The "drum audition"...for vehicles.

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
There are several vehicles, especially SUVs and vans that are commonly used by drummers because the of the ease of getting gear in and out: Work vans, minivans w/ lay-flat seat row(s), Honda Element, Scion Xb, etc. But this isn't about those obvious choices, this about vehicles you wouldn't expect to used for lugging drum gear around.

In 1993 I bought a Saturn SL1 (stock photo below) instead of something bigger (read: more money) or a used truck or van for several reasons including being able to get my 22x16 bass drum in a Tuxedo bag in the back seat w/o having to take one or both of the heads off.

What vehicle have you used/are using to haul your gear that people wouldn't expect you to be able to do so?

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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
When I was gigging, I would regularly stuff (2)22, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 14 snare, Pearl DR110, 4 tom arms, 5 boom arms, 2 splash arms, snare stand, hi hat stand, cymbal bag, throne, and 6x9' carpet into a 2002 Honda Civic Si. There was only room left over for me to drive, but it all fit.

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My gear now is much less. I'm pretty sure it will all fit in the hatch of my Hyundai Tiburon.

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Channing

Member
I can fit my 5 piece Yamaha Stage Customs, 22" kick drum, in one of these: versa.jpg
It's a Nissan Versa. A subcompact car. It actually fits in there easier than it fit in my Camry. I have no problem getting the bass drum in the back seat, but in the Camry I could only put it in the front seat.
 

donzo74

Junior Member
The car is long gone but I once loaded my 4 piece rock kit w/ 22” BD in a ‘93 Formula Firebird.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
15 years ago I carried around a 6 piece in my 240sx (Zenki S14). I could do hihat barks with the bov from the turbo.
This is not mine but imagine this in blurple.
 

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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
When I was gigging, I would regularly stuff (2)22, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 14 snare, Pearl DR110, 4 tom arms, 5 boom arms, 2 splash arms, snare stand, hi hat stand, cymbal bag, throne, and 6x9' carpet into a 2002 Honda Civic Si. There was only room left over for me to drive, but it all fit.

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My gear now is much less. I'm pretty sure it will all fit in the hatch of my Hyundai Tiburon.

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My 02 is still sitting in my garage! Not running. . .you could absolutely load a lot of stuff in that car. I autocrossed back in the day. I would fit an entire 2nd set of wheels with tires in the back, a jack, my helmet, all my tools, etc etc. Love hatchbacks.

I have a 2016 Honda HR-V now. The back seats can either fold up from the bottom, or down from the top. I could easily load bunch of stuff in that car, although I haven't yet.
 

RickP

Gold Member
I use a 2018 VW Golf Sportwagon - superb drum hauler , plenty of room for a kit with either of my 20” bass drums or 24” bass drum kits . Holds all my gear easily and is easy to get gear in and out of . I also have the extra dark tinted windows as well .
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I have a Toyota Yaris 4 door hatchback. It's a small car but I fit a 4 or 5 piece kit easily and load in/out is a breeze.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I've always been a sports car and convertible guy, and up until recently I've been driving an Audi S5 cabriolet. My whole 6-piece kit (10/12/14/16/22 +14 snare) would fit, though it was a bit Tetris-y to get it all in there. What really helped was the fact that putting the top down made it easy to get the bass drum and 16" FT in the back seat. Then the 12" tom went on top of the 16" FT, my throne seat went on top of the bass drum and my pedal bag wedged in between the two. The 14" FT went in the front passenger seat, with the 10" tom on top of that and my snare in the footwell. My cymbal bag went behind the passenger seat, and my hardware bag fit in the trunk.

I recently traded in my Audi for a Mercedes C300 convertible, but I have yet to take my kit anywhere in that. But it's pretty much the same size as the Audi, so I don't anticipate any problems.

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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Back in my 20s, I managed to get my six piece Tama Superstar (this is in the 80s), all hardware and cymbals into a 1972 VW Beetle. I would take the passenger front seat out, and fold down the back seat. And this was a 22x16 bass, 16x16 floor and 8/10/12 traditional toms. I had enough hardware for eight cymbals. It was a Stewart Copeland set up at the time.

I miss those days 😢
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
My first car was a 3 door Vauxhall Corsa. Got a 5 piece in there no problem it was the tardis. Went everywhere in that thing. Mate of mine used to get a 5 piece in a Mini (italian job for those across the drink)

I use diesel estates now just for better fuel consumption and easier load in. Current ride is an ex-police car - its got cop shocks, cop tyres, cop breaks............you know the spiel and yes the cigarette lighter isn't there ;)
 

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Morrisman

Platinum Member
Skoda Octavia fits the complete 5 piece kit in the boot out of sight.
Leaves room for either my family or my PA system inside the car.

Hired one on a UK holiday once. Could easily fit 4 suitcases in the boot. So we bought two of them, his and hers.

For years I packed my drums into the Morris Minor for gigs, especially the 50’s shows. A bit squeezy, but definitely had style.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Mikyok and Morrisman you’re talking my language.
Mikyok, I used to fit a 7 piece and all hardware (including 14” and 15” power toms) into a Vauxhall Nova, the Corsa’s predecessor. Every now and then a guitar would go in too.
Morrisman, I’m currently driving a Skoda Octavia hatchback, my 5 piece goes in it easily albeit the bass drum goes on the back seat. Still room for 2 passengers if I have to but I’d be interested to see how you get it all in the boot mate. As an aside I’ve been toying with getting a 24” bass drum kit, I reckon that would go in through the back door easily.
A few months back I fitted my 5 piece comfortably in my wife’s Citroen C1, the most difficult part was the drum mat.
in my youth I once fitted my kit 4 other band members and their gear in a Vauxhall Astra estate.I recall one of the lads lying pressed against the back windows like one of those Garfield stuffed toys that were popular at the time. Everything was okay until I approached a roundabout at 40mph, turned the wheel, and kept going in a straight line! All the weight in the back had taken most of the weight off the front wheels. The solution was to drive at 30 so no harm done!

The thing with cars is that you can fit anything into any car (within reason) if you try. Sometimes when you have the use of a bigger car it’s tempting just to load in without thought and you can find yourself running out of space and having to shuffle things around. When faced with my wife’s C1 I was loading smaller items into nooks and crannies first and doing the Tetris thing, the upshot was that I could have fitted a load more in if I’d had to.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Morrisman, I’m currently driving a Skoda Octavia hatchback, my 5 piece goes in it easily albeit the bass drum goes on the back seat. Still room for 2 passengers if I have to but I’d be interested to see how you get it all in the boot mate. As an aside I’ve been toying with getting a 24” bass drum kit, I reckon that would go in through the back door easily.
I must admit my 5 piece kit has a 20 bass drum, and a 14 floor tom. If it was 22 and 16 I probably couldn't squeeze it all in the boot. Carpet goes flat on the floor. The bass goes face down behind the back left seat. Cymbal bag lays flat on the bass drum. Floor tom goes in the left wheel well. Hardware case rolls in along the right hand side, front to back. Mid tom goes in right wheel well. Snare case sits on the hardware case and small tom goes in last in the centre. The folding trolley lays across the small drums near the back. I'll try and get a photo...
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Same sizes as mine pretty much. I might have a play, there’s no problem in having my bass on the back seat but it’ll be fun to try.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
My '06 Toyota Matrix.

Besides the clearance issue, this car actually goes better in the snow than my 98 Chevy 1500 4x4 did.

Flip the back seats down, and the "trunk" area has hard plastic, not carpet (same for the back of the back seats). I swear that once I do this, my little car has almost as much space as a small compact truck with a camper shell (think old school Datsun). I can get a small-ish PA system AND my drum set in it with still enough room for a passenger. I've had it for two years, and it has over 200,000 miles on it, and it's been the most trouble-free car I've ever owned.

 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I used to fit a 7 piece and all hardware (including 14” and 15” power toms) into a Vauxhall Nova, the Corsa’s predecessor.
The Nova, the ultimate boy racer car, or the Renault 5 :) The thing that was great about the old hatch backs was they were square, none of this curvy nonsense you get now so you had a little van basically.

A honourable mention needs to go to the old Metro, a mate got a drum kit 2 amps, guitars and 2 band mates.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Metros were huge inside for their size, like a Postman Pat van.
I also remember the time I got to drive a Carlton Saloon for a few weeks, the boot was huge.
I used to work in Vauxhall garages so you may, or may not, be envious to learn that I had the use of a succession of Nova GTEs in the late 80s and early 90s.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I had the very same Saturn that hauled my kit around. You get pretty good at playing Tetris when you have a car like that.
I now have an '06 Outback that not only hauls my WHOLE kit, but can get me out of some tight spots thanks to it's AWD.
 

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