Lots of cars are named after animals. The Ford Mustang and Bronco, of course, but there are plenty more. There’s the Chevy Impala, the Volkswagen Beetle, Rabbit, and Fox. Hell, there’s even the AMC Marlin.
I like all of these. In fact, I tend to like most cars named after animals, or weather features, or anything that isn’t a combination of numbers and letters. Cars should have personalities and the names they get from the factory can play a big role in building them.
But some models aren’t lucky enough to get a good animal name like Cougar or Barracuda. They have to make do with less. A lot less. Take the Ford Super Gnat concept car from 1981, for example. Looking like a lot like a shortened F0x-body Mustang hatch, the Super Gnat was supposed to be a vision of a small car that could fit full-sized Americans inside. The name certainly let us all know that the car was small, but is there anything else attractive about gnats at all? The tiny flies are a massive nuisance, even if they usually don’t bite.
Apparently someone at Ford thought that the name had enough value to slap on the concept. While the general idea of the Super Gnat doesn’t seem all that attractive now, especially now that we have small cars that are fun, flexible, and better-named, I’m sure that the name didn’t help either. Maybe that’s why we never saw a production model, even under another name.
I know the Super Gnat isn’t the only car to receive a less-than-ideal animal name. I already have a few in mind. Trucks too (Leyland Llama anyone?). I’m sure all of you can remember some poorly named models that got put out. So help us find the absolute worst ones in the comments below, and don’t forget some pictures!