Corvette Drag Racing 101, Courtesy of The Beach Boys’ ‘Shut Down’
We live in a time when Thursday gives us that extra little bit of reasoning we need to take a peak at something, anything really, from way back when, and recast our eyes on that something with a fresh, modern perspective. In honor of such freshness, this Thursday, let’s look back at a Corvette Forum thread started way back in 2002 titled, “‘Shut Down’ lyrics…a replacement for ‘Little Red Corvette’.”
While I can’t say “Little Red Corvette” needs to replaced, I can say that The Beach Boys’ “Shut Down” is about as classic a Corvette tune as there is. So we should all thank member DJ Dep for posting the perfectly crafted lyrics, and for giving such a fine explanation of what they are describing.
If you haven’t heard the song, by all means give it a listen below. Heck, even if you have, you know you want to again. And this time, really listen to the lyrics, obviously written by (or with the help of) real car guys, accurately and artistically describing a drag race between a “fuel-injected Stingray and a four thirteen.”
But DJ Dep’s thread goes way beyond just posting the lyrics. He goes through, line by line, and breaks down what The Beach Boys are laying down. Take, for example, DJ Dep’s analysis of the line above:
Now we get to the good stuff…The Vette would be a ’63 Stingray with Rochester “dog house” fuel injection. Fuely heads. Solid lifters. High compression. HOT stuff. The four thirteen is either a ’62 Plymouth Fury or Dodge Polara with a 413 wedge. VERY HOT STUFF. Actually, a drag-only vehicle not meant for the street.
Hot stuff, indeed. And there’s plenty more where that came from. If you ever wanted to know about the late ’50s, early ’60s drag scene, this is the way to do it.
So do yourself a favor: head over to to the thread, and throwback in style.