Monday, June 8, 2009

Names for Machines

My wife and I like listening to National Public Radio on weekend mornings when we get a chance. One of my favorite shows is Click and Clack. You probably know it as the car repair guys. People call in with questions about car repairs and symptoms and the two brothers try and answer their questions and maybe harass the callers a bit, just for fun. One of my favorite parts of the show is when the guys ask the caller to try and imitate the noises their cars are making to try and diagnose the problem. Often leads to some hilarious sounds and discussions. One week on this show a lady had called in and in the course of their conversation she mentioned that she had a name for her car. (Just like it was a person) She called the car by name on the show (sorry, but don't remember the name) and the repair guys started in on her and teased her for naming an inanimate object. This bothered me a bit because my wife and I have always had names for our vehicles, even bicycles. Refer to the top of the page and see that my scooter is named "Max". I have noticed in my blog reading that many of you name your vehicles. Names such as Elvira, FireBalls, Brigitta (or was it Gina Lollabrigida) and others that I cannot remember off the top of my head have appeared on these blog posts So today, I just wanted to pose a couple of questions. 1) What are the names of your vehicles, if you care to share, and is there any particular story or anecdote as to how you arrived at those names? 2) What is the funniest name you have ever heard of? Comments could be fun and interesting. This has probably been done before, but I do not care. Here's some examples from my life:
Wife's Cannondale bicycle
Candy Cannondale
My old Cannondale bicycle
Red or Big Red
Specialized Hybrid Bicycle
Specialized Mountain Bicycle
Trek Bicycle
The Raptor
Past Automobiles:
'84 Ford F-150
'66 Ford Mustang (my wife's first car)
(green with a red fender)
'72 VW Bus
Goldbug (the color)
'80 Mazda 626
Topaz (again the color)
'84 BMW 633 csi
Da Beemer
(renowned German engineeering)
(ridiculously expensive parts)
'87 Subaru GL Wagon
Tonya Lou Subaru
'93 Subaru Legacy Wagon
Bethie Boo Subaru
'99 Subaru Legacy Sedan
Sandy (the color again)
'06 Subaru Baja (sold after bought scooter)
Quintessentiallius Maximus Subarulius (Max)
'05 Honda CRV
The Black Pearl
'93 Ford T-Bird
Gertrude (but not Trudy)
'99 Honda civic
UKI (cuz of the license plate)
'92 Mazda Mini Van
Vinnie Van Go
Our current vehicles:
'02 Subaru Outback Sport
Red Roamin' Lou
'09 Honda Fit
Swarley aka Swarhelie aka Swarlos
'02 Subaru Forester
'02 Subaru WRX
Optimus Prime aka Larry
'08 SYM HD 200
Max aka MaxSym
'07 Vespa ET 150
You may notice the preponderance of Subarus. We have really enjoyed these cars over the years. Some we have literally driven the crap out of and they keep running and running. End of commercial. I cannot take credit for all of the names, just a few of them. But isn't it interesting how we (at least some of us) assign names to these things?


  1. How interesting that you pointed out the number of Subarus and said "WE have really enjoyed these cars." Who do you include in "we"? What about the member of your family that has never owned a Subaru? In his infinite wisdom he has driven Hondas. A far superior car that never in its history was owned by GM.

  2. To my firstborn,
    You may not have seen the light and owned a Subaru, but you sure have spent a lot of time riding in one.
    And FYI, GM never owned Subaru, they just jointly co-owned an assembly plant in Indiana. Subaru later bought GM out of their share of it.

    Thanks for sharing and writing in. Here at PMS (Premeditated Scootin') we always welcome harassment as well as complimentary comments.

  3. Dear CPA3485:

    There is a strong possibility that you may need some therapy. I have determined that my motorcycles if K75's will fall in the "Balls" category.

    My first one was "Blueballs." The current one is "Fireballs." Depending on the color, my next bike could be "Steel Balls." One day, I'm going to own a black K1300GT, which wuill have a skull and crossbones on the fairing. That one will be "Poison." Or I may get a BMW Taxi and call her "Bitchslap."

    I think if you are going to name a bike, it should be named in the Visigoth fashion.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  4. Jack,
    THat's what I like, lots of harassment. You are not the onl;y person to tell me I need therapy.

    Still waiting on that ride report.

    Thanks for writing in, as usual your comments are fascinating.

  5. I don't really do the naming thing, but my daughter named her Jeep Boris because she said the front end with the lights and what not look like Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle fame. As a result when she got a GPS she named it Natasha, because "The woman always has to tell the man where to go." She's clever like that. Her old man - not so much!

    - Joe at Scootin' da Valley

  6. Joe,
    Funny how the front ends of cars resemble faces sometimes. How 'bout some of those old boats from the 50's and 60's. I like Boris and Natasha.

  7. Jim,

    I started naming my vehicles when I finally earned enough money to buy "impractical" vehicles. My first such car, which my wife suspected was my midlife crisis was my 1976 450SL, fire engine red, which we called Olga aka the mistress.

    Alas, Olga did not last long, being hit by an idiot who ran a red light and totaled by the insurance company.

    Her replacement was a 1987 560SL, black, who we named Liesl, along the lines of the "Sound of Music" motif. Yeah, I am a sucker for that movie.

    Along came a 1987 420SEL, which got the name Helga, who was the baroness in the movie I think.

    Helga got sold to make room in the garage for motorcycles. The first one was Gretl, my 2006 Honda Shadow Aero which got traded away for my 2004 BMW 1150RT named Maria. She got that name because my wife said once the captain saw Maria in the movie, there'd be no others....little did my wife suspect.

    Then along comes Brigitta, my 1987 R80 and I think that will do for quite a while. So yeah, nothing wrong AT ALL with naming one's vehicles.

  8. Charlie6,
    You seem to have an inclination for German names. I have a client that has a BMW 1150. It is an awesome bike. And BTW, the Sound of Music is a true classic.
    Thanks for the comments.


  9. I name my guns, and named my scooters, but not my cars.

    My first rifle was a Winchester M94 which I named Veronica, and so on down the line.

    My first scooter was "The flying Cranberry," which was meant as entirely silly irony. My current scooter is "The Silver streak," which fits because it is rather peppy, and it's silver (duh).

    Naming all of your vehicles doesn't make you entirely deranged by default, but it is a step in the right direction.

  10. GM never owned Subaru

    From the mid-90s to the mid-00s, GM owned a 20% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru's parent company. There were a couple of Chevy concept cars with Subaru Outback underpinnings, but nothing came of the ownership stake, which GM sold to Toyota. GM also owned small pieces of Suzuki Auto and Isuzu, but has since sold them.

    I know this stuff because at times I have been a freelance automotive journalist...

    Scootin' Old Skool

  11. Paul,
    I like the flying cranberry name. And there seems to be a recurring theme in the comments that I need my head examined. But then again, I already knew that. It's just all for fun.

    Thanks for your comments


    Thanks for clarifying that up about Subaru and GM. I know that the Legacy chassis vehicles we have owned were assembled in Indiana, while the Impreza chassis vehicles come entirely from Japan. But we have had wonderful luck with them over the years.
    Thanks for writing in


  12. We had a 1992 Subaru Legacy Wagon - what a great car, despite its transmission issues (three's a charm for that car!), and it would tackle snow with nary a complaint, leaving other cars in its wake. On my wish list is a Subie SVX with the odd drivers window.

    As for bike/car names, here goes:

    1986 Honda Elite - Candy (due to her red paint job)
    1978 Honda Express Moped - Miss Stinky (due to her leaking fuel line when we brought her home)
    1982 Yamahopper Moped - Mr. Stinky (same reason)
    2007 Hyosung GV250 Cruiser - Suzie (in honor of my wife, although I am not sure she feels honored by this!)
    My Honda Element - Mini E (as in Austin Powers)

  13. Lance,
    Knew someone that had that SVX you speak of. It is a little odd, but a good car for him.
    I like the name Mini E, very clever and Miss and Mr Stinky are funny, too.
    Thanks for commenting