In a review of a Chuck Berry concert published in the British paper New Musical Express
in April 1973, Roy Carr referred to the song "No Money Down" as a teenage fantasy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In his critical biography of Berry
, John Collis says the song was inspired by an incident in Berry's youth. When he bought his first car - a 1934 V8 Ford, for $10 down and $5 a month - he was too young to sign the hire purchase agreement, so his older sister Thelma did the honors. In his autobiography, Berry says he went through a dozen automobiles in 12 years or less, and the song "got its origin from the salesman's pitch that I usually got when buying my first few cars".