Although they are known primarily as a surf group, the Beach Boys were just as adept at doing hot rod tunes. The lyrics to this Wilson/Usher collaboration, inspired by Usher's real-life teenage car obsessions, tell a first-person tale of saving money to buy the dream automobile of the title. To pass muster with real-life gear heads, Wilson and Usher also throw in a few automotive terms like "Dual-quad" and "posi-traction" near the end of the song. The melody of the song is simple but tuneful pop that becomes something special in the Beach Boys' recording, thanks to Brian Wilson's inventive vocal arrangement. For instance, this arrangement transforms a simple line like "She's real fine, my 409" into something anthemic by subjecting it to a bright, complex set of interlaced vocal harmonies. The instrumentation lacks the color of later Brian Wilson productions, but features a nice guitar solo from Carl Wilson at the midway point. Their recording also makes inventive use of revving car sound effects that the group recorded themselves. The end result became a minor chart hit and a live standard for the group. "409" also became something of a standard for hot rod groups, appearing as a cover on albums by the Rip-Chords and the Challengers. The Beach Boys would soon progress to more memorable hot rod fare, like "Little Deuce Coupe," but "409" provided a solid foundation for the entry into the world of hot rod pop.