Over the years automakers the world over have used animal names to describe their newest cars. These names are supposed to immortalize the true essence of these cars and portray to their owners the automobiles inner spirit. More often than not however these names are ill-seated at best and unfortunately at the end of the day, don’t do the poor animal any justice at all. Below is a listing of 20 cars that have taken their names from members of the wild kingdom. Some are appropriate, others, well… not so much. Either way though you can’t blame the manufacturers from trying to put a little personality into their rides.
Pinto’s, the four legged ones are considered to be light, fast and beautiful to look at. The one Ford gave us however gained its reputation because it blew up if a feather so much as landed on its rear bumper. Great name, but bad execution.
• Shelby Cobra
Probably one of the few cars that is actually deserving of its name. The Shelby Cobra packed a 427 cu in big block that would bite you back if you weren’t careful. In fact these cars were so good at killing their owners that they were dubbed the “Widow Maker”.
• Ford Mustang
A great looking horse and a great looking car. The Ford Mustang is one of those rare marketing success stories that has stood the test of time by living up to its name in the fullest sense.
• Ford Raptor
It goes off-road just like its prehistoric cousin. It’s fast, agile and can also take abuse. But where this sucker drinks fossil fuel, its namesake IS fossil fuel… crazy right.
• Mercury Cougar
Oh she’s a Cougar all right, and she’ll rip you apart if she gets the chance. I remember in high school my math teacher had a cloud blue one and dammit it she didn’t live up to its name!
• Chevrolet Cheetah
The Cheetah was Chevy’s attempt at combating Shelby’s Cobra. It was fast, but unlike the Cobra the Cheetah simply didn’t have the visceral pop needed to take the kill-all crown.
Another car fitting of its name. Like the big cats, these cars are elegant, graceful and when pushed, can be made vicious. Another marketing success story.
• Dodge Ram
Like the big horn sheep these guys are named after, Ram trucks have always been tough as nails. The four legged kind however usually do better in head-on collisions.
• Plymouth Barracuda
The first generation Barracuda’s did not live up to their flashy namesake. In fact it wasn’t really until 1970 that these really got some style infused into them. Generation 1′s looked more like a fishbowl, than a fast fish.
• VW Beetle
The name fit perfectly, nuff said.
• Ford Falcon
A cute little car no doubt, but unfortunately the Falcon did not possess the flying pedigree that its winged counterpart did. In short, they were pretty damn slow in stock form.
• Chevrolet Impala
At 18-feet long these suckers didn’t handle like an Impala, but over the years Chevy dropped in some big-block mills that sure as hell made them move like them in a straight line. These were all beautiful cars, right up until 1999, when Chevy started making them look like jelly beans. Damn shame really…
• Studebaker Lark
It’s short, pudgy and is in no way graceful. The little Lark was a experiment that just fell out of the nest and unfortunately hit the ground hard!
• Volkswagen Fox
Small, nimble and quick, the VW Fox was a great little economy car that had good looks and great road manners.
• Volkswagen Rabbit
The VW Rabbit was basically a VW Fox without the trunk, and was a total chick car if you got it in the cabriolet variant. It was also cute and cuddly, just like the furry real thing.
• Road Runner
It had a horn just like the cartoon Road Runner, but unlike its cartoon counterpart this one was not cute by any means. It was big, brash and in your face and with its wicked air-grabber hood could probably swallow its feathered friend whole if it came upon it quick enough.
• Corvette Stingray
It’s beautiful from every angle, graceful and exudes power out of every seam. The Corvette Stingray is yet another instance of an automobile being named perfectly.
• Mercury Sable
Where people make fur coats out of the furry cuddly kind, these Sables were more fitting of elderly people with white hair. There was nothing sexy about it and unfortunately that held true for the people that drove them.
• AMC Marlin
Another fishbowl in a sea of misappropriated names. The Marlin was not powerful, handsome or fast. It just simply “was”…
• Hudson Hornet
How the hell do you name a 5000 lbs. super canoe a “Hornet”? I mean really, naming it the Armadillo would have been a better move, jeesh…