The automotive world is no stranger to creative branding and catchy names designed to capture the imagination of potential buyers. While many car models sport conventional and straightforward names, some manufacturers have taken a more unconventional approach, resulting in some of the weirdest car names in history. We explore the histories of these unique names that have made a lasting impression on the automotive industry.
Bizzare Car Names ever Named
The American Motors Corporation (AMC) made waves in the 1970s with the introduction of the AMC Gremlin. This little car was manufactured between 1970 and 1978 and was notable for its distinctive look and unusual moniker. In the past, the name “gremlin” was used to describe imaginary animals notorious for breaking mechanical devices. AMC chose this name with a sense of humor, playfully acknowledging the potential issues that might arise with any vehicle. Despite its odd name, the Gremlin gained popularity for its compact size and distinctive appearance.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ford ventured into the sports car market with the Ford Probe. While the car garnered attention for its sleek design and performance, its name raised more than a few eyebrows. The term “probe” typically evokes thoughts of medical examinations rather than stylish automobiles. Ford’s decision to associate a car with a term often linked to invasive medical procedures led to numerous jokes and questions about the marketing team’s choice.
Mazda Bongo Friendee
Mazda, known for its innovative designs, introduced the Bongo Friendee in the early 1990s. This minivan’s name is a head-scratcher, combining the utilitarian “Bongo” with the friendly “Friendee.” The result is a name that sounds more like a social event than a vehicle. The Mazda Bongo Friendee has become a cult classic, not just for its quirky name but also for its versatile design and the ability to serve as both a practical family vehicle and a camper.
Chevrolet, a stalwart in the automotive industry, took a literary approach with the Chevrolet Citation. A name that originated in the early 1980s implies a kind of acknowledgment or recognition akin to the citations included in academic publications. While the car aimed to be a noteworthy addition to Chevrolet’s lineup, the choice of a name associated with scholarly work left many scratching their heads. The Citation faced mixed reviews during its production run, and its unique name added an extra layer of curiosity.
Subaru, known for its all-wheel-drive vehicles and adventurous spirit, introduced the Brat (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Despite its functional name, “brat” carries a mischievous connotation, hinting at a playful and rebellious side. This name choice reflects Subaru’s unique approach to marketing and branding, aiming to position the Brat as a fun and unconventional pickup truck. The Brat’s popularity endures among collectors, partly due to its distinctive name and design.
AMC makes another appearance on our list with the Matador, a mid-size car produced from the early 1970s to the late 1970s. The name “Matador” conjures images of Spanish bullfighters in the minds of many. While the vehicle may not have had the agility or grace of a matador in the ring, AMC’s bold name added a touch of drama to the automotive landscape. The Matador, with its distinctive styling and unconventional name, has become a symbol of the eclectic offerings from AMC during that era.
Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
Isuzu, a Japanese automaker, took an enchanting approach with the Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard. This SUV, produced in the late 1990s, boasted a name that sounded more like a character from a fantasy novel than a practical vehicle. Isuzu’s decision to blend mystery, utility, and wizardry name left consumers puzzled yet intrigued. Despite its whimsical name, the Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard offered a solid performance on and off the road, showcasing that sometimes, an unusual name can hide a capable and reliable vehicle.
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