Cars have been given all sorts of weird and wonderful names over the years, many after creatures big and small. Some have become iconic, others less so. Here are our top ten: cars with animal names.
Try to imagine how many different model names have been allocated to cars since the Benz Patent Motor Car appeared in 1885. A mind-blowing task to say the least and each one was chosen to try and help give the vehicle it adorns some individuality. Some have been more successful than others, and some get lost in translation – what sounds good and strong in one language can mean something quite rude in another… There have always been a number of models given only an alpha-numeric moniker, but even those can be misleading. For instance, the numbers following a Mercedes-Benz model type used to suggest the engine capacity but such simple badging is no longer a given. Today’s C180 is powered by a 1,6-litre motor…
But names are somehow more personal and a number have endured the passage of time and treated with a mixture of affection, association, respect and awe. Name themes were once fairly popular – Lancia named its cars after a letter of the Greek alphabet – but over time creatures of every description have had more generic appeal for the marketers, and following is a selection of the good, the bad and the forgettable…
A revered combination of a bespoke British sports car and American V8 muscle power.
Ford’s riposte to GM’s Corvette, an affordable, compact, sporty car that inspired the Pony Car era.
Built in five generations from 1986-2009, it was the Mercury counterpart to the Ford Taurus.
Designed by Michelotti and built in the 1970s to compete with Mercedes-Benz SL models.
One of Datsun/Nissan’s staple models, the Bluebird was built from 1957-2001. Sold in South Africa 1965-70.
The world’s first successful mid-engined supercar, it became every boy’s bedroom poster car.
Chevy Corvette STINGRAY
The second-generation Corvette, built from 1962-67. The coupé had a distinctive divided rear window.
The Beetle has played a part in so many people’s lives that its legacy will likely last forever…
Positioned between the popular Hillman Minx and sporty Sunbeam Rapier in the Rootes Group line-up.
A 1960s full-sized American sedan always powered by a V8, ranging from 6 571 to 7 456 cm3.
WORDS – Mike Monk