Sammy Hagar Shares Vicious Racing Story With Eddie Van Halen
Sammy Hagar shares a story about a risky late-night car race with Eddie Van Halen and Mick Jones during the making of Van Halen’s 5150 album in the mid-1980s.
Known for his song “I Can’t Drive 55,” Hagar talks about the dangerous race that happened around 2 a.m. as they drove from the studio to their homes in Malibu. Hagar admits it was a bad idea, considering they could have gotten into trouble with the law. But he also says it was a memorable experience, like the first time he had car fun—though he hints that’s a different story.
The three friends, each driving cool sports cars, included Eddie Van Halen in a Lamborghini Countach, Hagar in his Ferrari 512 Boxer, and Jones, the producer from Foreigner, in a rented Corvette.
Leaving the studio after recording, Hagar remembers the wild ride along Mulholland Drive, through backroads to Highway 1, with the three cars racing because the roads were empty. Looking back, Hagar knows they should have been in trouble with the law.
Sammy Hagar Says No to Doing the Dangerous Race Again
At that time, EVH’s Lamborghini could go as fast as 208mph, Hagar’s Ferrari could reach 173mph, and Jones’ rented Corvette could hit 179mph. The distance between 5150 Studios in Studio City and Malibu is about 30 miles, and they recorded the album from November 1985 to February 1986.
Hagar talks about the excitement and danger of the race, describing racing three cars side by side on a two-lane road as “so, so dangerous.” They survived the adventure, but Hagar is clear: “I’d never do it again, and I don’t recommend it.”