A Car By Any Other Name

Durango is a city in nestled in the mountains of southwest Colorado. It is one of several cities which have cars named for them. Dodge chose the name for its versatile sports utility vehicle, to reflect the character, strength, and durability of this city of classic beauty. Also, because the alliteration sounds good.

BUICK LaCrosse
Buick LaCrosse

Of the seven cities we could think of without looking it up, six of them are west of the Mississippi, and the other is ON the Mississippi, that being LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Buick named one of their newer and more expensive sedans after LaCrosse, because it sounds classy and because a lot of old people live in LaCrosse.

Cities in the Southwest seemed to be popular for which cars are named. Two are in Arizona; Hyundai’s Tucson and Sedona. New Mexico’s Santa Fe is Hyundai’s’ larger version of the Tucson SUV – even though Santa Fe is a smaller city than Tucson. Two west coast cities have cars named for them: Tacoma, Washington and Malibu, California. Tacoma’s a small truck, Malibu a mid-sized Chevy.

We tried to think of any cars named for cities farther east than LaCrosse, and all we came up with was the now defunct Chrysler New Yorker. It seems there is some sort of prejudicial automotive nomenclature going on here. But, when you think of it, it is hard to think of cities in the East that would sound good as car names. Imagine parking a Mazda Milwaukee in your driveway, or pulling up to a stop light in a Ford Flint.

I’ve often thought a dream job would be thinking up the colors of cars – sparkling graphite, moondust gold, sierra dream red, etc. I think it would also be fun to think up the car names. Let’s try it, with eastern U.S. cities. I’ll name a few. The Cadillac Cleveland, The Toyota Tampa, The Ford Miami, The Nissan Newark. Alliterations aside, how about the Chevrolet Bloomington or the Acura Charleston? Hmm. . .all a bit bland.

I’m starting to think cities west of the Mississippi sound best for car names. Although there could be some notable exceptions. Imagine driving a Toyota Tombstone, a Chevy Walla Walla, or a Kia Lincoln. “Hey, Honey, isn’t that a Lincoln in the O’Neal’s driveway? Charlie must have gotten demoted.”

3 responses to A Car By Any Other Name

  1. National RentACar gave us a new Buick La Crosse to drive on our recent trip to see our new grandson. We flew to Westchester County Airport in White Plains NY, the airport closest to our destination in Connecticut. I’m a member of the National Emerald Club, their loyalty organization, so I had my choice of six “premium” autos to rent. I said “I’ll take the La Crosse. I have a Buick at home, and I’m from Wisconsin.” The nice lady at the counter gave me a quizzical look, so I appended “La Crosse is in Wisconsin.” Now her look got even more puzzling. I said “La Crosse. It’s a city on the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin.” She paused a beat, and said “well, the only La Crosse I know about is in slot 80 in our lot here. Just turn left when you exit the terminal and walk about 500 feet and your car will be there. Just give the man these papers and you’re good to go.”

    I’m pretty sure the counter lady thought I was making it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cactuskidaz says:

    Let us not forget the Sebring., not for the small Ohio town but for the raceway on the East coast.

    Like

  3. Dave Coopman says:

    At least names are used. Totally confusing is when numbers/letters only take the place of names… Cadillac X6 vs. DeVille or Eldorado, or Lincoln MKZ vs. Town Car or Continental (although that one is coming back). Even worse is BMW 2, 3, 5, and 7. I guess I’d like to see a return to names like Grand Prix, Impala, Galaxie, Bonneville, Calais, Montclair, Nomad, Royal Lancer, etc. Just call me old.

    Liked by 1 person

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