The 10 Weirdest Car Names

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From the sexy ruggedness of the Chevrolet Corvette to the windswept outdoors-iness of the Ford Explorer to the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants Pontiac Firebird, names can make or break the success of lovingly crafted automobiles. 

But for every Lambourghini Countach, Dodge Viper or Ferrari Testarossa, there’s a Mazda Carol, Nissan Prairie Joy and a Suzuki Afternoon Tea. Here at vcars.co.uk, we’re naming and shaming the ten weirdest right here, and right now.

Dodge Swinger

Dodge Swinger

That’s got to be a typo, hasn’t it? How did that get through? A follow-up to the four-door Dodge Dart, the two-door version was called the Dodge Swinger. And a nation giggled.

Can I confess to loving this name? This was a turbocharged variant of the Honda Life introduced as a 2001 year model. Ugly car, lovely name.

What the? So we’ve got all exoticism of the Middle East and a British Golf Course? Silly name, but WHAT A RIDE!

Mazda Laputa

Mazda Laputa

The more well-read amongst you will know that Laputa is a fictional flying island from Gulliver’s Travels. The rock has an adamantine base and can be steered by its inhabitants in any direction using magnets. So far, so silly. The problem arrives when the word is translated to Spanish. ‘Puta’ in Spanish is an extremely offensive word for a prostitute – more accurately a ‘whore’. Come, ride The Whore. Whoops.

Again, the Spanish translation tripped up marketeers: “Hey, let’s call it a Nova. That means ‘new’ right, and it conjures up Nova Scotia – all rugged and fearless?’ Those same marketeers didn’t think about trying to sell the car in Central/South America. No va in Spanish? ‘It Doesn’t Go’. Whoops. Again.

Oldsmobile Alero

Oldsmobile Alero

This is less of a name and more of a sound. Look it up, it means a forward in basketball (in Spanish) or a number of over-hanging rocks. Come on, this is not a word, it’s a sound designed to convey luxury and style. It actually conveys the sound one might make while convulsing.

Daihatsu Naked

Daihatsu Naked

The styling on the Naked included features such as ridges in the doors and exposed hinges and bolts, designed to make the car appear rugged. So why call it the NAKED???!!! That has made me angry.

Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

This is the car Voldemort would drive. Fact. Oh goodness, I’ve gone and said his name.

Reliant Robin

Reliant Robin

Oh come on, really? When is a Robin Reliant? This most ill-balanced of cars could be relied on for toppling over and embarrassing its driver perhaps. Jeremy Clarkson described it as a menace, one of the few accurate things he’s ever said. In Reliant Robins’ defence a recent survey reported that the owners were statistically Britain’s safest drivers, Is that because they never went over 20mph?

Volkswagen Thing

Volkswagen Thing

Again, I’m loving this car. It looks a bit Indiana Jones baddy, doesn’t it?  The name is either genius or insanity, but isn’t that always the way of greatness?

Volkswagen’s 181, a small military vehicle produced by Volkswagen from 1969 to 1983, was re-christened The Thing for the U.S. market. Civilian sales began in Europe in 1971, in the U.S. in 1972 and briefly in Britain in 1975. It failed to sell here and was dropped almost immediately. It was dropped from the American market in 1975 due to stricter US safety standards – Thing’s windshield was too close to the driving position. Booo…. Everyone should own one of these cars.

Volugrafo Bimbo

Volugrafo Bimbo

Good grief. Did they call it that because it’s nice to look at but any level of scrutiny shows it to be a bit stupid? Actually, Bimbo in Italian means baby, which is sort of an excuse.

That’s it. 11 of the weirdest names to come out since Roy Hodgson named his starting XI. What do you think? Do you know any others we should add the list of silliness?

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2 Comments

  1. Mike Cuthbert on

    HI,

    That is a pretty strange list of car names, nice piece. My personal favourite is the Naked, I can see the angle they were going for here but it has failed miserably! The new Aston Martin Cygnet is a contender! Why would Aston name something so……

    Thanks
    Mike

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