The ten best car nicknames

When a car connects with the public it usually gets a nickname that reflects its style, demeanor or habit of exploding. Yesterday, we asked Jalopnik readers for their favorite car nicknames and here are the ten best.


Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our Jalopnik summer feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Photo Credit:Honda Forum

10.) The Red Pig

Real Name: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.8

Suggested By: SennaMMP4

Why It's Cool: Developed by AMG in 1971 back when AMG was a separate Mercedes-Benz tuning company, the big, red 300SEL wasn't the most obvious choice to take racing. Its engine was bored out to 6.8 liters and weight was lost, but the behemoth of a car still ran through tires and gulped down fuel at the 24 Hours of Spa that year. The Mercedes-Benz 300SEL is red, and it's big and heavy. What more explanation do you need?


Photo credit: retrorides


9.) Clown Shoe

Real Name: BMW Z3M Coupe

Suggested By: snap_understeer_ftw

Why It's Cool: Imagine you're a 50-foot tall clown. Now, imagine you're a 50-foot clown who likes rollerskating. While the color of this Z3M might be a little conservative for a giant circus entertainer's skates, the shape is there. Who needs rocket-powered rollerskates when you've got 240 horses under your toes?


Photo credit: BMW Car Club GB & Ireland


8.) Flying Brick

Real Name: Volvo 850 Touring Car

Suggested By: zacarious

Why It's Cool: The 850 was highly successful in mid-1990's touring car racing. In wagon form it qualified as high as third, and placed as high as fifth in the British Touring Car Championship. In sedan shape, it was even better: in 1995 it won eight races and got pole 13 times. In 1996, it won another eight races and finished third in the championship. Not only did it figuratively fly around the track and win races, it often took wheels off the ground, and literally took to the skies.


Photo credit: tonylanciabeta


7.) Exploder

Real Name: Ford Explorer

Suggested By: aProfessional

Why It's Cool: Series two Ford Explorers found themselves the butt of the joke when their Firestone tires started "delaminating" and experiencing "a rapid loss of tire pressure." That's lawyer speak for tire blowout. The outer edges of the tires would get worn away and then the whole thing would let go in a big way, causing whoever was at the wheel to freak out and countersteer, which in many cases rolled the truck. Many of the nicknames here today were given in good spirit, but not this one.


Photo credit: drewski2112


6.) Godzilla

Real Name: Nissan GT-R

Suggested By: Fathi_Haziq

Why It's Cool: When your Japanese car has the pedigree that Nissan's GT-R does, the giant green lizard moniker is only so far away. When it's as capable and world-beating as the GT-R, there's really no contest. The car even looks slightly reptilian. It's cold and calculating like a lizard, or a surgical tool. Or a lizard holding a surgical tool. It's also gigantic. Just like the real Godzilla.


Photo credit: mmarkiewiczz


5.) Daytona

Real Name: Ferrari 365 GTB/4

Suggested By: teampenske3

Why It's Cool: The 365 has become so well known by its other name that we forget that the factory never named it Daytona. The name was supposedly given to the car by the motorsports media following Ferrari's 1-2-3 finish at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967 with their 330 P4. Since then, the car has been synonymous with the town on the Florida coast.


Photo credit: 365daytonafan


4.) Beetle/Bug

Real Name: Volkswagen Type 1

Suggested By: Jagvar

Why It's Cool: Originally, this car was called the Type 1 inside Volkswagen, and was initially sold without a specific name at all; it was just "The Volkswagen." Soon though, the German public started calling it Käfer, or German for beetle, and the name stuck. Volkswagen hopped on board and made the name their own, and the car that we all know as the Beetle was born.


Photo credit: owash


3.) Breadvan

Real Name: Ferrari 250 SWB Drogo

Suggested By: AmericanLogger

Why It's Cool: In 1962, Count Giovanni Volpi wanted to buy a brand new 250 GTO from the Ferrari factory. Enzo Ferrari refused to sell the Count a car "on personal grounds," (Volpi had financially backed the engineers that stormed out from under Ferrari to start their own company, ATS) so Count Volpi took one of his 250 Short Wheelbase cars to Giotto Bizzarini and Piero Drogo and built something entirely new and different. The car was completely redesigned: the engine was moved further back and upgraded to GTO spec, the chassis was rebuilt and the whole thing was clothed in a body that was even lower than a GTO's. The Kammback that Drogo fitted to the car gave it its name, and was fast too: the car is supposedly five miles per hour faster than a 250 GTO at Le Hunaudières straight at Le Mans.


Photo credit: exfordy


2.) Yellowbird

Real Name: Ruf CTR

Suggested By: Never_trust_a_Fiat

Why It's Cool: Road & Track bestowed the CTR with its feathery name after a cloudy test day made the paint pop that much more. It's sort of a silly name for a car this intense though: 469 horsepower and 408 pound feet of torque in a car that weighs 2,579 pounds. For a time it was the fastest car in the world, beating out the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 at 211 miles per hour. I'm not going to call it out on it's ridiculous name though, are you?


Photo credit: ducktail964


1.) Jeep

Real Name: Willys/Ford GPW

Suggested By: Jones Foyer

Why It's Cool: The common theory is that the small truck got its name thanks to the letters "GP" painted on its side, meaning General or Government Purpose. According to R. Lee Ermey on his show Mail Call however, this was not the case. These trucks were assigned duties and never referred to as General Purpose vehicles by the soldiers driving them. He says that the name came instead from impressed soldiers who named it after a character from the Popeye comic books: Eugene the Jeep. Eugene was Popeye's mysterious, small, jungle pet and was "able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems," just like the truck.


Photo credit: dayglowill

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