Here’s the original version of Hot Rod Lincoln, recorded by Charlie Ryan as an “answer song” to Arkie Shibley’s Hot Rod Race. Ryan’s lyrics as well as Commander Cody’s well known version and a lesser known 1960 version by Roger Miller are after the jump, along with Asleep At The Wheel’s live version.
HOT ROD LINCOLN
(written by Charlie Ryan / W.S. Stevenson)
Well you’ve heard the story of the hot-rod race that fatal day,
when the Ford and the Mercury went out to play.
This is the inside story I’m here to say,
I was the kid that was a-drivin’ that Model-A.
It’s got a Lincoln motor and it’s really souped up,
and that Model-A body makes it look like a pup.
It’s got twelve cylinders, and uses them all,
with an overdrive that just won’t stall.
It’s got a four-barrel carb and dual exhaust,
4-11 gears, she 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 shining bright,
everything went fine up the Grapevine hill,
we was passin’ cars like they was standin’ still.
Then all of a sudden, like a flick of an eye,
a Cadillac sedan had passed us by.
The remark was made “there’s the car for me,”
but by then the taillights were all you could see.
Well the fellers 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 off the end.
I had my foot keyed clear to the floor,
said “that’s all there is, there ain’t no more.”
I went around a corner and I passed a truck,
I whispered a prayer, just for luck.
The fenders was clickin’ a guardrail post
the guys beside me were white as a ghost.
I guess they’d 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 just looked like dots.
Smoke was rollin’ outta 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.
We went around a corner with the tires on the side,
you could feel the tension, man what a ride!
I said “hold on, I got a license to fly,”
and the Cadillac pulled over and let me go by.
Then all of a-sudden, the rods started knockin’,
when down in the dip, she started a-rockin’.
I looked in my mirror ‘n’ red lights was blinkin’.
The 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 stop drivin’ that hot rod Lincoln.”