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(The Straight Dope)   Where do all the stupid made-up car names come from?   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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27560 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 May 2003 at 2:22 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

282 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-05-08 05:57:21 PM  
Probably one of the least realized bad name was the one that wouldn't sell in Mexico because of the translation....

Can anyone guess the name?

2003-05-08 05:58:35 PM  
Also /name/names/

/old school geekery
2003-05-08 05:59:59 PM  
In fact, the Testarossa that most people are familiar with isn't the first - Testarossa (one word) comes from the late-50's/early-60's Ferrari Testa Rossas (two words), a series of racing models that saw several versions with differing degrees of transparency in the bodywork (sometimes you could see the engine, in others you couldn't).
2003-05-08 06:02:32 PM  
05-08-03 05:57:21 PM 2ZnCuSandwiches

Probably one of the least realized bad name was the one that wouldn't sell in Mexico because of the translation....

Hmmmm... could be the Mitsubishi "Pajero" (a word which in Spanish is a slang term for someone who enjoys pleasuring himself, prompting Mitsubishiato judiciously rename the car the "Montero" in some markets)

/saw it on
2003-05-08 06:07:27 PM  
How about the Mitsubishi Itchybuti?
2003-05-08 06:07:29 PM  

Thanks, you and Shemp settled it for me

However, that the red things in that pic is the top of the intake manifold

Here is a pic of those redheads.

[image from too old to be available]
2003-05-08 06:07:49 PM  
Here's one. Anyone remember that small pickup with the seats in the bed made by Subaru. "The Brat"

Where in the hell did they get that from

It was called The Brumby in Australia.

I'd love to have an early Brat fully restored

[image from too old to be available]
2003-05-08 06:11:54 PM  
"Plymouth Satellite. It doesn't orbit anything."
The name dates back to 1965 when the space race was still going hot and heavy and all things relating to NASA or outer space were "nifty"!
2 Plymouth names I never understood were:
(1) Reliant: As I understood this name was originally used by a British company that made 3 wheel cars or the name of a WW2 English battleship. Why someone thought to apply this to an American economy car is beyond me.
(2) Caravelle: I got no idea whatsoever why they chose Caravelle either. It's got something to do with casinos and the Virgin Islands.
2003-05-08 06:13:51 PM  
being from Mass I have a special place in my heart for the OLDS Achieva-
2003-05-08 06:14:11 PM  
Just a thought...

Some Farkers' names would make great car names. A few suggestions using names from this threat:

Subaru Skinink
Kia Katalyst
Dodge Danvon
Suzuki SwiftFox
Volkswagen Lusso
Hyundai GSpot
Yugo Comecaca (the obligatory Spanish-named car)
Toyota Saranac
Honda Spamzilla
Mitsubishi Majestic
Ford Albo
GMC ZipBeep
2003-05-08 06:14:32 PM  
Danvon All of a sudden you're the Testarossa expert... Okey then Mr. Internet car expert....

/kidding... Thanks for the "head"s up on what was red and what wasn't ; )
2003-05-08 06:22:35 PM  
Who can resist the Daewoo Stymie?
2003-05-08 07:05:50 PM  
My creative writing prof. sent this to our class listserv...some real gems here:

In 1958, Ford began planning for an entirely new car division, and an entirely new car. This automobile would be unlike anything else on the road. A massive promotional campaign would begin to promote the car and every Ford owner would soon want one.

Ford also wanted this car to have a unique name that the general public would remember. Renowned poet Marianne Moore was asked to come up with a list of possible names. She took the assignment very seriously and came up with the most amazingly inappropriate names that one could imagine:

The Anticipator, The Thunder Crester, The Silver Sword, The Regna Racer, The Magigravue, The Turcotingo, The Pastelogram, The Varsity Stroke, The Mongoose Civique, The Utopian Turtletop, The Intelligent Whale, The Reslient Bullet, and The Adante Con Moto.

The car she attempted to name eventually became the Edsel, named after Henry Ford's only son.

I, for one, am partial to The Varsity Stroke...sounds like it could be the official Farkmobile.
2003-05-08 07:19:16 PM  
The Ford Explodus

The GM C/K Burninator

Pontiac Fieroball
2003-05-08 07:20:13 PM  
"sounds like it could be the official Farkmobile."

That paints a mental pic of a cross between a hippie van and something out of Mad Max with a trail of dead kittens in its thunderous wake.
2003-05-08 07:27:13 PM  
Uh? no such thing as a CLK 230? well holy crap I guess the car in my driveway does not exist, I'd better go buy myself a car seeing as the one I have does not exist.

AndrewFish - you win the prize for most misinformed clown trying to be mr know it all, go to the back of the class and don't ever try to answer again.
2003-05-08 07:28:26 PM  
Didja know that ford had a big marketting snafu when they launched the Chevy Nova in mexico, you know since No-Va means does not go in spanish. I figured nobody had mention this so it was worth bringing up.
2003-05-08 07:37:16 PM  
Where is the Percephanie??
2003-05-08 07:46:43 PM  

Just a thought...

Some Farkers' names would make great car names. A few suggestions using names from this threat:

GMC ZipBeep

Oh, great! I get GMC - I suppose now I'm going to protested by Michael Moore. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad. OK, I think I like it. Thanks, Lorelle! :D
2003-05-08 07:58:28 PM  
Those are red valve covers, not red heads.
2003-05-08 08:23:27 PM  
05-08-03 06:07:49 PM Ant

I'd love to have an early Brat fully restored

Yeah, I remember thinking they were very cool when I was a kid. Apparently, the reason for the seats in the bed was that at the time, America had a very steep import tariff on Japanese pickup trucks - 25%. After all, in the 70's, pick'em up trucks had damn well better be American.

Subaru stuck two molded plastic (removable) seats in the bed and imported it as a passenger vehicle. All well and good, until a 19 year old kid was ejected in a low-speed rollover crash and suffered brain damage and paralysis - to the tune of a $2.8 million lawsuit against Subaru.

Still, I wouldn't mind having one either.
2003-05-08 08:50:09 PM  
Several hundred posts and not one mention of the Daihatsu Naked? Japanese farkers, you should do better!

Daihatsu seems to have the monopoly on REALLY stupid names here...the Naked and the Move are the two worst.
2003-05-08 10:09:09 PM  
Some people were asking what Corolla means.

Hell if I know, but I DO know that most of Japan cannot pronounce it.

I'm half Japanese, but 5th gen American so I don't have a Japanese accent. However, father and I were both mystified one day as an older member of the family tried to say that he wanted to take a vacation at the lake.

Took both of us about five tries to figure out the entertainment value of a lawn and garden tool used to put leaves in piles.

Him: "Ret's go down to the rake!"
Us: "The rake? WTF?"
Him: "The rake! The rake!"
Him: "YES! Baka..."

Thus, in the same theory that AFLAC is now AFURAKU (see Aflac duck thread earlier this week), the Corolla is actually the Corora.
2003-05-08 10:44:49 PM  
i wholeheartedly agree! having lived in germany for 4 years and getting passed by like 15 CLK230'S each and every day, i do believe what's his name is a dumbfark.
2003-05-08 11:23:21 PM  

Apparently Corolla actually does mean something

Main Entry: corolla
Pronunciation: k&-'r-l&, -'rO-
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, diminutive of corona
Date: circa 1753
: the part of a flower that consists of the separate or fused petals and constitutes the inner whorl of the perianth

Beats the shiat out of me, but at least it's a real word.

2003-05-08 11:32:35 PM  
Nobody's mentioned the Ford Prefect yet? Didn't anybody read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?
2003-05-08 11:35:18 PM  
The Ford Mustang was not named after a horse but rather the North American P-51 Mustang fighter plane of WWII. The British coined it the Mustang.
2003-05-09 02:33:25 AM  
Hey, did you guys know that the Chevy "Nova" sold like crap in Spanish-speaking countries? This was because that Nova means "doesn't go" in Spanish. What morons.
2003-05-09 03:01:19 AM  
in case you're wondering, people who repeat repeated redundencies in a feeble attempt to be funny are in fact NOT funny
2003-05-09 04:47:51 AM  
Chevy Subdivision
2003-05-09 06:33:34 AM  
Acura Vigor

"Vigor"? Is this for old men or something?
2003-05-09 05:57:41 PM  
i haven't refreshed, so forgive me if this got covered already.

The propeller misunderstanding may come from Bimmer (BMW). Their rondell logo (The blue and white circle) comes from an airpalne propeller. They originally made aircraft engines in WWII.

Testarossa does mean "Red Head" and was named in reference to women, not the red heads of the engine. There was an earlier TR rather than the 1980's 512 which most of you think of when "Ferrari Testarossa" is uttered. It, too, shared the Testarossa name, but I don't believe its engine was ever (factory) painted red.

The old man (Enzo) stated that every Ferrari should look like a woman prone and its engine should sound like said woman moaning. Gotta give it to the old guy, he had his priorities straight. Which is where the "Red Head" name originated. Hotties.

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