QOTD: The Best Model Names of Them All?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Last month we featured a Question of the Day about the worst model names ever glued onto the back of a vehicle. Everyone had fun trashing corny, little-known nameplates from here and abroad, as well as the various and oft-nonsensical letters applied to the back of many North American offerings today.

Today we flip this question and talk about the best model names. What’s your selection for the best vehicle names out there?

I’d like to think the best names evoke an emotional response, or at the very least a strong mental image. Hearing the name, one need not consult their phone for a Google Image search — they already know the vehicle in question from memory. Their brain automatically selects their preferred version, in the color of their choosing, and with wheels they like most. (I can’t be alone in doing this, several times a day.) Let’s try one: Testarossa.

What color was the one that instantly came to mind? I’m not sure why it’s always white for me, but there it is. Just like if someone says “Suburban,” I see the following resplendent and shiny vision of two-tone.

Names like these stood (and stand) the test of time, making them good candidates for best of the best. Whether via sheer longevity or a stand-out vehicle unique in its time, a great car and name combination sticks in the mind like glue. This rings true even if the name uses the maligned formula of jumbling letters and numbers. One more time — Ninety-Eight.

Which names mean the most to you, and qualify as great examples of drawing emotion or vivid imagery with just a single mention? A quick scan of a model name on a written page can transport us to a different time and place, or a world of unique design, metallic paint, and sweeping fenders. Give us your best.

[Images: General Motors, Hemmings, BangShift, eBay]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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3 of 142 comments
  • Frylock350 Frylock350 on Oct 12, 2017

    The best name has to be Denali. It's perfect and attached to the perfect vehicle(s). IMO the most clever name ever used on a vehicle is the Volkswagen Touareg. The Tuareg berbers are a formerly nomadic people that lived in the Sahara. What a fitting name for an SUV.

    • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Oct 12, 2017

      But then Volkswagen wants people to pronounce it "Tour-egg" instead of "Twah-regg", and even made a lame attempt at humor in the launch commercial, with people trying to pronounce the name (one guy even correctly pronounces "Twah-regg").

  • Twinsonic65 Twinsonic65 on Oct 30, 2017

    Chrysler - Newport, New Yorker, Town & Country, Fifth Avenue. Imperial Crown, LeBaron. Dodge Polara, Monaco, Royal Monaco, and Brougham. Plymouth - Fury I,II,III, Gran Coupe, Sport Fury, GT, Gran Fury. Pontiac Bonneville /Grandville. Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Brougham. Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman.

  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys dudes off the rails on drugs and full of hate and retribution. so is musky.