Friday, November 13, 2009
Bad Car Names
I'm going to try to make it over to the New England Auto Expo next month. I've gone before and, even though I probably won't buy a new car for a few more years, I love looking at the new models, finding out what new features are available, sitting inside the vehicles, and inhaling that new car smell.
In anticipation, I thought it might be fun to come up with a list of the worst car names in history that I could think of. Certainly not the most unique retro post, but a road that's worth revisiting. You see, a car's name is everything - it's the brand and has the power to make or break a legacy. Unfortunately, there have been a few instances where automobile marketers dropped the ball big time when coming up with a good name. Get that foghorn ready:
1. Ford Probe
A painful name - in more ways then one. I don't know about you, but anything that sounds like something that would be inserted into any of my bodily orifices during a medical examination or procedure is definitely a turnoff to me. What was Ford thinking when they came up with this gem? Shame, because the car itself was a sporty little 80s number.
2. Ford Escort
If the car had actually been sleek and sexy, Ford might have gotten away with such a scandalous name. But they didn't, which makes it all the more laughable. I think the Ford Companion would've sounded better and less like a forbidden listing in the yellow pages.
3. MG Midget
A real head scratcher. MGs were already unbearably tiny cars. How was the Midget series any different? And saying that you drive a Midget just sounds weird.
4. Dodge Diplomat
Despite a long production run (from 1977 to 1989) I've never heard of anyone who owned a Diplomat, and I'm not sure that those who did really did feel all that more important. Check out the vintage ad I've posted above - shuttle diplomacy? A misguided advertising attempt to make a soccer mom feel like she's royalty or something.
5. AMC Gremlin
It's cute, but you mustn't let it near bright sunlight, get water on it, or feed it after midnight.
Yep. No explanation needed.
7. Subaru Brat
Who wants to drive a brat? It was really an acronym for "Bi-drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter." Gotcha. Couldn't they have come up with something cooler...like KITT?
8. Renault Le Car
Thinking of Renault's unoriginal moniker reminds me of when Madonna released an album titled "Music." And the car was so le fugly, I don't think even Inspector Clousteau would've been caught driving one.
9. Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxury Joyful Canopy
I'm cheating here - this van was actually called the Toyota Previa in the U.S. It's "real" name, as coined by the Japanese, sounds like one of those silly show dog names.
10. Ford Edsel
A bad car name list would not be complete without the king. The Edsel proved that naming a car after one of your offspring was not always a good idea, especially if their name sounds like a hiccup.
If I missed any interesting ones, let me know.
Labels: Retro cars