Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars named for speed

EH-speed-emblems
Cars are marketed on the promise of many different characteristics: practicality, mobility, luxury, social status, or perhaps some sort of vague feeling that you live in another city. Since outright speed seems a bit dangerous, allusions to high performance are often couched in terms such as “Sport” or “GT”, rather than an overt reference to how fast a car goes. But the latter is what we want today: car names that overtly refer to speed.
The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • We are looking for cars named for speediness itself, not just things that are fast. Neither Comet nor Falcon belong in this category, even though those are both speedy things.
  • It doesn’t matter if the vehicle itself is fast. I can think of several downright sluggish rides with speedy names.
  • Manufacturers’ marques, model names and trim lines are all fair game. Slang and nicknames are not.
  • The names of concept cars and prototypes are only allowable if it was an officially-bestowed name by an automotive manufacturer or recognized coachwork/styling house.
  • Purpose-built race cars are specifically prohibited.
  • Cars, light and heavy trucks, motorcycles are all fair game. Definitely NO airplanes.

Difficulty: Grasshopper, when you can snatch the low-hanging fruit out of my hand, then you will be ready.
How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.
Image Source: simoncars.co.uk and pistonheads.com.

127 Comments

    1. Out of curiosity, which story would that be? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it, and have always understood ‘Spider’ to be a term that refers to a small, two-seat car with a (non-metal) convertible top.

      1. Basically it comes down to the English calling their fast carriages “speeder”, and the Italians, rather than translating it, kept the English word, but spelled it phonetically as “spider”.

    1. By the same logic, XK120 – so named because of its claimed top speed of 193km/h

    1. The same applies to the later XK120 (don’t know if the 140 and 150 also had the top speed the name implied).

      1. And the Jaguar XJ220 was named for a speed the production car could never actually reach.

    1. Always preferred the Lagonda from which Aston-Martin derived the Rapide name, personally.

    1. A wonderful name. Only to be improved by a “2000 Superfast” with the S extended as a line under the word, of course.

          1. I as well. Mercury was fast, but we are supposed to be naming cars that have “fast” or a synonym in their name, not named after things that are fast.

  1. A Speedster was in the lede picture, but reply here with different manufacturers offering one. I’ll start with Auburn.

      1. My understanding is that Speed Six was the nickname of the engine, and it was used in many TVR models. I don’t know if any of them were officially known as the Speed Six.

    1. I can confirm this. Sunny/Pulsar running gear, automatic, big frontal area and bad Cd mean these aren’t cars for motorways.
      I must get one though.

  2. “Manufacturers’ marques, model names and trim lines are all fair game. Slang and nicknames are not.
    The names of concept cars and prototypes are only allowable if it was an officially-bestowed name by an automotive manufacturer or recognized coachwork/styling house.”
    Marketing campaigns?
    http://www.lhmopars.com/MOPAR_Ads/70rtsad2.jpg

    1. On the Dodge side, Scat Pack. An optional color choice was Go Mango, which was a play on words with Go, man, go.

        1. One might say that, although I can think of 5 meanings for bolt off-hand.
          It’s ultimately a matter of intent in naming, and as we know, electric cars can be very speedy to 5MPH.

  3. Plymouth Sport Fury Fast Top
    http://i.wheelsage.org/pictures/plymouth/fury/autowp.ru_plymouth_sport_fury_9.jpg
    Fast Top referred to a two-door hardtop body style available on 1967-1968 Plymouth VIPs and Sport Furys. It featured a semi-fastback profile with formal triangular “C” pillars that provided privacy for rear-seat passengers (and a big blind spot for drivers trying to back up). A stylish addition, it was offered along with the conventional hardtop, creating the illusion of an expanded model lineup.

    1. I watched the coverage of the first Gulf War and saw these guys only for a few seconds. After that, it was 10-15 years before I saw any recognition these even existed.
      Secret weapon, for sure.

      1. I wasn’t aware of them (perhaps didn’t watch enough CNN in GW1?) until the film Three Kings. They were not so secret after that.

    1. The irony being that the only way an Allegro ever moved quickly was with gravity’s assistance from a great height.

  4. Holden Torana, according to Holden Torana is apparently the word for “to fly” in an unspecified aboriginal language

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