming into their own, affordable to kids after having served one or two previous owners. And I’ve been hearing it ever since. It has to be one of the most enduring sounds of my life.
But will it continue to be? For how much longer will kids be able to (or want to) buy a cheap clapped out Chevy V8 and make it thunder?