10 Classic Car-Themed Album Covers

John R. Paul

June 10, 2014

Our resident music expert John Paul delves into his massive record collection to take a look at some of the cooler car-themed album covers on the shelves. As with any subjective list, it’s guaranteed we’ve left out a few, so feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments below or over on the Historic Vehicle Association’s Facebook page.


Nilsson Sings Newman – Harry Nilsson

Best known for singing other people’s songs (despite being a prolific songwriter in his own right) Nilsson, in cartoon form, was generous enough to drive around Randy Newman in what appears to be an approximation of a Graham. 

Jack Bruce

Things We Like – Jack Bruce

The former Cream and Graham Bond Organisation bassist made it quite clear with this, his second solo album, exactly what he liked. Answer: The finer things (like this Ferrari 375). And apparently eating with his dogs. 

The Impressions

Keep On Pushing – The Impressions

With Keep On Pushing, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions helped create a civil rights anthem. Also helpful advice should you ever run out of gas. 

Willie Colon

Crime Pays – Willie Colón 

With this 1973 release, Willie Colon showed just how well theoretical crime could pay with this gangster-homage cover featuring a fedora-clad Colon, along with Hector Lavoe, riding the running boards of an enormous Rolls-Royce. 

Hank Mobley

A Caddy For Daddy ­– Hank Mobley 

One of many mid-1960s Blue Note releases to prominently feature cars, saxophonist Hank Mobley’s 1965 A Caddy For Daddy featured one of the more iconic and eye-catching covers. We’re guessing such behavior would not be allowed on such a car these days. (ed. note: "1965" refers to the album's release date, not the car pictured on the cover.)

Wayne Cochran

Alive And Well… ­– Wayne Cochran And His C.C. Riders

The rest of the title isn’t necessarily fit for a family publication (nor is the album’s back cover image of a shirtless Cochran rolling down the highway), but this white pompadoured soul-shouter clearly had a thing for motorcycles. 


Now & Then – Carpenters

An aural and vision play on the title, the album featured soft rock renderings of some of their favorite songs in a then contemporary setting; the cover featured the Carpenter siblings in front of their childhood home in Richard’s then-new 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4. 

Chet Atkins & Jerry Reed

Me And Jerry ­– Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed

Together, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed cut a pair of exceptional country pickin’ records in the early 1970s. The elder Atkins was apparently content to continue doing just that while the younger Reed attempted to change a flat; that’s what happens when you play one too many sharps. 

Neil Young

On The Beach – Neil Young

With his rather bleak On The Beach, Neil Young conveyed his sadness for having driven his Cadillac into the sand into song. That’s what this one’s about, right? 

Dillard & Clark

The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark – Dillard & Clark

When a former Byrd and a Dillard get together to go on a road trip, you’d better watch out and stay away from whatever it is the pair seems to be sharing on this landmark album’s cover. 


  1. Matt Butkis Oxford, MI

    What about the Cars album with the Duster/340 on the cover? Cool cover & good tunes for us Gen-Xers!

  2. John Alaska

    Funny, while I can recognize most of the cars, can't say the same about the artists!

  3. jim sloane San Jose, CA

    HOw about the Beach Boys album with the woody? (Don't remember the name of that one.) Or their 'Little Deuce Coupe'?

  4. Tim Buskirk West Virginia

    How about Peter, Paul and Mary Album 1700 Posed with a 1930 Graham Paige

  5. Dave Tobin Minneapolis, MN

    Don't forget Jimmy Smith's 'Any Number can win and the full shot of him sitting in his 1963 Jaguar E type!

  6. David tennessee

    The soundtrack album for Warren Beatty/Faye Dunnaway "Bonnie and Clyde" has cover photo of Lester Flatt/Earl Scruggs with a classic.

  7. Joseph Osterbauer St. Paul

    What about Burgers- Hot Tuna? I believe it's a 1935 Buick Victoria on the cover.

  8. Jan Long Island NY

    How could you miss the wonderful cars on the Blue Note covers of the 60s?! E-types were particularly popular on Donald Byrd and Jimmy Smith albums

  9. David Haxton Seattle WA

    Well my choice for album cover with car is Ry Coder's Thru the Purple Valley late 40's Ford convertible

  10. scott dames phoenix

    Man, did you miss the boat on this one! How could you omit Maynard Furgeson - " Straight a way jazz themes" and Peter Ustinoff- " Grand Prix of Gibralter"

  11. Lynn HEDBERG Edmonton Alberta

    What about ZZTop? I don't recall seeing any picture of them without a classic or hotrod behind them. e.g. their album Eliminator.

  12. David Gladkosky West Virginia

    The first (and best) car album cover that comes to my mind is the Beach Boys Little Deuce coupe album which featured the fabulous Silver Saphirre '32 Ford. Also don't forget the Beach Boys Surfin Safari album and countless Jan & Dean albums with various cars on their covers

  13. James Mulligan Tucson, Arizona

    Hank Mobley's "A Caddy For Daddy cover is a 66 Cadillac, not a 65

  14. Tim Timberlake Northern California

    Nice covers but they are but a few of the great album covers featuring cars. Here are a few more at this website. My favorites are Hot Tuna's Burgers and Asleep At The Wheel's debut album. http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?56395-Cars-on-Record-Covers/page2

  15. Jeff Romulus, Mi

    The Beach Boys "Little Deuce Coupe". Duh!

  16. Bobby Bluegrass

    ZZ Top-Eliminator

  17. Clay Schnelker Tampa

    Oh My...how did you leave iff one of the most famous "car" album covers. ZZ Top's Eliminator album features the bands 33' coupe street rod. How did you miss these "Sharped Dress Men"!

  18. Paul Emmert United States

    How can You not include Little Duce Coup by the Beach Boys? OK, the cover does not show a 32 Ford grille, but it is an American Hot Rod.

  19. OldCarMan Oakland MI

    You missed at the very least, the Beach Boys Lil' Deuce Coupe, Jan & Dean albums and several more that were actually big hits.

  20. Doc Earth

    Wow. Some are great but you missed a few with all time classic car credentials: REO Speedwagon first comes to mind, think it through...and a few Beach Boy albums...take your time...and the all time amazing classic one-off classic: get a clue and take a little more time...hint: Bay Area roots, killer car, killer tracks...game on! Oh,and what about ZZ Top? Are you crazy?!

  21. Owen higgs West Richland , Washington

    There's a Who poster with the group leaning on a yellow car. I've always wondered what make and model it was. Probably British. Anyone know?

  22. Dirk Fenner Michigan

    The Cars... Heartbeat City... 1971 Plymouth Duster 340

  23. Keith Johnson Gaffney, SC

    Marty Robbins "Devil Woman" I bought the album just because of the race car cover.

  24. William Michigan

    Ian Whitcomb's 1965 LP "You Turn Me On" with an AC Cobra and a fashion model on the front sticks out in my recall.

  25. Joe United States

    There have been a lot of very good ones mentioned here! A few that come to mind Jackson Browne Late For The Sky has a cool looking 54 chevy on the cover Bruce Springsteen has a 65 Galaxy drop Top on the cover of The Promise John Lee Hooker has a 50s Buick on the cover of Mr Lucky B.B. King has I believe a 65 Cadillac convertible on the Riding with the King.

  26. ryan pa

    Hello....ZZ Top, Beach Boys...where did they look?

  27. Randy Abercrombie South Carolina

    As a child of the sixties and seventies, Rock-N-Roll and cars were always one and the same. In the words of the immortal Deep Purple... Nobody's gona drive my car... She's a killer machine... Big fat tires and everything!!.... The history books five hundred years from now will sum up the twentieth century with hot rods and rock-n-roll.

  28. mr. hurley montecito, ca.

    Leon Russell, Carny album, Rolls Royce with a camping trailer and Lord Sutch (british artist) terrible record but the cover is a Rolls with a Union Jack paint job.

  29. Steve Atlanta

    What about "Aliens Ate My Buick" by Thomas Dolby? How could you miss that one?

  30. Larry Larson Prescott, AZ

    How about some"obscure" ones? Eddie Heywood's "Breezin' Along With The Breeze" album? Cover shows a beautiful red 1958 Mercury! or how about Earl Hooker's album "Sweet Black Angel"? Cover shows Earl getting into a beat up 1954 Chevy! And finally, Manny Perez y los cachiros album called simply "Rock & Roll"? (I'm NOT making this up!) The cover shows the band pushing a really beat up old car from the 1940s.....make & model? Who knows?

  31. Brian Mass

    Elton John in a XJ 140 , album was called Reggie's Back!

  32. Jack PA

    How about the Beatles - Abbey Road - Volkswagen Beatle