How important are car names? Just ask yourself if you are inspired by names like Rambler, Fairmont, Zephyr, Gremlin, Escort, or Fairlane. Now what about names like Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Mercedes? Sure, manufacturers spend billions building their brands, but some models seemed destined for success based on their names alone. While, of course, this list is subjective, here are some of the best car names. Ever.
In spite of its equestrian connotation, logo, and reputation as a “Pony” car, the Ford Mustang was actually named after the P-51 fighter plane used during World War II. Ford quickly saw what potential there was in the Mustang, and the rest is history. If anything could be cooler than a fighter plane, it was Ford’s Mustang.
Another name taken from World War II, corvettes were small and fast fighting ships of the period. Rather than decided upon by Chevrolet marketing gurus, it was actually submitted by an employee naming contest. Adding Stingray to a Corvette is like adding whipped cream and chocolate to a sundae.
When Dodge set out to create one of the boldest and most dangerous sports cars ever made, it went looking for something cobra-like. Viperidae is the Italian name of one of the most aggressive snake families in the world. “Viper” was chosen and, to this day, may just be the greatest car name ever.
The Thunderbird made its first appearance at the 1954 auto show in Detroit. It got its name from Native American mythology and was suggested by a Ford stylist. It is reported the stylist won a $250 designer suit for his suggestion. While Thunderbird is a great name, T-Bird may even be better.
General Motors had the name Firebird available from the mid-fifties. It was not until the Pontiac Trans Am of 1969 that the name caught fire and Smoky and the Bandit did the rest. It may lose some points because of its similarity to the Thunderbird, but Firebird is still a pretty cool name for a car.
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