Music Monday: Sammy Hagar ‘Can’t Drive 55’ in His Ferrari

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Starring his 1983 Ferrari BB 512i, the Red Rocker plays the law for fools in his most famous solo song.

Welcome to Team Speed Music Monday, where we feature music videos from our jukebox where the cars steal the spotlight from the stars.

Back before he became the second frontman of Van Halen, Sammy Hagar was a solo artist who first gained notice as the frontman for another band, Montrose. After a rough time on the charts in the mid to late Seventies, Hagar found his footing in the early Eighties with songs like “Three Lock Box,” “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” and this week’s selection, “I Can’t Drive 55.”

Music Monday - Sammy Hagar - 1983 Ferrari 512 BB

“I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn’t go much faster than 55 miles an hour,” wrote Hagar in 1994 of his big hit from the 1984 album VOA. “I was traveling for 24 hours… driving from Albany, New York at 2 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, ‘We give tickets around here for over-60.’ and I said, ‘I can’t drive 55.'”

Music Monday - Sammy Hagar - 1983 Ferrari 512 BB

Thus was born one of the greatest road anthems of all time. And when you have a song like that, you need a car like Hagar’s own 1983 Ferrari BB 512i, tuned in the video by his own mechanic, Claudio Zampolli. The BB is one of a couple Ferraris Hagar owns, the other a white LaFerrari. Both cars hang out in his garage with everything from a second-gen Ford GT to an Aston Martin Vanquish.

Music Monday - Sammy Hagar - 1983 Ferrari 512 BB

“When I drive that slow, you know it’s hard to steer / And I can’t get get my care out of second gear / What used to take two hours now takes all day / Huh! It took me 16 hours to get to L.A.,” laments Hagar in the final verse of the song, written at a time when 55 mph was the national speed limit. Thankfully, Hagar can let it all hang out at a much higher rate of speed these days, with California ranging from 55 to 70 mph on its roads. At least, until California SB 319 is passed, opening up a couple of highways to unlimited speeds.

Music Monday - Sammy Hagar - 1983 Ferrari 512 BB

“I love cars so much, every good looking car that I see I go, ’Man, I should get one of those,’ but I’m out of room,” Hagar told Mercury Insurance in 2016. “My garage at my house is full, there’s two cars sitting outside, I’ve got cars in my other homes. I’m really still a car junkie.”

And if you’d like to see a ton of good-looking cars, like Hagar’s black Ferrari, the Red Rocker is throwing a beach party and car show in Southern California in late September you should probably check out.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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