Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 10 Automotive Names

In today's automotive market, you might have noticed the ever-growing quantity of uninspired car names. You can buy a CTS, a Z4, an M6, an A8, a 328i or an E 500 AMG. All this alpha-numerical rubbish makes me long for the automotive names of the past. Take, for example, Firebird, or Torino. Those names suggest performance and style. G35 sounds like a movie rating or a microwave oven. So, to honor the great names of the past, let's take a look at my personal favorites in a Top 10 countdown.

10. Aston Martin Vanquish

The Aston Martin Vanquish was a V12-powered speed machine capable of eliminating lesser vehicles completely. James Bond drove one in Die Another Day. Such a vehicle needed a bold title to proclaim its abilities. "Vanquish" certainly meets those qualifications.

9. Lamborghini Diablo

  Diablo is Spanish for "devil", and what better way to describe Lamborghini's successor to the Countach than as a devil? The Diablo was lightning fast, super light, and utterly gorgeous. However, in true Lamborghini fashion, the car was also aggressive and wild. The name couldn't match up better.

8. Dodge Viper

The Dodge Viper is a beautiful, curvaceous machine. But underneath, it's all performance, not unlike a real viper, which is slithery and eye-catching, but not to be messed with. The new Viper, officially badged as an SRT instead of a Dodge, looks poised to strike when it hits showroom floors soon.

7. Ford Bronco

The Ford Bronco is small next to some off-road machines, but it packs a serious punch. Combining stylish looks with untamed performance helped make this Ford a strong competitor against its 4x4 rivals.

6. Bugatti Veyron

It's mind-bogglingly fast, eye-meltingly exotic, and it costs more than a private island. The engine produces 1001 horsepower, more than enough to propel you to its 200+ mph top speed. It's reserved for the wealthy and famous, and is unlike any car ever built. What is it called? Veyron.

5. Rolls-Royce Phantom

You don't drive a Rolls-Royce, you're driven in one. Very few individuals get the chance to enjoy all that a Rolls-Royce has to offer. It's often considered the ultimate in luxury, to the point that it's become a unit of measurement. The "Rolls-Royce of wristwatches", for example. The Phantom gets extra credit for having an incredibly imposing name.

4. Mercury Marauder

Mercury is rarely associated with muscle cars, but the 1969 Marauder offered premium luxury and American horsepower in one car. And what a good looking car it is. Hidden headlights and magnum wheels are a stunning combo. The name, Marauder, is icing on the cake. It just oozes power and style.

3. Shelby Cobra

Carroll Shelby came up with the name "Cobra" in a dream. Now, years later, it's still a dream car for many people. The fabulous British sports car design is killer as-is, but the souped-up American 427 under the hood takes the Cobra to the next level. Mr. Shelby passed on just months ago, but his creations, the Cobra especially, will live on for eternity.

2. Ford Raptor

The big American super-truck may not be as incredible as the other cars on this list, but the name is practically unbeatable. I mean, come on. Say it out loud a couple of times. The big blue beast is actually a pretty sweet ride. A 6.2 liter V8 provides plenty of horsepower, and the big wheels and lift kit make it nearly unstoppable. Say it with me now: Raptor.

1. Jensen Interceptor

The Jensen Interceptor is an iconic British sports car that has acquired a successful fanbase over the years. It's good-looking, sporty, and unique. But the name really puts it over the top. Interceptor just screams power, strength, and looks. The Jensen does meet those qualifications, but to be honest, when I think of "Interceptor", this isn't the car that comes to mind.

Now THIS is an Interceptor. The custom 1973 Ford Falcon XB used by Max Rockatansky in Mad Max and The Road Warrior. It's powerful, ominous, and mean. It's also first place.

And that concludes this Top 10 post. Keep in mind, these aren't the only cool automotive names out there. I had to narrow down a list of roughly 30 names into the ten you see above. If you think I missed a name, or you want to make suggestions for future posts, comment below! And, as always, stay tuned for more posts.

A Quick Refresh

You might have noticed that the site has a new appearance. I've made some subtle changes, such as a more user-friendly archive and a change of colors. Other than that, it's still the same site. There'll be many more posts to come in the near future, so keep your eyes open.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Two Times The Two-Tone

Walking around the peaceful suburbs of Houston often offers up some interesting machines. Recently I came upon these two colorful classics.

Despite having no roof and only one door, this mid-70s Volkswagen Thing was rocking the two-tone paint scheme.

This 1959 Willys Wagon lends itself to a two-tone paint job. This is the kind of vehicle that can serve as a daily driver as well as a weekend show car.