After doing enough digging for an off-the-beaten-path topic to write about cars, I’ve come across everything from driver safety tips on down to a list of vehicles named after animals. And it’s the last one idea that led me to write about some of the most well-known (and relatively obscure) cars and trucks named after a country, city or even better, a planet.
On top of that, I’ll give a little bio on when they were introduced to the masses, whether they were discontinued or “slightly modified” to something else. You know, like how a Cobalt became the Cruze. Has a much crisper sound to it, I guess.
So, here’s a handful of cars named after some of our most popular destinations… except for outer space, unless you’ve been witness to it and then, well, you’re lucky.
1. Chevrolet Tahoe: Before the name change in 1995 from its original moniker as the Chevy Blazer, this full-size SUV shares the same alias as a lively lake/ski resort in California. And with the right car accessories, you can make the Tahoe car just as swanky as the city.
2. Maserati Indy: This one’s an oldie, but a goodie. As a homage to the great race held over Memorial Day, this Maserati model had a brief lifespan from 1969 to 1975.
3. Chevrolet Malibu: One of the most notable cars in the Chevrolet lineup, this mainstay in the hearts of many in the U.S. and other regions outside have related to the warm, fuzzy feelings of the beach town it’s named for. Until the late 70’s, this model was known as the Chevelle… not a state, but the name was catchy enough anyways.
4. Ferrari California: Back in the mid to late 1950’s, the Ferrari 250 GT was nicknamed California, and it wasn’t until around 2008 that this super high-performance vehicle was permanently bestowed the moniker of this sunny, coastal and free-spirited state.
5. Hyundai Santa Fe & Tucson: I figured I lump these two into each other and point out that Hyundai apparently loved the great Southwest so much it went ahead and appointed these states as much.
6. Chevrolet Bel Air: Noticing a trend with Chevrolet, yet? Well that’s because California cities have received a lot of attention with current, and past, models. The Bel Air had a great body design that leaned more towards the “boaty” cars than current, more aerodynamic models. And it had a great run of about 25 years of production up until 1975. I’m sure if you look hard enough in auctions or the classifieds, you’ll find some collectors who still appreciate their design.
7. Mercury Milan: I’ve always loved the sound of this one, mostly because I want to visit Italy (it’s a bucket list sort of thing). Anyways, this car shared similar build to the Crown Victoria… but a little more slick in the aerodynamics and power. While it only had a shelf life for a little over 6 years, it was still a notable one nonetheless.
8. Chevrolet Vega: Now there’s a little variety. Taking a break from the states and cities, Chevrolet had a subcompact car named after the constellations. One of the brightest stars in the constellation Lyra, to be exact. This model could be found on roadways between 1971-1977.
And while there’s a few more I could throw up here, it’s better I leave it a little more condensed to some of my favorites. So now that you’ve seen this list, what are some other funny, unique monikers of cars?