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This is Springsteen at his best singing with passion about the 'American Dream'.
The song is essentially about a small scale drag racer who is desperate to leave the small town he lives in to go out and see the world and meet the girl of his dreams.
He is sick of the drudgery of every day life and he knows that if he leaves he has at least a chance of making something of his life.
This song contains many references to cars and that includes many technical details.
It is a well known fact that Bruce Springsteen loves cars but he had to take in a lot of information and advice from experts to make sure he was correct in the terms he used.
After the song was released a friend of Springsteen pointed out that it was impossible to put fuelie heads on a 69 Chevy (as mentioned in the song). This friend then went on to actually try and fit this fuelie head to prove that it could not be done.
The last line of the song is lifted directly from the hit, Dancing in the Street by Martha Reeves and the Vandella's, this line is 'Summers here and the time is right for racing in the street'