Jun. 20, 2010 at 2:05pmYour Car’s Nickname – A Term of Affection or Derision?

We have a love affair with our cars so it only makes sense that many of us give our vehicles pet names. Several years ago USA TODAY reported on the findings of an AP-AOL Autos poll, which revealed that 20% of all drivers give their cars nicknames. Commonly, the derivation of the name is an obvious reference to the vehicle's color, make, size or some aspect of its reliability or lack thereof. In the latter case, the handle may not be a term of affection, but one of derision.

I've only had one car that had a nickname, and I wasn't the one who gave this vehicle its moniker. It was a silver-colored, 1979 Toyota Corolla that I bought used. A friend of mine called it The Bobbin (the spool that holds the thread for sewing) because he said the engine sounded like an old sewing machine. The name stuck like any good nickname will, and everyone I knew began referring to my car as The Bobbin.  I must confess I called it this myself because it did sound like a sewing machine! But I loved that car because it was so reliable. It had 100,000 miles on it when I bought it, and I put another 175,000 miles on the car before it finally gave up the ghost.

FORD recently conducted a survey to see what owners of their cars nicknamed their vehicles and why. The response was overwhelming with nearly 700 different names provided. Predictably, there were a lot of popular monikers like Betsy, Blue, and Black Beauty, but my favorites were Frankenstein, Exxon Valdez, and Cinco de Mayo.

Check out Ford's Facebook fan page to learn the derivation of these monikers and to see a complete list of the nicknames submitted.

What pet names have you given your cars?


I have always taken personal pride in the name of my cars. From Betty to Roxy the name offers insight to my personality and the design of the car. For some reason they always seem to be inspired by the names pin up models and alliteration. Betty, Roxy and Henry the Honda!
Erin Bailey on 8/18/2010 at 1:54pm
I took a look under the hood of my then-recently acquired 1980 Subaru DL hatchback (with only 60,000 miles on her), noticed the way the metal body parts looked 'crimped' together, and instantly it came to me the name for the car:
TIN FOIL LIZZY. I've loved her now for almost 12 years; a great little car, well-made despite my 'irreverent' name for her!
Ed Hansen, Seattle WA
Edward Hansen on 5/31/2012 at 10:58pm

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