Does your car have a nickname, like Sally or Betty or Bertha? It's not uncommon that the most popular names people give to their cars are often the same ones that we'd also give to our kids, like Betsy, Steve, or the Beast -- OK, maybe not that last one. It's OK. It's in our nature to want to anthropomorphize everything from the cars we drive to our computers, smartphones and any other inanimate object around our home.
Whether you play the name game with your cars or think it's a silly way to go, colloquially we've been calling the models of cars by anything but their given names since the introduction of Henry Ford's Model T -- and probably Karl Benz's one-cylinder two-stroke motor car had a code name back in 1879, too. And there's no sign we'll stop.
From Godzilla to the Beetle, we’re counting down the most memorable car nicknames of all time. See how much you know about the names we've collectively given beloved -- or broken-down -- cars and trucks from Ford to Volkswagen and everything in between.
Which Japanese monster is the Nissan GT-R nicknamed after?
The GT-R may be called "Godzilla," but those letters actually stand for Gran Turismo Racer. In fact, the Japanese referred to the GT-R as "Obakemono," which means "a shape-shifting monster" -- it was in Australia where it gained its monstrous nickname.
Because of its design, which of these luxury cars carries the unfortunate nickname Clown Shoe?
The BMW Z3, the M coupé, has been called a Clown Shoe since it debuted in the late '90s. It was designed with two features that give it its distinct look: it's a "shooting-brake style," which means its rear end is more hatchback than coupé -- and that clamshell hood doesn't help.
Which of these Porsche sports cars is known as the Widowmaker?
Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche 930 Turbo
Porsche 993 GT2
All of these have been called the Widowmaker.
Although the moniker is usually referring to power and handling of the 911 Turbo, the 911 isn't the only Porsche that's been given the nickname. These rear-engined sports cars had lots of power and lots of turbo lag, a combination that led to the Widowmaker warning.
It was the first to be mass-produced on an assembly line. But what was Henry Ford's Model T more commonly known as?
It was called any and all of these things.
The Model T was built by the Ford Motor Company between 1908 and 1927 when it was replaced by the Model A. In addition to being known as the Model T or the T-Model Ford, Henry Ford's first mass-produced and affordable roadster was also commonly known as "Tin Lizzie," "Leaping Lena," and "Flivver" -- the latter meaning it was a small, cheap car.
What nickname is given to the custom-built and well-armored U.S. presidential limousine?
The U.S. presidential limousine is a custom-built Cadillac referred to as "the Beast" by the Secret Service, but it's also known as the more subdued "Cadillac One" (like Air Force One, but on the ground). An identical version rides in the presidential motorcade for safety purposes.
Officially known as the Type 1, what's the common nickname for this Volkswagen?
In Australia, Canada, India, the United Kingdom, and in the United States the Volkswagen Type 1 is better known as the "beetle" or "bug" -- although you'll find it by numerous names, like "turtle," depending on what country you visit.
Famous for its iconic role in the 1977 classic movie, 'Smokey and the Bandit,' what nickname is the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am known by?
The Screaming Chicken
It's been called the Hood bird. The Laughing Phoenix and the Screaming Chicken. The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was at the forefront of the supersized hood graphic revolution, with vehicles like Ford's King Cobras following.
What was the nickname for the luxurious but tough-as-nails SUV, the Lamborghini LM002?
When it began production in 1977 it wasn't nicknamed how we know it -- the Rambo Lambo -- but, as the Cheetah. The Rambo Lambo was applied to the Lamborghini LM002 SUV that was produced from 1986-1993 -- it could go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 118 mph, all while conquering offroad.
Which cheap, plastic-bodied sports car was nicknamed Plastic Fantastic?
Manufactured between 1983 and 1988, the Pontiac Fiero was made with plastic body panels that were not only impervious to rust, they could be swapped for replacements. (Anyone want to make a "Fier-rari" or "Fiero-borghini"? You could.) Under the hood you'd find a 60-degree V6 -- the mightiest engine available in this Plastic Fantastic car.
Which Lotus sports car, probably most famous for its role in 'The Spy Who Loved Me,' has the affectionate nickname Wet Nellie?
Lotus Esprit S1
When it went into production in 1976, the Esprit S1 was a hot commodity. But it may be most famous for its role as a Bond car, in the 1977 James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me," where it featured surface-to-air missiles, a cement sprayer, mines, and torpedoes -- and it was amphibious, able to transform into Wet Nellie.
Which old school Buick model, debuting in the '60s, was nicknamed Deuce and a Quarter?
Buick Electra 225
The Buick Electra is a big car from the '60s and '70s, hitting showroom floors as the "225" in 1961, a name added to represent the now 225-inch length of the car. It's this "225" that earned the car the street name "deuce and a quarter" by owners and enthusiasts.
Which European car brand's 200 series was known as the Brick because of its heft?
Maybe it's because of its safe reputation and tank-like heft -- or that it was as some say, aerodynamic as a bag of bricks, that gave it its nickname. But the design of the 200 series models solidified that reputation.
Which 1968 Steve McQueen film was this Ford Mustang GT 390 fastback nicknamed for?
It was Steve McQueen's character, Detective Frank Bullitt, who drove a dark green '68 Ford Mustang GT 390 fastback in the 1968 film, "Bullitt". The Bullitt Mustang chases a black 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 around San Francisco. In the end, two Mustang GTs were modified to make "Bullitt."
Which car was based on the 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 and nicknamed the Yellow Bird?
Aston Martin Vanquish
Audi 100 Coupé S
Dodge Charger Daytona
Introduced in 1987, the RUF CTR -- which stands for, Group C, Turbo RUF -- was based on the 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2. Also known as the CTR Yellow Bird or just Yellow Bird, because of how it stood out in yellow, you could expect speeds of up to 211 mph from its 450 hp engine.
Which specially built Ferrari was nicknamed the Bread Van because of its low nose and square rear end?
Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder
Ferrari 360 Modena
Ferrari 250 GT California
Ferrari 250 GT SWB
This special Ferrari was designed to compete against the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO at Le Mans and other races. With its long, flat roofline, a pointed nose, and a square back end, some thought it resembled a hearse. Others, a van -- to the French, a "camionnette," while to the English-speakers, a "bread van."
When it debuted in 1990, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 had what nickname?
King of the Hill
The Chevy Corvette ZR-1 was known as the King of the Hill. It got its nickname from how the Corvette and Group Lotus engineers expected it to perform among competing performance cars -- at the end of the day, it didn't look much different than other Corvettes.
When the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL debuted in 1954, its unique doors led to what nickname?
When it debuted at the International Motor Sports Show in New York in February 1954, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was a hit. Its most distinctive feature was a pair of top-hinged, upswinging doors -- and it's this feature that led to its nickname, Gullwing.
It's been called the Grandfather of Muscle Cars, The Great One and a legend. But what animal is the Pontiac GTO traditionally known as?
Built between 1964 and 1974, the Pontiac GTO is often called the Grandfather of Muscle Cars, and often considered the first American muscle car. GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato -- although it was never officially certified Grand Touring, it was one of the fastest Pontiacs ever. So where does Goat come from? No one can remember.
Since it's beginnings as a military off-road vehicle, the Humvee developed what nickname?
Called the HMMWV -- pronounced 'Humvee" -- in the military, an acronym for High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle, " this military off-road vehicle garnered the shorter nickname, Hummer. The name Hummer went on to be licensed by General Motors in 1999.
In English, we use "Mr." as a title before the surname or full name of a male -- whether he's married or not. It's the abbreviation of Mister; and in regard to the MR2, its nickname is the non-abbreviated alternative.
What hot rod inspired the Beach Boys' song and album, "Little Deuce Coupe"?
This iconic hot rod was the inspiration for the Beach Boys and immortalized in the movie, "American Graffiti." The 1932 Ford Coupe is known among hot rod enthusiasts as the Deuce Coupe or simply, Deuce.
Between 1941 and 1945, Willys produced its original go-anywhere MB model, which was nicknamed what?
Today we know Jeep as a brand in its own right. But it didn't start that way -- in fact, it started out as military slang before it because a nickname for Willys' military 4x4 trucks from 1941 to 1945, during World War II.
Among names like Hawk Eye, Blob Eye and Bug Eye, by what nickname do Subaru owners call their cars?
Subaru owners aren't shy when it comes to giving their cars nicknames. From names like Foz (for Forrester) to Rex (for the WRX), it's no surprise that all Subarus are collectively known as Subies -- or Scubies.
The 1954 Lincoln Futura became known as what after its turn with an iconic superhero?
If this customized 1954 Lincoln Futura looks familiar, it's because it starred in the 1966 live action television show, "Batman" starring Adam West -- the model became known as the Batmobile after the car's show appearance.
Which Ford muscle car was dubbed the Terminator during its development?
Ford SVT Mustang Cobra
This muscle car got its nickname as the Terminator from the team of engineers working on it before it was even ready to hit the streets. You may know it as the SVT Mustang Cobra, the SVT Cobra, or simply as Cobra -- but you probably call it the Terminator.
From the Small One to Flea, which cheap economy car, built between 1973 and 2000 in Europe, had more than 10 nicknames?
The Fiat 126, a rear-engined, small economy car, debuted in 1972 at the Turin Auto Show as the intended replacement for the popular Fiat 500. Sold around the world, the 126 has been called everything from the Small One to Cougher to Bambino (the Italian word for child) among others.
What type of engine was in the Plymouth Barracuda, giving it its 'Cuda nickname?
External Combustion Engine
Plymouth began manufacturing the two-door Barracuda in 1964, and the Hemi-powered muscle car became a symbol of '70s America. The big block engine, the 426 Hemi of the Hemi 'Cuda, though, was phased out in 1971.
Which of these nicknames has the Volkswagen Type 2 collected through the years?
All of these nicknames -- and more
Call it the VW Bus, a Hippie-van, Vee-dub or Splitty, the Volkswagen Transporter (the Type 2), has collected many nicknames since it debuted in 1950. Originally, this microbus was going to be named Bully, but ended up being called a Transporter, instead.
Because of the design of its 'nostril'-like air intake, the Ferrari 156 F1 racer went by what nickname?
The Ferrari 156 was an F1 racing car designed to meet the new Formula One regulations in 1961. The racer was affectionately nicknamed Sharknose, due to its air intake "nostrils" -- but it wasn't meant to last. The Sharknose was replaced in 1963.
What nickname was this Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL given at the racetrack due to heaviness and its lack of gracefulness?
The Black Dog
The Blue Pony
The Green Hornet
The Red Pig
Mercedes-Benz 300SEL wasn't the most beautiful car in the world when it finished second overall in the 1971 Spa Francorchamps 24 hours, but then, it didn't have to be. Called the Red Pig, at two tons, it was heavy, but it was fast, with 6834 cc and 420 horsepower.
Which French-built economy car was given nicknames such as the Ugly Duckling and the Flying Dustbin?
Considered the "French Beetle," the Citroën 2CV was produced between 1948 and 1990 but was never officially sold in the U.S. -- although some did make it to American drivers. The Dutch called it the Ugly Duckling, but it was the British who came up with everything from the Flying Dustbin to the Tin Snail.