Cars

18 Hilariously Unfortunate Car Names

Published On 07/13/2015 Published On 07/13/2015

As the story goes, the Lamborghini Countach takes its name from a Piedmontese expletive shouted out when the car was first shown to the head of design. It was intended to be outrageous and funny...unlike these 18 hilarious gems. Take a look, and you'll realize why alpha-numeric—or completely made-up car names—make a lot of sense for global vehicles.

Mark Brooks

1. Dodge Dart Swinger

The Swinger came out in a different time. There weren’t even any commercials with beautiful car owners grabbing keys from a bowl.

Don O’Brien

2. Studebaker Dictator

When Studebaker unveiled the Dictator in 1927, it had no way of knowing what would happen in the years to come. Still, continuing to produce a car named Dictator in the era of Hitler and Mussolini wasn’t the smartest idea. Thankfully, it was scrapped in 1937.

modemlamer

3. Ford Probe

The car that became the Probe was originally put forward as a replacement for the Mustang. That would’ve been a huge mistake, but naming it after an alien’s favorite investigative technique wasn’t all that great, either. Ironically, it was a decent little car, especially for the late 1980s.

CeeGeema

4. Suzuki/Diahatsu Scat

Not the best thought-out name in history. Unfortunately, an otherwise cheap and fun off road-capable vehicle turned into something you can’t drive without hearing all the sh*tty puns.

GM

5. Chevy Nova

"No va" means “no go” in Spanish, and consequently there’s an (absolutely false) urban legend that the car sold poorly in Latin America as a result. The misnomer is so widespread that it's become a common teaching point about cultural differences in business school.

Ford

6. Ford Escort

True story: Ford actually started using the name Escort for a stripped down version of the Squire in the 1950s. Squire itself once meant “to have a romantic relationship with a woman,” and squires were traditionally the male equivalent of what you now think of as, well, an escort.

GM

7. Buick LaCrosse

Lacrosse is a term used among Quebecois teenagers meaning "to masturbate." Very few people knew about that, though...until headlines started to appear saying “Buick Masturbator." Too bad it didn’t still use its 1950s slogan: “It makes you feel like the man you are.”

GM

8. Opel Ascona

A lot of people think Ascona is somehow a dirty word (and not just a town in Switzerland), but this one’s somewhat of a stretch. Ascona, when pronounced in Portuguese, sounds *loosely* similar to “a xana,” which translates as “the p*ssy.” The difference is subtle to non-speakers of Portuguese, but to put it another way, the play on words would be like changing Camaro to c*m arrow.

Tennen-Gas

9. Nissan Homy Super Long

Outside of Japan, the Nissan Caravan camper van was known as the Homy (Get it? It’s home-ey, because you can sleep in it). The really, really long version of it was called the Super Long. In other words, Homy Super Long is a very straightforward name that’s equal parts unfortunate and good-for-you.

Gavin Collins

10. Renault Wind

The Wind is a little 2+1 convertible that Renault produced for just a couple of years at the start of this decade. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with it...except for the horrible pun of everyone passing a little Wind on the highway.

Chad Kainz

11. Hummer

You know the Hummer started out as the Army’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), or Humvee for short. But Hummer? C’mon.

Humberama

12. Jaguar 420

This was the highest level of luxury you could get from Jag in the mid to late 1960s without jumping to the much more expensive flagship models. It was just £200 more than the lesser S-Type, so you'd have to be smoking something not to spring for the 420 (sorry).

Mic V.

13. Nissan Moco

Literally, in Spanish, it’s the Nissan Mucus. Queue jokes like "at least it’s always running."

IFCAR

14. Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard

You knew it stateside as the Rodeo (shown). The Isuzu MU (no, really, that stands for Mysterious Utility), and its five-door sibling the MU Wizard have one of the best/worst names of all time.

Irish Defense Forces

15. Mitsubishi Pajero

Pajero is a spanish adjective meaning masturbator, or as the English would say it, wanker. And that's why you know it as the Montero over here.

Skoda

16. Skoda Yeti

The Yeti, of course, is the mythical abominable snowman. Abominable means to cause moral revulsion. Why any carmaker would name a vehicle after something so negative is a question for the ages.

Mazda

17. Mazda Laputa

There are many definitions of the word “puta” that can’t be listed here. You probably learned most of them in middle school, anyway.

priceman141

18. AMC Matador

Yeah, yeah, we all know matador is supposed to be a reference to bullfighting. It directly translates as killer, though—which makes sense when you think about what a matador actually does.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He suddenly understands the point in using completely made up names for global cars.

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