QOTD: Call Me by Your Name?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd call me by your name

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your author grew up consuming books, TV, and movies that were already pretty dated by the time the ’80s and ’90s rolled around. How else do you explain his passion for floaty land yachts, mens’ sport coats, and a fairly libertarian attitude towards personal consumption and the role of government?

Oh yeah, life was simple in those pages and on those shows. There was an order to things, clearer divisions between right and wrong, and societies that seemed to be ruled by rational adults. No one died from smoking. Naturally, social problems rarely made it to the forefront. Only greedy, opportunistic criminals threatened the idyllic lives of those living behind white picket fences, or those stoically trudging to work at the plant from their modest urban walkup.

But I digress. We’re talking cars here, and those shows and films revealed a trend among some car owners I couldn’t agree with.

In short: some people name their cars. And I can’t get behind it.

You’ve all been weirded out by the deep, undying love I feel for my 1994 Toyota Camry Coupe and my confessions of guilt for having let it go. I have to live with that. The dreams ended years ago, though the bittersweet memories remain.

Yet even that vehicle — a car so trustworthy I’d stake my life on it, did not deserve a name. But it’s something that still occurs. A car with a name.

I don’t have to search far and wide to uncover instances of this phenomenon, you see. My sister’s brood travels to the store and the campground and everywhere else in a white Dodge Journey named Judy. Granted, it’s not entirely a term of endearment. The name came about simply because the vehicle is large, white, bland, American, and fairly old — so there’s some playfulness going on here. But even this elicits a twinge, deep down in my soul, whenever I hear Judy mentioned.

Could it be because applying a name takes away the vehicle’s core identity? Or is it because humans are just as fallible as machines, and I trust neither? Maybe it’s a sexist thing — I know many men name their cars, but it always struck me as something more commonplace among women. Or is it because I don’t want to grow too attached to a car?

Why I feel such an aversion to this practice remains shrouded in layers of psychology I can’t peel away.

But over to you — have you ever named your car? And if so… why?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Bcboat Bcboat on Aug 10, 2018

    My 2012 Titanium focus hatch was named....Titan. My wife's 2011 SRX Cadillac is named Mocca for its color, Mocca Steel. Silly? Maybe, but who cares. My Subaru SVX's never got names, don't know why.

  • Tonyola Tonyola on Aug 13, 2018

    I called my blue/silver 1984 Honda CRX "Nike" as a nod to a girl who told me my car looked like a running shoe. Back in the late '70s, a couple I knew bought a nice and clean yellow '66 Plymouth Fury III. As we drove around in the car with me in the back seat (passing around a joint), the husband told me the car needed a name. I thought for a minute and blurted out "Yellow Submarine!". Bingo - the car had a name.

  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.