national 8-track day

Let’s Go a Bit Off Track for National 8-Track Day

Ron Ruelle model car hall of fame
by Ron Ruelle

April 11 is a special day for car enthusiasts and music enthusiasts alike. It’s National 8-Track Day!

What does that have to do with model cars? Ummm, not that much, really. But it does take me back to a certain era when a lot of us were kids and formed our interest in cars in general and toy cars in particular. In the early to mid-1970s, when I was a kid, the stereo wasn’t in the living room, it was in the basement rumpus room. That’s also where most of my toys were. It’s where I could set up an elaborate Hot Wheels track or slot car track and leave it up for days.

The stereo in my house had a turntable, radio, and 8-track player. The LPs were usually soundtracks from musicals or corny 1950s stuff. The newer music was on 8-track, so I listened to the cool stuff like John Denver or Tom Jones. Okay, maybe that’s not “cool,” but what did this kid know?

So that’s what I listened to when I played with those cars or built with Lego blocks.

We also had an 8-track in our VW Bus, so a lot of the same music traveled with the family. It tied toy car culture and real car culture together for me.

national 8-track day

Right now, I own exactly two 8-track tapes: “My Aim is True” by Elvis Costello (I own that record in every possible format) and the soundtrack from “The Muppet Movie.” Alas, I don’t have a player, so I will just have to imagine enjoying the songs, ever so briefly interrupted by the play head skipping to the next channel, and then enjoying the next section.

Again, thanks for listening!