As a child of the 1980s I am totally obsessed with Stranger Things on Netflix. The memories it brings up for me is insane! I love the cars on display too, as they really do take me back to the special time in my life… and none more so than the car that Billy Hargrove drives. But what is the car he drives in Stranger Things? I decided to find out.
What was the car Billy Hargrove drives in Stranger Things? Billy drives a late 1970s Chevrolet Camaro in Stranger Things season 2 and 3. There is some debate over whether it’s a 1979 Camaro Z-28 or a slightly later model.
But why is there a debate over which Camaro version Billy is driving in Stranger Things 2? Well, it’s down to a few little aspects that car enthusiasts have noticed.
Before we get into that though, let me just put on thing to bed finally. A few people on web forums have asked whether the car Billy drives in Stranger Things is a Camaro or a Trans Am? As we’ve established, it is definitely a Camaro, possibly from 1979.
What model Camaro does Billy Drive in Stranger Things?
Nobody has ever been able to answer this for absolute certain. Initially there were thoughts that it was a Chevrolet Camaro LT but that was soon dismissed when it was pointed out that the car had some Z-28 indicators on it – for example, the front clip.
However, it’s not like the first generation of Chevrolet Camaros as it has a wider and more elongated design. One of the most popular car websites had a specialist try to figure out what the exact model was and came up with this conclusion:
“I believe that the car Billy drives in Stranger Things season 2 is more likely a Camaro Z-28 but it looks to have been de-badged. It then appears to have had a non-standard hood put on it which you don’t usually see with the Camaro Z-28s of this era.”
Just like Billy Hargrove in Stranger Things, his car isn’t really what it seems it would appear!
Why does Billy drive a Camaro in Stranger Things?
1970’s Camaros have one thing in common with Billy Hargrove… they are noisy, aggressive, stand out, and make an impression. Sounds like Billy doesn’t it? The producers of Stranger Things certainly hit the mark when deciding what car he would be paired with.
It’s a great choice for him to be driving, but why do I think so?
Well, in 1977 the Camaro was upgraded and re-released by Chevrolet in direct response to the success in sales of the Pontiac Trans Am. This is perhaps where some of the confusion about whether Billy drives a Camaro or a Trans Am comes from – they are quite similar cars.
It was an immediate hit and came with a 350 cubic-inch V8 with four-barrel carburettor and 185 horsepower engine. In fact, some of the Z-28s were even sold stripped down to buyers who wanted more of a performance model.
By 1979 the Z-28 was being sold with a front spoiler and fender flares to make it appear even more similar to the Pontiac Trans Am, plus Z-28 decals that ran to the bottom of the car doors.
It’s a classic macho muscle car that was seen on the roads in the 1980s.
Billy’s character has the ability to take punishment that person isn’t able to. Having spoken to people who used to drive Camaro Z-28s, they say this isn’t’ too dissimilar to their old cars!
What music does Billy play in his car in Stranger Things?
If you like the 1980s rock music that Billy Hargrove plays in his car then I can help you with that too! There are two tracks I have managed to identify which you can check out below.
Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions
The first one is from the scene where we get to meet Billy, the new kid at school. As he drives up, he is playing Rock You Like a Hurricane by the Scorpions.
The Scorpions were a German rock group from the 1980s. Rock You Like a Hurricane was one of their biggest releases, reaching number 25 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984.
The chorus goes; “here I am, rock you like a hurricane, are you ready, baby”, which kind of sums the situation up quite well. Here’s the song on YouTube if you fancy a listen.
Metal Sport by Hittman
The second song that Billy plays in his car during Stranger Things is Metal Sport by Hittman. This song is played as Billy Hargrove drops Max off at the local arcade.
Hittman was as little-known heavy metal band from New York who were active from 1984 to 1994. The Metal Sport track wasn’t hugely famous, but it really does fit well into the Stranger Things soundtrack and story line.
Did You Know? You can actually activate a Stranger Things mode when listening to the official soundtrack on Spotify.
The lyrics go; “high speed rolling, playing to win, a ball made of hard shining steel, free for all who enter the field, human extinction on wheels”. Perfect really isn’t it?
You can listen to this lost gem from the 1980s also on YouTube.
With season 4 of Stranger Things just about to drop, it will be interesting to see how the character of Billy Hargrove develops. Will he still drive the same car? Will the music Billy plays in his car in Stranger Things change to suit the storyline?
All this and more is set to be revealed!