My first car was a 1977 Dodge Aspen in a not-particularly-attractive shade of bronze. It was nearly a decade old when I started driving it, and my dad helped me swap out the AM radio for an FM/AM audio system with a cassette player. I named it Coppertone after the “sunscreen” (it was only sold with SPF 2, 4, and 8 at the time) brand of that era that came in a similarly-hued bottle.
Not everyone names their cars, but when they do, they come up with some funny and descriptive monikers. Do you name yours?
Every vehicle in Gone in 60 Seconds had a nickname; Eleanor, of course, was the most memorable. K.I.T.T. and the General Lee were big names when I was growing up. George, Steven Lang’s 1994 Jeep Cherokee, may have a common name, but it has made a cameo appearance in shows and movies like I Tonya, Halt And Catch Fire, Stranger Things, and American Made.
Enthusiast Aaron Turpen and his wife Heather call their 2019 Sorento Smurpy, which is a combination of their last names. Publisher and pilot Jennifer Jensen has a stable full of cars, currently including Vanna, Violet, Viktoria, Heidi and Black Betty. Another friend has a 2000 Crown Vic they call Sandy, and somewhere out there is a British Racing Green Miata dubbed Plankton. Crankshaft Culture owners Mercedes and Andy Lilienthal named their two Delicas the Space Tractor and TBD Tractor, which stands for “travel by Delica” or “to be determined” because they haven’t decided which way they’re taking the build just yet.
Automotive journalist Brett Evans gives his vehicles codenames: “The Z4 is the Black Widow, my perpetual-project motorbike is the Musk Ox, and my Sidekick was the Jackalope. Couldn’t ever find a good animal name for my old NC Miata.”
But the best name I’ve heard lately is Brett Hatfield‘s 1961 classic, which he dubbed Vlad the Impala. Vlad has a bubble top with a mildly-built 409, dual four-barrels, four-speed, custom touches, and a blood-red paint job worthy of Dracula’s given name.
Tell me what you named your vehicle; I guarantee it’s better than Coppertone.
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