Eddie Van Halen: Legendary Rocker, Car Enthusiast

Oct 7, 2020 2 min read
Eddie Van Halen: Legendary Rocker, Car Enthusiast

Fast cars and fast tunes go hand in hand – especially when you're talking about Van Halen.

On Tuesday, October 6, Eddie Van Halen lost his battle with throat cancer and passed away. He was 65 years old.

He's well known and well-respected as one of the greatest guitar players of all time, but he was one of us, too. Eddie Van Halen was a car enthusiast of the highest order.

The best-known car in his collection was his Lamborghini Miura. As he grew in popularity through the 1980s, Van Halen reportedly owned a string of Lamborghinis. It's safe to assume that the Miura was his favorite, considering  it was the one he kept around the longest.

The reason we know the Miura so well is that it once served as a backup singer alongside original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. You can hear its engine revving during the "Runnin' a little bit hot tonight..." portion of Panama.

Legend has it that Eddie backed it up to the doors of the recording studio, and the engineers stuck microphones in the exhaust pipes. The rest is rock & roll history.

He also had an affinity for Porsches, too. In an interview with Car and Driver, he praised his 911 GT3 RS, saying that it handled better than any Porsche 911 he'd owned previously.

Van Halen wasn't afraid to take it on the racetrack and turn in some seriously impressive lap times. He even had the suspension set up for racing by legendary Porsche tuners BBI Autosport. As it turns out, Eddie Van Halen was multi-talented.

When that Car and Driver article was written, he owned the Miura, the 911 GT3 RS, and a pair of Audi R8s – one a V8, the other a V10. He also appreciated older American cars, too.

He's owned a 1947 Dodge flatbed truck, and at one point, he owned a pair of Chevy Nomad wagons that even had their own customized, matching guitars. As far as we know, neither one of those guitars ever replaced the legendary Frankenstrat.

Back in the early '90s, Van Halen partnered with Sport Truck magazine and legendary customized Boyd Coddington to build the coolest street truck of all time, the Van Hauler. The red GMT400 pickup featured black and white stripes that matched (arguably) the most famous guitar of all time.

In fact, two trucks were built, with Eddie keeping one and the other being given away. Countless more were built when Testors issued a 1:24 scale replica of the truck. According to Van Halen News Desk, Eddie kept the more subdued-looking one.

Eddie Van Halen owned some truly great cars, and he leaves a lasting legacy for enthusiasts like us. Van Halen has been the unofficial soundtrack of cruising, burnouts, and stoplight drags for over four decades, and we don't see that stopping any time soon. And the cradle will rock.

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