A large part of a car`s appeal is its name. Of course, the cool name won`t make a bad car good, but it will certainly help the car reach the desired customer. These days, animal named cars have become less popular, either because all the good animals are taken (who wants a car named the “frog”) or because driving a car named after an animal sort of makes you look like a 10 year old. That said, it has worked out well for many brands and the mythical creature thing has become more common. Lets get right into the video.
Let`s start the list with the awesomely powerful Shelby Cobra. Introduced in 1962 and powered by Ford`s V8, the Shelby was a lightweight roadster with dangerous handling and brutal performance. The legend goes that Carroll Shelby got the idea in his sleep, woke up and wrote the name on a piece of paper and went back to sleep. Probably would be more impressive if the name was something more creative, but to be fair a cobras unpredictable nature does suit the car.
Introduced on the 1st of April 1970, the AMC Gremlin was considered as an April fools joke to many since it was one of the only American sub-compact cars on the market. To a lot of customers, it looked like somebody had chopped off the rear of the vehicle, however, it proved to be very influential and popular, giving the company much needed financial stability which AMC always lacked. Unfortunately, despite its success, it wasn’t able to save AMC from a demise in the early `80s. Maybe calling your car Gremlin wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Wild horses from the prairies of the Wild West were an inspiration to Ford`s marketing guys who gave their new coupe this legendary name. Even though the original Mustang had a range of pretty mediocre engines and rubbish suspension, the package as a whole worked and its name launched it into the minds of the modern-day cowboys who bought them.
TVR got a bit creative on this one, borrowing a name from Greek mythology for their legendary sports car. Introduced in 1996 and produced until 2003, the Cerbera was a fast, capable and somewhat sketchy car with a fire-breathing V8 engine and slightly too little grip for the rear wheels. No traction control of course. As the Cerberus was actually a three-headed beast that guarded the doors of the underworld in Greek mythology, it probably suits it really!
De Tomaso Pantera
With a specially designed chassis, powerful Ford V8 engine and distinctive wedge design, the De Tomaso Pantera was one of the coolest sports cars of the early `70s. Amazingly, it stayed in production until 1996 and managed to remain relevant even though its technology became a bit outdated. Alejandro DeTomaso, the companies founder named it the Pantera (Panther). For such an exotic car, the slightly outlandish name works.
Introduced just two weeks before the Ford Mustang was unveiled, the Plymouth Barracuda was actually the first pony car. Named after well-known and hard to catch fish from the depths of the sea, the first Barracuda had a characteristic profile with a large rear window and stylized fish on the trim pieces. Although never as successful as the Mustang or Camaro, the Barracuda became one of the fastest muscle cars when equipped with the legendary 426 Hemi engine.
The mid-century Chevrolet model names are all very cool. Nameplates like Bel Air, Del Ray, Camaro, Chevelle are all very memorable, but the Chevrolet Impala is probably the most recognizable of the bunch. Introduced in 1958 as the full-size family sedan and still sold today, this landmark four-door model was named after elegant and wild antelope from Africa. We bet you didn’t know that, but if you look at the Impala`s logo, you will recognize the stylized antelope. Does it suit the car, well, considering the Impala isn’t especially fast and a bit of a bloater, not really but it still sounds cool.
The Triumph Stag was a very ambitious project from British Leyland, and it was designed to be a competitor to Mercedes SL models. With the 3.0-liter V8 engine, convertible body, well-equipped interior and respectable performance, Triumph needed a cool name to complete the package. Since the car was introduced in 1970, in the height of the sexual revolution, Triumph marketing guys decided to call it Stag since it symbolized the macho and playboy lifestyle at the time. Not sure it worked though, whilst the stag was good, it was only produced in 25,000 examples and was plagued by quality problems.
Envisioned as the successor to the legendary Shelby Cobra and even co-created by Carroll Shelby, Dodge didn’t really have much choice when it came to naming the viper. With a V10 engine up front, massive power and torque and notoriously dangerous handling, this monster could only be named after something poisonous and lethal. That’s why the Viper is such a perfect name for this car. Poke it too hard and with no traction control, ABS or stability control, it will bite!
You’ve probably heard the legend of a Yeti, the mythical creature living in the Himalayan Mountains. Perhaps you’re even a Sasquatch believer. Although the locals swear that the Yeti is real, some claim to have even seen one, we still don’t have proof of its existence. That said, if you want to own a Yeti, you can, ever since Skoda introduced their compact crossover called the Yeti in 2009. Even though it is not capable of crossing the extreme parts of the mountain ranges in central Asia, the Yeti is a capable vehicle when you order it with all-wheel-drive. Its well suited to outdoor activities, or most places where you might encounter a Yeti. The name works. As an all rounder though, the Yeti is a really good car.
So, there you are. Can you name any more? I must have forgotten some. Let me know in the comments below.