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Thread: Funny car names

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Funny car names

    Does it seem to you that most car names are nonsensical? The neutral sounding names that evoke nothing in particular aren't too bad - Acura, Jetta, Lumina, Corolla...mind you, they don't mean anything (at least that I'm aware of), but they're bland, inoffensive and at least enable consumers to put a name to an object - good 'nuff for marketing.

    You'd think they'd be purely neutral, but cars with numbers for names actually tend to sound slightly cool: Mazda RX-7, Porsche 944, Buick 225.

    Out and out cool car names include: Mustang, Firebird, Phantom, Cobra, Dart, Falcon....there are many others

    Names that make one ask WTF might include the Matador (bull fighting?), Gremlin (imaginary creature that causes mechanical failures), or le car (I'm sorry, that's just a...stupid name)

    What makes for a good or bad car name in your opinion? Are you capable of walking into a dealership and announcing loudly 'excuse me, is this where I can get a Hummer'?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Are you capable of walking into a dealership and announcing loudly 'excuse me, is this where I can get a Hummer'?
    Or calling for a tow truck because you need somebody to pull your Thing?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    My parents had a Chevy Celebrity. I'm not sure what type of celebrities would actually drive one though.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I saw a Cube today and thought, really? if I had one, I'd paint it like a Rubix Cube

    the car thing I don't get is the use of "Major Tom" in a car commercial - doesn't he, like, um, die?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Chevy Nova..

    Get it... "no va"

    (spanish translation required)
    No Signature Required

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Chevy Nova..

    Get it... "no va"

    (spanish translation required)
    That is one of the more (in)famous marketing gaffes studied in business school in terms of international marketing. The Nova was a great seller here in the US and so Chevrolet thought it would go over well in Mexico. It didn't. The reason why? No va means "It doesn't go" in Spanish...not exactly a strong selling point.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  7. #7
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Somewhat peripheral, but I noticed that through the whole no-brakes Toyota debacle they continued to use their slogan: Toyota: moving forward

    Yeah, its stopping that's the problem...

    Surprised no one nailed them for that one.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Okay just thought of a WTF one - the Pontiac 'Aztec' What about this vehicle says 'Nahuatl speaking Meso-American culture? I wonder if because it's one of the ugliest designs ever it could be taken as a racial slur?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Scion.... I have a hard time even saying it... is it Sigh-On or Ski-On? oh and don't make the major Faux Pas of calling it the Toyota Scion to an owner. Why thats tatamount to calling a car a Chevy Geo!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    There's the corny matter-of-fact names from the 1940s and 1950s that sound ... meh to my modern ears. I don't see how carbuyers could get worked up over the Ford Mainline, Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, Chevrolet Stylemaster, Chrysler Airflow, Chevrolet Fleetline, and so on. I swear one US manufacturer had a model called the "Salesman", but the brand escapes me.

    Ye Quainte Coloniale names that sounded like subdivision names were in for a while in the 1960s and 1970s. Ford had the Country Squire and Fairmont; Mercury had the Colony Park, Montclair and Park Lane; Chevrolet had the Greenbrier, Parkwood, Brookwood and Kingswood Estate, Chrysler had the Saratoga and Windsor, and there's much more out there.

    Don't forget the Dodge La Femme and Steudebaker Dictator.

    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    That is one of the more (in)famous marketing gaffes studied in business school in terms of international marketing. The Nova was a great seller here in the US and so Chevrolet thought it would go over well in Mexico. It didn't. The reason why? No va means "It doesn't go" in Spanish...not exactly a strong selling point.
    Urban legend.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    That is one of the more (in)famous marketing gaffes studied in business school in terms of international marketing. The Nova was a great seller here in the US and so Chevrolet thought it would go over well in Mexico. It didn't. The reason why? No va means "It doesn't go" in Spanish...not exactly a strong selling point.
    About the same time there was a way popular song on Spanish radio with a chorus that went "ya no va" over and over again. I think I was 16 before I realized the car was called nova, not no va.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Back in the 1960s this Bear was cruisin' Toledo streets in a 1958 Desoto Firedome. Dang, it was incredibly fast.....I think it was 361 cubic inches of powerplant, with a push-button transmission. The rear-view mirror was located on the dash. Many memories of that car.....front seat: driving.....back seat: a different kind of driving.

    But back to the name: Firedome.

    Imagine if Ford had used that as a name for that car that always caught on fire when it was hit in the rear. Was that the Pinto? I don't remember. I only remember the good stuff.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    My parents had a Chevy Celebrity. I'm not sure what type of celebrities would actually drive one though.
    Ha! This was my car in High School. And no, I doubt any celebrities drove those!

    My good bud in High School had a Marquis and we took white out (or a marker or something, I cant remember) and put a "Biz" in front of the label. We thought that was funny. Class of '93!
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    There's the corny matter-of-fact names from the 1940s and 1950s that sound ... meh to my modern ears. I don't see how carbuyers could get worked up over the Ford Mainline, Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, Chevrolet Stylemaster, Chrysler Airflow, Chevrolet Fleetline, and so on. I swear one US manufacturer had a model called the "Salesman", but the brandd escapes me.

    Ye Quainte Coloniale names that sounded like subdivision names were in for a while in the 1960s and 1970s. Ford had the Country Squire and Fairmont; Mercury had the Colony Park, Montclair and Park Lane; Chevrolet had the Greenbrier, Parkwood, Brookwood and Kingswood Estate, Chrysler had the Saratoga and Windsor, and there's much more out there.

    Don't forget the Dodge La Femme and Steudebaker Dictator.



    Urban legend.
    It was in one of my business textbooks. Should I ask for a refund?

    What about the VW Touareg?
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Do you remember the Ford Probe? Which marketing reject came up with that one?!
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Some car names can be turned into others that aren't so complimentary. Example: my husband refers to the Ford Explorer as the "Ford Exploder." ... though I didn't mind when a friend used to refer to our old Subaru as a "Scooby-Doo."

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Okay just thought of a WTF one - the Pontiac 'Aztec' What about this vehicle says 'Nahuatl speaking Meso-American culture? I wonder if because it's one of the ugliest designs ever it could be taken as a racial slur?
    Why name a car after any ethnic group? Why not the Pontiac Armenian?

    After a while, they will run out of names and they'll just stick with numbers like Mazda.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Do you remember the Ford Probe? Which marketing reject came up with that one?!
    Same braintrust that gave you the Pontiac Vibe no doubt.

    The Salesman was a Model T or A coupe.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  19. #19
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Same braintrust that gave you the Pontiac Vibe no doubt.

    The Salesman was a Model T or A coupe.
    On an entirely unrelated note, I wonder when they're gonna come out with the Pontiac Dominatrix? or the Pontiac Slave?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    On an entirely unrelated note, I wonder when they're gonna come out with the Pontiac Dominatrix? or the Pontiac Slave?
    Dude Pontiac is sooo 2009! T'ain't no more Pontiacs!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  21. #21
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I think the Chinese have the market locked up on funny car names right now.

    Geely PU
    Great Wall Florid
    Great Wall Safe
    Great Wall Deer
    Great Wall Wingle
    Great Wall Sing
    Jiangling Motors Landwind
    Dongfeng Fukang
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  22. #22
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    What about the new Buick Lacrosse? Am I missing something? I doubt anyone who drives this car plays Lacrosse - or even cares about the sport. I actually really like the car, but question its name. GM is full of nerds - they just cant get anything right (and I say this with much love, as I come from a multi generational family of GM employees and I personally drive a Buick Rendezvous [which I love])... but in general, its almost like they want to fail. They are so out of touch, and have been for about 30 years.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  23. #23
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by H View post
    What about the new Buick Lacrosse? Am I missing something? I doubt anyone who drives this car plays Lacrosse - or even cares about the sport. I actually really like the car, but question its name. GM is full of nerds - they just cant get anything right (and I say this with much love, as I come from a multi generational family of GM employees and I personally drive a Buick Rendezvous [which I love])... but in general, its almost like they want to fail. They are so out of touch, and have been for about 30 years.
    Didn't GM just announce that the Buick name is going away?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  24. #24
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Dude Pontiac is sooo 2009! T'ain't no more Pontiacs!
    Is Canada still mourning? OT: I remember a bunch of special Pontiac modes that were released only in Canada. On my trips north of the border, the sight of Pontiacs was far more dominant than what's seen south.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Do you remember the Ford Probe? Which marketing reject came up with that one?!
    Dude, don't mess with the Probe. I had some of the best times of my life with my Probe during the ages of 19 - 27.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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