"Panama" is a song from Van Halen's highly successful 1984 album. It was the second single released from that record and is one of their most recognized songs.
The song was written about a stripper, not a car as alluded to by popular belief. Interestingly, it was born out of the fact that critics accused David Lee Roth of writing about nothing more than partying, sex, and cars. But he realized that he hadn't written a song about cars. In an interview with Howard Stern , Roth explained the meaning behind the trademark song.
The sounds and some of the lyrics involve cars, but in reality, the song is about a stripper that Roth saw perform in Nebraska or Arizona, her name was "Panama," hence the title of the song.