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Hooniverse Asks- What Car Do You Love Except For Its Name?

Robert Emslie March 6, 2012 Hooniverse Asks 133 Comments

Shakespeare is famous for writing – among other things – “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet“, meaning that it didn’t really matter what dumb name your parents gave you. That goes for cars as well. The jaunty coupe above, with its two tone white over black paint and fashionable wrap-around windscreen? Why that’s the Gaylord. It was penned by Brooks Stevens, and hand built with the intention of being the finest American sports car of the era

Now, that era was 1957, and while that pre-dates me, I’m pretty sure that Gaylord had the same kind of negative insinuation then as it does today, no matter if it was the surname of the Chrysler Hemi-powered car’s benefactors. There have been other cars that have been kind of cool, until you get to their name. Remember the Ford Probe? That Mazda 6-based coupe, especially in turbo form was a potent competitor to the Japanese sporty coupes of the time, but of course none of them had names that implied Alien abduction and poking around in your back door.

Have there been cars or trucks that have set your heart a flutter only until you’ve heard their name which then made your heart sink? What cars do you cotton to, in everything but their name?

Image: [Carstyling.ru]

  • tonyola

    It appears that the same-sex connotation for "gay" didn't become widespread until the 1960s. At least it didn't bother the Rootes Group in the late 1950s.
    <img src="http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/8016/30956283.jpg&quot; width="347/">

    • K5ING

      Agreed on the "gay" thing. People in general weren't obsessed with being gay, or the word "gay" until the 70's or 80's really. "Gaylord" was the name of cars, people, stores, etc. From the 60's and earlier, being "gay" meant being happy.

      • Devin

        I wonder when gay got that meaning, since it was used in a punchline for a sequence featuring Cary Grant in a frilly robe in Bringing up Baby way back in 1938, but clearly still also meant happy until at least the 60s.

  • <img src="http://www.carsimg.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/koenigsegg-car-widescreen.jpg&quot; width=550>

    Only because I cannot pronounce it.

  • JayP2112

    Passat 4Motion <<< Quantum Syncro

  • tonyola

    "Murciélago". It might work to those who speak Romance languages but it reads and sounds odd to this Anglophone. Too much like "mucilage". I know Lamborghinis stick to the road very well, but I don't want a car that sounds like glue.
    <img src="http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/2/0/0/c4/b/AAAAAmy26XkAAAAAAMS29A.jpg?v=1201254296000"&gt;

    • skitter

      Or smells like glue.

      Tastes like glue, on the other hand…

    • OA5599

      Actually, I sort of like that one precisely because it reminds me of the jockey who used to whisper in his mount's ear:

      Roses are red.
      Violets are blue.
      Horses who lose
      are made into glue.

      <img src="http://www.foroswebgratis.com/fotos/6/6/9/5/8//263425ferrari_horse.jpg&quot; width=500>

      • pj134

        Fittingly odd enough considering it was the name of a bull that got stabbed 24 times before being spared.

  • Manic_King

    Gumpert Apollo, especially the new Gumpert Apollo Enraged, and Suzuki Cappucino

  • OA5599

    I appreciate the effort it takes to come up with a name that stirs the emotions, and think it is lazy to bypass that process and just slap on a number.

    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4098/4935828526_e04fe51966.jpg"&gt;

    I think it is an even bigger disgrace to spell the number out.

    <img src="http://www.carswallpapers.us/thumbs/ford_five_hundred_logo-t2.jpg"&gt;

  • OA5599

    If you want to save some time at the auto parts store, have a vehicle that the counter monkeys know how to spell.

    <img src="http://bestcars.uol.com.br/carros/gm/antigos/gmc-syclone-4.jpg"&gt;

  • pj134

    Eunos always sounded a bit like Eunuch to me. It just doesn't sit right with how big the balls on a Cosmo with the RB20-REW are.

    • RegalRegalia

      I know, I instinctively put a defensive hand toward my crotch whenever I hear "Eunos".

  • Because I can't pronounce it.

    <img src="http://storage.pagani.com/view/1024/O8C4493_M-4.jpg&quot; ,="" width="640/">
    IMG from Pagani.com

    • Number_Six

      It's easy : whyioughtta whatchagonnado whhaaaaannnaa HWA-EERA hwy-rah

      • pj134

        Cool hwip.

      • jeepjeff

        Gesundheit.

    • Irishzombieman

      Rhymes with the sound of dry heaving, only less strangled.

  • RegalRegalia

    I hate the Nissan close to a real word naming system.
    "What was that? Ultimate?"
    "No sir, Altima."
    "What about the Maximum?"
    "I believe you meant 'Maxima', sir."
    I suppose the fourth gen Maxima is the closest to loving I come to either car, despite the rust-prone bodies, the interiors were the top of their class.
    <img src="http://www.automobile.com/images/stock-photos/lifestyle_gallery/hash/3/1/d/63aa3c657afc3596a9849f725f261313c9071d13.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • topdeadcentre

      Well, if one didn't sleep through all of higher sciences, "maxima", plural of maximum, are really kind of important.

      I tried not to sleep through Statistics, really I did…

  • Charles_Barrett

    Well, I have no desire for Tatas, but that's just me…

  • Number_Six

    TVR 420 Special Edition Aramid Composite. Awesome car, not such a sexxxyy name…
    <img src="http://www.acroney.com/A_C_Roney/Car_Sales_files/IMG_0146.jpg&quot; width="500" />

  • The Lamborghinis of late have had some pretty ridiculous naming schemes, despite being actually, you know, drivable.

    <img width=500 src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GSX225650yE/TnH7JL837SI/AAAAAAAFEEU/-4gBSQzhX1w/s1600/Lamborghini-Gallardo-ST-10.jpg"&gt;

    LP 570-4 SUPER TROFEO STRADALE

    What a mouthful.

  • Devin

    <img src="http://www.gtspirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/SSC-Tuatara.jpg"&gt;

    Protip: Don't name your car something that sounds sort of like "twat Tara."

    • Dr. Fine

      I used that line on The Throttle and they censored it!

  • Merkur XR4Ti
    Toyota Tacoma
    Pontiac Parisienne

    • Dr. Fine

      I called them Merkur Exeratees. (XRATi)

      • A fast Chinese car would presumably be good at exerateeng.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        'X-Ratty' seems commonly accepted.

    • Maymar

      I don't mind the Parisienne – at least it sounds classier than Acadian.

  • JeffieWasHere

    The Subaru B9 Tribeca. Because the name of a WWII bomber, and a neighborhood in Manhattan are a good combination.

    Volkswagen Touareg. Speaks for itself.

    Ford Aspire. Un-aspiring.

    • Touareg isn't half as bad as "Tiguan."

      Which is a nice vehicle, as far a I can tell.

      • pj134

        Shut up you amarok.

      • Dr. Fine

        You like Toe Rag better than Pig One?

        • Well, it IS kind of an egg you can tour around in.

      • danleym

        At least Touareg has a kind of cool meaning to it, even if 95% of people who hear the name of the car have no idea and just think the name is stupid. I mean, I agree that it's stupid, but I'll give them points for trying.

        However, I just looked up the meaning for Tiguan. According to the most authoritative source on the internet (wikipedia), the name comes from a combination of the German words for Tiger and Iguana. If there is any truth to that, then that is by far the dumbest name ever put on a vehicle.

    • hedgedigger

      ford really went wrong with that name. a small, budget car that aspires to be more…but everyone just keeps calling it "ass pire"

    • Maymar

      I've been in a couple Subaru Tribecas – they're pretty benign.

  • buzzboy7

    I love strange cars and strange names. Who doesn't want a Toyota Pickup, a Chevy L'uv, a Volkswagen Käfer or Iltis. Even with alphanumeric names: E34 535, S[&]M and 190E 2.6 Sportline. Italian names seem to be turning some off, but from the cars I love I see Fulvia, Cinquecento, Stratos and Stradale.

    If I love the car, I'll come to love the name.

    • I always feel like I should apologize when saying "fulvia" in mixed company.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        I was going to say that – which might mean even more from a guy with three Volvos.

  • Fester812

    I won't bother with pics, but some of my favorite cars have been Bluebirds and Sunnies and Violets and Cedrics and Silvias and Fairladies.

    Not a single Datsun car would have ever sold in the US if they had used the Japanese market names.

  • dukeisduke

    The Gaylord looks like it's wearing period Cadillac aluminum Sabre wheels, only in chrome instead of gold, and with some fake knockoffs added on.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    The first gen of this, with the V-10 diesel cranking out 309 HP and a more important 533 lb. ft. of twist.

    <img src="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1st_Volkswagen_Touareg_–_10-12-2011.jpg&quot; width="400">

    In case the pic never loads:
    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1st_Volkswagen_Touareg_–_10-12-2011.jpg” target=”_blank”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1st_Volkswagen_Touareg_–_10-12-2011.jpg

  • <img src="http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/celicav8/rainbow308.jpg"&gt;
    Bertone 308GT Rainbow
    Ranbow? REALLY? Is there another car half as techno-spacey that has a less spacey, less techno name? Rainbow makes it sounds like a hippy kid's imaginary friend. This should have been called the Robot Stallion Liberator or Warp 10 Hyper-jump Martian or the Angry Mechanical Phallus.

    Although I suppose it does complete with a My Little (prancing) Pony.

    • jeepjeff

      Rainbow is a perfectly acceptable name to apply to a techno-spacey object, at least, these guys think so.

      <img src="http://www.sweetslyrics.com/images/img_gal/11641_1z4xmcyq.jpg&quot; width=480>

    • Number_Six

      I just want to clarify: you like this car?

      • RegalRegalia

        I for one like it as a potential vehicle for classic Battlestar Galactica.

      • "Like" is not the right word. "Stand in wonder at the fact that it exists" is probably more accurate.

  • <img src="http://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/pictures/VEHICLE/2001/Volkswagen/100001916/2001.volkswagen.eurovan.10723-300×189.jpg"&gt;
    Eurovan
    Yes, we know it's from Europe. Really, we got it. Stop beating us over the head with it, already!

    • tonyola
      • Devin

        Well they weren't lying about the fact that "it turns heads as well as it turns corners."

        They just neglected to mention that it doesn't do either very well.

        • tonyola

          That's not really true. I drove a few Eurosports in the '80s including daily-driving a black '86 wagon for almost three months. While the four-cylinder engine wasn't much off the line, the combination of ride and handling in the wagon was pretty impressive. The car could be tossed around and was quite entertaining in the twisties. That's not just my opinion, either. The enthusiast magazines had good things to say about the Eurosport's handling even if the car itself didn't excite them that much.

    • Maymar

      It's better than Vanagon, which sounds like it's been stolen.

      • It was a van, then it wasn't and now it's a Vanagon.

  • Irishzombieman

    I like the Gallardo. Really. Fantastic car.

    But the name ain't so far from "gallo", which is Spanish for "cock" (as in rooster), and I have never been able to hear the word "Gallardo" without thinking of chickens.

    <img src="http://www.vvabluewaterchapter284.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Lamborghini-Gallardo.jpg&quot; width=400>

    • Jim-Bob

      Well…considering that most of the people who drive Gallardos are cocks, I'd say the name isn't too far off….

  • <img src="http://www.automotoconso.com/leblog/IMG/pics/kawasaki-gpz-900-r-ninja-01.jpg"&gt;
    Dear Kawasaki,

    "Ninja" was a really cool name for a motorcycle…in 1985. Calling every sport bike you've made for the 25 years a Ninja has gotten really old. Face it, it's played out. Come up with something new. Thanks for listening.

    Love,
    Tanshanomi

    • Devin

      I think Ninjas are going to be a cool thing again once the zombie trend dies down.

    • Number_Six

      Which brings to mind the very nice Honda VTR-1000 Firestorm. That's a lot of handle for a middle-of-the-road bike.
      <img src="http://www.motorbikespecs.net/images/Honda/VTR_1000_F1_F2_Firestorm__-_SC36_01-02__/VTR_1000_F1_F2_Firestorm__-_SC36_01-02___1.jpg&quot; width=500 height=500>

      • tiberiusẅisë

        At least a Firestorm is a real thing. What the heck is a V-Strom?

        • Number_Six

          Oh yeah, I forgot about that gem.

        • pj134

          Is it weird that immediately after reading your comment the song "It's raining men" popped into my head, but instead of the weathergirls singing "men" I heard the acronym for the Volkswagen Auto Group?

          • tiberiusẅisë

            Speaking of things to put between your legs…

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      Besides, I always thought ninjas were supposed to be quiet.

  • Dr. Fine

    I wonder how many men chose to drive a Dodge La Femme?

    <img src="http://www.prewarcar.com/images/stories/editor_images/1955-dodge-la-femme-1.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • Devin

      Well it was designed for her majesty, the American woman.

      • Dr. Fine

        It included the umbrella, raincoat and purse with tranquilizer compartment. That ought to hold her!

  • Andrew

    Subaru Impreza WRX STI. I have a mortal fear that if I were to buy one, at some point, a lovely and car-ignorant young lady would overhear me refer to it in short form. "You just got a WHAT??"

  • Devin

    <img src="http://www.dittn.com/pk/pajmini-at97.jpg&quot; width="500">

    Mitsubishi Pajero Mini. Roughly translated from Spanish, Mitsubishi Little Wanker.

    There was also the Nissan Moco (Snot) or Mazda Laputa (The Whore) but I don't want one of those.

    • danleym

      Why does the little wanker have drivers side mirrors on the door and fender?

    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq
    • I'm a lefty, so thanks for providing one with right hand drive.

    • Joe_Btfsplk

      What happened to Barbie, Ken and their friend who shall remain nameless?

  • JayP2112

    One of the Ford Edge models was the SEL….
    So you'd have the "Edge SEL". No one at Ford had a history book or nuthin'?

  • TurboBrick

    Fiat X1/9. WTF are you supposed to call that thing in English? "Fiat Fraction" just doesn't flow.

    • RahRahRecords

      fiat ninths

      • Number_Six

        Fiat Ten-and-one-ninth

        • Let X equal one-ninth.

        • RahRahRecords

          I see it as fiat times 1/9 = fiat over 9 or fiat ninths

          • That doesn't translate "fiat" into English, though. I naturally took it as Latin.

  • I think Subaru would have sold more truck-cars if they hadn't been named the Brat.

  • tonyola

    Cadillac Eldorado ETC. Do I really want to drive an "et cetera"?

  • topdeadcentre

    The Smart ForTwo. Wishful thinking, as far as the American market goes.
    <img src="http://allworldcars.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/smart_fortwo.jpg&quot; width=550>

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    <img src="http://www.nativitymen.org/pictures/truckster_2.jpg"&gt;

    Oh, wait, you said because of the name….

    • tiberiusẅisë

      You think you hate it now, wait 'til you drive it.

  • Jim-Bob

    Geo Metro. I really, REALLY love the car but WTF was GM thinking when it named it a Geo? I can almost imagine the meeting when GM's brand-engineers were handed down an edict from on high:

    "You can't go to lunch until you find a name for this new division!", the boss said.

    "Duh, what should we name it? It's already 10 am and I'm getting hungry!"

    "I dunno… how about Geo? Y'a know like in geography because we are stealing…err appropriating these cars from our partners around the world so why not?"

    "Yeah but…aren't they all just from Japan?"

    "Details…details. It'll work, trust me. Now who's hungry?"

    • Devin

      Ah, but the Metro was sourced from Ontario after '90, so they sourced from two countries.

      • Jim-Bob

        I know that ( both of mine were built at CAMI) but I was talking about the genesis of the brand in 1989. Also, the convertible Metro/Firefly and Cultus were always sourced from Japan. The same may also be true of the Holden Barina but I am not familiar enough with the Metro's Antipodean cousin to say for sure. (I forget if the Aussies got a convertible.)

        • suju89

          Early Barina I don't think we ever got a convertible, rebadged Suzuki Cutlass up to '94 when we got a rebadged Opel Corsa (this we got a Cabrio version of), fast forward to 2005 and the Barina became a rebadged Daewoo Kalos.

    • Maymar

      It's a little better than Passport, the Canadian Isuzu equivalent, but at least that comes from the same train of thought.

      I defy anyone to tell me what the hell an Asuna is.

  • Dr. Fine

    Depending on where you're from Camaro means companion, shrimp like or loose bowels.

    <img src="http://www.hotrodscustomstuff.com/OLD_SITE/Cars/Aloha%20Camaro/aloha68camaro-01-01.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • Irishzombieman

      Mi camaro ate camaro and then had camaro.

  • BlackIce_GTS

    How many doors has it got?
    <img src="http://www.oldandyoungtimer.com/uploads/6187/1.jpg"&gt;

    57 horses and nothin' on.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Daihatsu_Naked_005.JPG/800px-Daihatsu_Naked_005.JPG&quot; width=600>

    I really hate Ferrari's alphanumerics as well. They're not just nonsense, they're inconsistent nonsense. Jaguar may be worse.
    Also Hilux, Plethore, Belvedere, Longchamp.

    • Devin

      I sort of love the Daihatsu Naked's name. Just because if I had one I'd always insert a dramatic pause.

      "What do you drive?"
      "I drive a Daihatsu… Naked"

  • Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4×4.

    I'm sorry, but "Sapphire" belongs in the names of characters in books aimed at little girls, not on this:
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/RichardPON/Saff%20rally%20pics/27817eb0.jpg&quot; width="500" />

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    <img src="http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/flex-1.jpg"&gt;

    Would 'Country Squire' or even, I don't know, 'Fairlane' have been that difficult?

  • I wouldn't mind having one of these for a beater. But, after having owned a Mustang-based Cougar and an MN12 T-bird, I still don't think the name was right for this car. Capri, maybe. Cougar?…
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ae/2001-2002_Mercury_Cougar_–_03-30-2011.jpg/800px-2001-2002_Mercury_Cougar_–_03-30-2011.jpg&quot; width="500"/>