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By Larry Edsall

Hushmat HushMat makes '57 Chevy "sound like a Lexus" – at least on the inside
Talk to those who do automotive market research and they'll tell you that people equate quiet with luxury. That's one reason automotive engineers work so hard to make their vehicles – from their entry-level cars to full-size and work-oriented pickup trucks – as quiet as possible.

But what about the person who already has a car, or who is restoring an older vehicle, who also wants his or her car to be quiet, too?

For nearly 20 years, RMD, LLC of Lenexa, Kansas, has been supplying original equipment automakers with sound and thermal insulating materials. Those same materials are available through the aftermarket and can be applied easily to seemingly any vehicle.

"Every car has some but not enough acoustic and thermal insulation," said Tim McCarthy, president of the HushMat division. However, McCarthy added, installing HushMat material can "make a '57 Chevy sound more like a Lexus."

HushMat actually offers four products -- Quiet Tape to dampen the vibration of wiring harnesses or cables; Silencer foam to fill various vehicle cavities; Ultra H-2-O, a spray-on material that seals seams and joints; and the primary product, HushMat Ultra, a flexible, thin and rubber-like material that comes in sheets with peel-off adhesive for easy application to the inside of various body panels, such as fenders, doors, roof, floorboard, trunk, firewall, etc.

HushMat products also can be used to reduce vibration when installing aftermarket automotive audio equipment. The material sticks to sheetmetal, plastic, fiberglass and wood.

McCarthy said HushMat and its adhesive have been tested at temperatures from 30 degrees below zero to 450 degrees above. He notes that the material provides not just acoustic insulation but also thermal protection.

Product prices range from around $11 for a special kit to keep a license plate from vibrating to $400 for 58 square feet of HushMat material. The only tool needed for installation is a pair of scissors to cut the HushMat sheet into the proper shape for a specific application.

For more information, visit the website, which includes information on the more than 1400 authorized locations where HushMat products are available.

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