Car Names: The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous

There's no doubt that people love their cars. No matter what size and what purpose you use your car for, you likely view it as more than just a mode of transportation. A car is part of someone's personality, lifestyle, and personal aesthetic.

Car companies have picked up on this and tailored their products to the desire of customers. They don't just design cars people will like, they equip them with car names that (they think) are quite cool.

This article will walk you through some of the most over-the-top car names, and judge which ones are good car names, which are funny car names, which are classic car names, and which are just plain bad car names.

The Good: The Plymouth Road Runner

Plymouth made some of the coolest muscle cars of all time. They also crafted one of the greatest cool car names out there. It's just plain fun to say — the Road Runner.

This is one of the best car names out there because of its double (or even triple) purpose.

On the one hand is the literal — what better way to describe a great car than as a runner of the roads? The name lets you know just what kind of car this is, and just what kind of conditions it can take. It helps that the car's unique iconic look was able to live up to its name.

On the other hand, is the pop-cultural reference. The classic Road Runner cartoon is a staple of irreverence, fun, and speed. Calling your car the Road Runner shows that you don't take yourself too seriously, which adds a subtly cooler aspect to one of the coolest car names.

Its sleek build makes it succeed in white, making it one of the best white car names of all time as well.

The Bad: The Studebaker Dictator

We understand where Studebaker was going when it came out with this name. Huey Long once declared that every man was a king, and many people like to treat their houses like George Costanza — masters of their own domain. What could be more cool and independent than owning a car that establishes you as ruler of the land?

In any other time, Studebaker might have had a hit. Unfortunately, this car came out in the late 1920s, right before the rise of a little leader by the name of Benito Mussolini.

While Studebaker might have been reappropriating the word, and using it in a sort of "every man a king" way, no one wanted to be associated with the word dictator during Mussolini's rain. That word was associated with brutal fascism, and the name quickly went from another cool populist piece of imagery to something absolutely offensive.

While there are worse names on this car name list, there aren't others that got so crushed by time.

The Ridiculous: Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

How do you reckon with a name like the "Mysterious Utility Wizard". It sounds less like a car and more like a mystical mechanic straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. You can't call it a good car name — but is it really bad?

Isuzu was known, in their heyday, for ironic marketing techniques. Isuzu went against the great and instead of showing their product as part of an in-group that people would want to join, presented it as an absurd, fun bit of pop culture. This worked and most likely influenced many ironic absurd contemporary commercials — like the ones by Old Spice.

There's no doubt that naming a car the Mysterious Utility Wizard fits into this narrative. It's not meant to be good or bad — it's meant to grab your attention.

However, when you look at the car itself, you can't help but think that Isuzu wasted their opportunity to make use of the wizard name. The car looks anything but magical, and the mysterious utilities remained a mystery to many, as they soon realized it was kind of just a normal car.

Despite the sense of disappointment, it still stands as one of the funniest car names of all time.

The Good: The Triumph Spitfire

One of the best car names for girls of all time. Spitfire is already a cool name. Once again, working on several levels.

A car that can spit fire calls into mind some sort of fire-breathing dragon. The term spitfire also refers to a tempestuous and rebellious person. Both of these images are perfect for anyone who'd want to drive to this car.

You can add on to this the fact that the term spitfire usually refers to a rebellious woman. Our culture is currently celebrating rebellious women as symbols of breaking away from male authority. When you consider the current girlboss culture that reclaims many of the words that were used to put women down, you'll see that the Triumph Spitfire is one of the best car names for girls of all time.

The triumph spitfire also looked perfect in white — white flames anyone? — making it another one of the best white car names of all time.

The Bad: The GM Impact

... come on guys.

Cars names are often fitted with "boy" words that describe aggression, force, speed, and power — words one might also use to describe a boxer. Impact is certainly one of these words. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply so well to cars.

They were most likely trying to describe the force that the car would exert on onlookers. However, when being sold the impact, one can't help but think of the ugliest images.

One wonders what other names GM was thinking about for this car. Maybe the GM Car Insurance Policy? — the GM Jalopy? — the GM Airbag Star?

While this is certainly a unique car name, it's by no means one of the cool car names. Safety is cool, after all.

The Ridiculous: The Vauxhall Adam

Do we even need to say anything about this one? Adam is a perfectly fine name for a human. But a car? — absolutely not.

The Most Outrageous Car Names of All Time

As you can see, not every car gets a run-of-the-mill name. Whether online car buying, shopping for muscle cars, or looking for classic cars, you're going to come across some strange car names. While they don't always succeed, we can always applaud car companies for taking a risk.

Want to find a great car with a great name? Contact us today.

Cost
Calculator