Today I had the pleasure of attending my 3rd Route 66 NHRA Nationals outside of Chicago. The Topfuel and Funnycars are incomprehensibly loud. Whenever I am confronted with the task of putting this automotive phenomenon into words, I give my standby answer "imagine the loudest thing possible, and multiply it by 10."

I am sure that somewhere there are louder man made means if transportation either in the sky or tucked away in Area 51, but as far as I'm concerned, these cars are the loudest things I will ever encounter.

At one point during the day concocting my brilliant plan to reasonably explain the extent of the volume, I in my infinite wisdom decided to support my case using science in the way of a free dB meter app on my iPhone. I didn't just try one, I tried them all. 5 different apps and all of them forced to wave the white flag in favor for the several thousand horsepower V8s. The highest reading I got was 121 dB.

Time for plan B.

While watching a few more runs I looked at my drink at how it was reacting to the immense strength of the sound waves and the wash of nitromethane and bits of Goodyear rubber. Instead of trying to describe it, I chose to record it. Here it is:

As you can see, the effect was more than just the tea sloshing around. I was using the metal grandstand to help stabilize my phone while recording and the camera was shaken so hard when the cars launched that there was the resulting scrolling kind of messed up effect you see in the video.


This is the perfect example to show just how loud the cars are.