Back In The '70s, Every Custom Car Had A Name

Thanks to the excellence of the nostalgic Instagram account 70sStreetMachines, I can point out one of the greatest trends in car culture: back in the ‘70s, just about every custom car got its own lettered name.

Hand lettering was still a thing back then, spawning from drag racing cars getting their own nicknames. Most of these were excellent puns, like this Graham Cracker:


Or this “Duces Wild” Chevy II:

Others were more dramatic, like this tri-five “Mission Impossible” long predating the movies:


But the style migrated from the drag strip onto the street, just like all the go-faster tech developed for these kinds of cars. Here’s “The Blue Goose” Plymouth, still on the roads today:


Even minitrucks got in on it, like this “Night Fever” Datsun:


And of course vans got names, also:


My personal favorite might be this “Too Bad” Chevelle:


I feel like my next car needs a hand-lettered name like this. Maybe “Pipsqueak.”

Share This Story

About the author

Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.