From the Great Wall Wingle to the Gaylord Gladiator: Here Are The Five Worst Car Names Ever
The world is full of cars with awful names. It feels like excellent car names are rare. Recently, Donut Media compiled the five worst car names of all time. Some classic cars, like the Subaru Touring Bruce were only sold in foreign markets. Others, like the Dodge Scat Pack, are so ubiquitous that we forget how absurd they are. Here are the top–er bottom–five.
5. Great Wall Wingle
The China-based Great Wall company has some real doozies. We already covered the King Kong Cannon, the pickup with the best name ever. Well sadly, Great Wall also coined one of the worst. The Chinese Wingle truck is sold globally but not in the U.S. Strangest of all, Donut Media could not get a straight answer as to why this truck’s called the Wingle. Great Wall seems to flip-flop between Wingle being the Chinese word for horse and Wingle being a combination of the English words wind and eagle. Despite the ambiguity, the Wingle nameplate has lasted through seven generations of the tuck.
4. Gaylord Gladiator
The Gaylord Gladiator was supposed to be an all-new, bespoke supercar. But by the 1960s, the company folded. The story behind how the Gaylord Gladiator got its NSFW name is an incredible story. James and Edward Goldberg were heirs to an American bobby pin manufacturing empire. They were also motorheads and street racers. When their father died, their mother insisted on renaming the family the Gaylords because she thought it sounded aristocratic. Then, when the brothers decided to found an automotive company, they took a sword as their marque and named their first prototype the Gladiator. It was actually an incredibly fast, lightweight, and luxurious car for its day. But for some reason, their company could never get off the ground.
3. Dodge Scat Pack
The Dodge Scat Pack badge has been around since 1968. The trim level–and its cartoon bumble bee logo–are so much a part of muscle car lore, we rarely stop to think about how ridiculous they are. In 1968, every Dodge capable of running a 1/4-mile in under 14 seconds wore this badge. The company claims it’s a play on words inspired by Frank Sinatra’s “rat pack.” Furthermore, the word “scat” is supposed to be reminiscent of jazz singing or “get outta here”–not its ruder definition. Combined with the cartoon bumblebee, it honestly feels like Don Draper had one too many martinis at lunch and phoned this one in. Even more ridiculous, Dodge resurrected the unappetizing name and badge for all modern Challengers and Chargers powered by its 6.4-liter HEMI.
2. Subaru Touring Bruce
The Subaru Touring Bruce may be one of those ideas so awful that it’s actually awesome. Here’s the story: Subaru hired Bruce Willis to shoot a commercial back in 1991. They decided to use his handsome face to sell the 1993 Legacy Touring, in the Japanese market. In one strange bit, he drives a RHD Japanese Subaru Legacy along a California road, then onto a beach. On the beach, he hops out of the car and uses his jacket to shoo away a flock of seagulls. In another, he runs away from police sirens in a trench coat, then escapes in the Legacy. Amazingly, these ads were shot in English; perhaps the Japanese audience didn’t know or care what the plot was. But they must have been a success because Subaru decided to build a special edition 1993 Legacy: the Subaru Touring Bruce. He is still shooting ads for the company today. Yippee-Ki-Yay!
1. A Tie: Renault Le Car and Ferrari La Ferrari
Sometimes, learning a foreign language can be disappointing. You may have peppered your English with supposedly exotic words, only to find out how mundane they are. Rio Grande sounds fun and foreign until you learn it’s just Spanish for “big river.” Dropping Baguette in a sentence may make you feel refined and culinary until you learn it’s just French for stick. Do you know what the other French word for the stick is? La Crosse. Perhaps the marketing teams behind Renault’s Le Car and Ferrari’s La Ferrari thought dumb Americans would think they sounded exotic. But of course, they just mean “the car” and “the Ferrari.” At least every other name on this list seemed like a good idea to someone, at some point. But Le Car and La Ferrari are just la-zy.