Profession: Country singer, songwriter
Hometown: Minesing, Ont.
The car: 2000 Porsche 911
- Two-time Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) award-winner for Male Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year
- Founded The Road Hammers
- As a solo artist released seven albums including Everything (2011); his third, Playin’ For Keeps (1997) was certified Gold
- In 2012, nominated for a Juno Award for Country Recording of the Year for Everything
- Back in studio to record a new album in January and February
As one of Canada’s top country music artists, Jason McCoy has racked up numerous awards, including a coveted 2006 Global Artist Award in Nashville.
He was the front man for The Road Hammers – the highest-selling band in Canadian country music history – but since the group disbanded in 2010, McCoy has been concentrating on his solo career. He just wrapped up his Perfect Gift Christmas Tour and has a new album in the works.
Like a true cowboy, he drives a 2005 Chevy Silverado truck on his farm near Barrie, Ont. But when he returns to his second home in Nashville, his ride is a 2000 Porsche 911.
Why did you buy a Porsche?
A friend of mine had it for sale and I took it out, mucking about and putting it through its paces.
We were in a bit of freezing rain and went off the road and pulled the front wheel off of it! We slid up the grass about 10 feet and hit a cement transformer pad, broke the aluminum swing arm in two, wheel was buckled under, but not a single scratch on it. Put it on the truck, new strut, and we were good to go. I told him I’d take it on the spot. Then I called my wife.
It was a stupidly good deal. I’ve always loved performance cars. I didn’t know much about Porsche, but I always loved the way the steering handled. I’m not a speed demon by any stretch, but I really liked the feel of the steering into any corner, on or off any ramp. …
I love the handling. Every time I’m in it I always say the same thing, why can’t all cars handle like this? Why can’t they do that? The high-end torque is off the hook – it’s great. That’s my favourite part about it.
I like the sightlines on it. I love how small it is. Performance-wise, its overkill, but it’s a fantastic around-town car. In Nashville, I have to zip out a couple of hours from town every once in a while and it’s the most pleasurable thing to drive. Ours is just a basic model – it’s not turbo or anything, but it sure is a fun car to drive.
What don’t you like about it?
It doesn’t have any cup holders. You have to buy aftermarket cup holders – that was a big surprise.
Porsche is a driver’s car – a performance car. That was funny – here’s this awesome car, but it’s got no cup holders.
But it’s old – shouldn’t you be driving a fancy new Porsche?
For me, I couldn’t justify the expense of a newer one. I got a killer deal at the time. And I couldn’t justify that much power because I know I wouldn’t have a licence very quickly. Just having the Porsche handling is enough for me. I really like it.
It’s an older Porsche – it’s got a CD player and a cassette player in it. How awesome is that?
What’s in the cassette player now?
Nothing. It’s the radio for me.
I listen more to music when I’m on my computer. I’m into the latest YouTube thing. I’m a nanosecond kind of listener, but if I’m driving I would be listening to a Merle Haggard box set. It’s a weird experience listening to Working Man Blues by Merle Haggard and cruising around in a Porsche.
If I’m going on any trip, driving music is key. Road Hammers is good driving music. I don’t mind listening to my own stuff. You record it for a certain reason. You fall in a love with a certain song at a certain time and how you record it is a labour of love. You better love it.
Any speeding tickets with the Porsche?
Yup. I’ve had two – one in Nashville.
It was late at night and I thought I was rolling with the traffic, but the problem is it settles in around 80 mph. It magnetizes to the road, clamps down and it’s just perfect. But of course the speed limit is 50 in that zone so I got pinched there.
And another one I got in town. The guy just knocked it down so it was no points. I got to say this I’ve never got a speeding ticket that I didn’t deserve. Everybody says I wasn’t speeding. Come on? Cops don’t just do that to meet people, right?
What does a Porsche say about you?
It’s the completely opposite to everything that I am.
I’m a cowboy. I wear a hat. I drive a 4x4 Silverado diesel truck. I’ve got a farm. It’s a toy and nothing more. It’s a little more pretentious than I would go for. But somehow I ended up with it. I just love it. Nobody who knows me would ever guess I’d drive it.
Tell me about your Silverado.
I drive an old Silverado diesel truck and my wife has a new Silverado gas. My diesel kicks the gas’s butt all of the time. It’s a bigger truck. It’s an HD and it’s got a Cummins turbo diesel. It’s fantastic. If I’ve got to go on a longer trip, I take that. That thing is awesome on diesel.
What else is in the garage?
I’ve got a chopper that’s a couple of years old. It’s pretty cool. It’s a custom Big Bear Chopper. It was built in Alberta and it was all done up in our band, The Road Hammers, theme.
It’s nine feet long with a springer front end that floats along the highway like an old Buick. It takes up the whole lane. When you’re going around a long winding corner you don’t stick to one line like a sports bike – you’re floating. It’s a law of averages with that thing.
How long have you been riding?
My whole life. I started on dirt bikes when I was a kid.
I grew up in an area where there are a lot of trails north of Barrie. It’s always been something with wheels. My son is 3 and he’s about everything with wheels, too.
What was your first car?
The first car I owned was my dad’s 1976 Ford Super cab with a big block in it and two gas tanks. The cab was big enough to start and/or raise a family in it. It was huge. It taught me a lot of lessons in economics, too, because it ate the gas.
The first car I bought was at a buddy’s garage sale. It was a ’70s Aston Mini. It was just about ready to die so we turned it into a dune buggy. And then it did die. If I knew how big the Mini revival would be, I would have put it away and redone it.
This interview has been edited and condensed.