I usually accept a car name as soon as I first hear of it, but occasionally I’m left wondering just what was a car company thinking? I’m sure most of the vehicles I’m going to mention are fine automobiles, but the names assigned to them give me second thoughts.

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Let’s start with the AMC Brat. I understand the company was trying to draw a correlation between the rebellious nature of a brat and the unusual half-car and half truck-design of this vehicle. However, do I want a vehicle with a name that reminds me of a misbehaving child? When I hear the name Brat, I have a nightmare of a vehicle experiencing a loud mechanical malfunction in front of a crowd; an embarrassing situation no one desires.

Then we have the Chevy Citation. Maybe it’s just me, but why name a car after a ticket I would receive from a police officer for speeding? I want my vehicle to convey the impression of being legit yet enjoyable. For me, the name Citation simply isn’t suitable as a car name.

Next is the compact Ford Fiesta. Have you seen the size of this vehicle? If Ford wanted to create a vehicle to represent a real party, the Fiesta would seat a minimum of ten people and have a dinner table extending throughout the length of the car. Now, that’s a party!

How about the Pontiac Phoenix; It sounds like a sporty name for a vehicle, doesn’t it? But wait, doesn’t the mythical bird, the Phoenix, explode into flames and burn to ashes? Yes, I believe it does, and I’d rather not have my car named after something more likely to happen to a lithium-ion battery.

If the Phoenix’s name makes me uncomfortable, how can the AMC Gremlin be any better? A car named after a mythical creature that mischievously dismantles mechanical equipment makes me wonder what AMC’s marketing team was thinking. Without a doubt, this vehicle’s name instills no sense of reliability in me.

Then there is the Toyota Tundra. The definition of tundra is: semi-permanently frozen topsoil or mud. Surely, someone should have thought twice before giving a truck this name. When I think about the obstacles I may face driving a truck, frozen dirt or mud does not inspire much confidence.

I could continue with names like Charade, Diablo, Echo, Mirage, Prowler, Silhouette, and so on, but I’m sure you see my point. So tonight, as I get in my car and turn it southward heading out of Mocksville, I’ll roll my window down and enjoy the cool night air blowing across me as I drive my Plymouth Breeze home.

CLICK HERE to read more by Kevin F. Wishon.

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