Kooky Cars

by Vicki Nunn

The one thing that unites many adults, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we’re better drivers than everyone else!

Next time you’re out driving around in your car, consider the following four things that you should never say if you get pulled over by a police officer:

1.“You’re not going to check the boot are you?”

2.“I thought you had to be in good shape to be a police officer!”

3.“Hey, aren’t you the guy from the Village People?”

and finally:

4.“Could you hold my beer while I get out my licence?”

For a bit of extra fun anytime you’re feeling bored, stand on the side of a busy road, pull out your hair-dryer and pretend your checking everyone’s speed.

And speaking of fun and silliness, have you noticed that car manufacturers have come up with some quite silly names for motor-vehicles over the years?

Let’s look an old classic – the Mitsubishi Colt.

You may query why I find the Colt a particularly stupid name. When the manufacturers put their heads together they probably thought the name ‘Colt’ would encourage us to imagine a frisky young horse, rearing up on its hind legs, and raring to go… but when it comes to motor vehicles, describing a car as having only one horse-power just seems kind of dumb to me.

  • Some car names I find simply irritating, such as the ‘Getz.’ Can anyone honestly tell me they put much thought into naming that one? It’s about as subtle as a whack over the head with a brick. “Well golly-gee whiz, it obviously ‘Getz’ you from point A to point B.”

Frankly I don’t think that’s much of a selling point… because so do my feet!

  • Then there’s the Swift – whoever thought up this name needs a swift kick in the pants. How unimaginative is that? They might as well have called it the ‘Vroom Vroom!’

If you take a look at cars over the last sixty years or so, you will notice a pattern in motor-vehicle manufacturer selling techniques:

  • In the space-fixated 50s, to sell a car, all you had to do was make a car look like a rocket by adding some fancy fins.

  • During the 60s the Combi-van encouraged young hippies to think of open roads and freedom.

  • The 70s were all about wearing wide, loud clothes and hair, and having a car to match.

  • The 80s focused more on economy in your vehicle so that you could save money to spend on product for your hair.

  • The 90s vehicles really didn’t matter, as long as they boasted a stereo loud enough to bust the elastic in an old lady’s underwear as she walked past.

But today, car manufacturers have to appeal to a much wider buying public. For the guys there is the macho machine to impress the ladies. Just throw in a manly sounding name like Ranger, Crewman or Patrol and you’ve got a potential winner.

Any vehicle that sounds vaguely like it’s having a fun time will be a great selling point for the younger generation such as the Rio or the Festiva, because they sound like their much more fun to drive, than say, the ‘Great Wall.’

When it comes down to the ‘Great Wall,’ why would anyone name a vehicle after something you certainly wouldn’t want to drive into? When you think about it, the car name ‘Great Wall’ is only a slight improvement on ‘The Concrete Slab.‘

I suspect though that car manufacturers have cottoned onto the celebrity phenomena and are using subtle methods to entice people to buy their vehicles. Consider the following:

  • Carmen Elantra;

  • Maxima Smart;

  • Tom Cruiser;

  • Camry Diaz;

  • Freddy Kluger;

  • Forrester Gump; and

  • Frank Sonata

Thankfully in the years I’ve been driving, I’ve never been involved in a serious accident. But I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the insurance agency when they tell the claimant:

“I’m sorry Sir, but we had to reject your car accident insurance claim because you said you hit a ‘Mirage.’”

Finally, I’d like to finish this article with a very important question about cars: “How come whenever I see an ‘Echo,’ there’s only ever one?”