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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

Posted October 09, 2017 10:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto Discussion nickname

A buddy and I cruised up Interstate 17 one evening recently, a comfortable distance north of the legal speed limit. He asked: “So, does it have a name yet?” He referred to the car we were hurtling forth in, my new (to me) ’90 Nissan Skyline GT-R. So, I said, “Yes, my car has a name.”

I call it Skyline.

I’ve never seen the need to name cars, particularly my own: Cars are born with names, even if they’re sad manufacturer-assigned alphanumeric combinations that barely pass as identifiers. I took the PBS-shown reruns of Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner a little too seriously in my early driving years to randomly assign a name to something that already has a name. My Skyline has a name. Nissan called it Skyline GT-R, and that’s good enough for me.

But while the Skyline is still Skyline, in my house anyway, it has its own ready-to-roll, societally accepted nickname: Godzilla, a term coined by the Australian press to describe the GT-R’s road-racing dominance in the early 1990s. It has since been expanded to any R32-and-later GT-R, but the racing R32s are the genesis of Skyline-as-Godzilla.

Car nicknames: a nuisance or a novelty?

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#1

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/09/2017 11:45 AM
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#2
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/09/2017 1:37 PM

same here... the reruns are running yet.

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#25
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/17/2017 12:16 PM

Yeah, but the reruns just remind me that the show is no longer getting new episodes.

Click:"And remember, don't drive like my brother." Clack:"Or my brother."

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#26
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/17/2017 12:20 PM

The Tappett brothers. good stuff. They can nearly always get a laugh out of me, at least a chortle.

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#3

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 1:01 AM

I don't work on cars much any more. But when I did, I named almost all my cars many times over the years.

All starting with "You" and then usually continuing with multiple names, none of which are suitable for publication here. Sometimes the naming was accompanied by the melodic tones of a Craftsman wrench skipping across the driveway and into the street.

I usually had a derogatory name for the SOB who would design something that the entire rest of the car was assembled around. And which could ONLY be removed by special tool # 45T64397W51798, which was on back-order at the dealers.

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#5
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 11:27 AM

I often had similar names for cars too, but my name's were often less derogatory in nature, due to the fact that when I really needed the car to get me where I needed to be, the car got me there come hell or high water.

I often felt that that assemblage of nuts,bolts and various other pieces had a soul of some sorts, how it could feel if the caretaker gave it the love it required. My friends cars always seemed to break down more often than mine and while they spent considerable time prepping their cars, motions under the hood were often peppered with yelling and cursing, wrenches flying about and the generation of vast quantities of steam being expelled under high pressure.

My friends often asked me to look at their cars, when they had, " had enough ". I would stand back, look the beast firmly in the face and quietly introduce myself, from that point on, me and their cars were best buddies, much to their chagrin.

I often felt, after making contact, with the brute, that there was a sort of silent animosity bestowed upon me, never the less, I proceeded in a logical order, taking breaks from time to time for a quick smoke or to take a sip from an ice cold beer.

I usually redirected any hostility from the car towards the engineers that had designed the thing, often wondering aloud why, if the the car was so smooth on the outside, why underneath it's shiny skin, the metal armor was often sharper than a surgeons scalpel.

Soon I was able to get their puppy up and running, ready for them again to terrorize the local masses, as if they were running the Indy 500.

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#7
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 12:45 PM

I guess I won't quit my day job to become a comedian.

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#9
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 1:07 PM

Some of these parts replacement procedures are insane.

I had a 1968 (?) Jeep Wagoneer, and to replace the burned out instrument lights I had to remove the windshield! The screws to remove the dash and access the instrument cluster were in the windshield track. Not kidding. Who thought THAT was a good idea?

I bought a flashlight, kept in the vehicle to illuminate the gauges.

My current daily driver is a GMC Suburban, renamed Bourbon (an ironic coincidence).

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#10
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 1:48 PM

The only time I changed the oil in my Ford F-150 I discovered that the oil filter would not come out from under the truck unless the steering was turned all the way to the right, or left I don't remember because I've never done it again.

Since I hadn't drained the oil, I screwed the filter back on started it and turned the wheel.

I'm sure we could all tell stories. New thread anyone?

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#15
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/11/2017 4:05 AM

Remember that your car is a 1968 Jeep. The lifespan of the car was most likely equivalent to one windshield life. So, if the car died within one windshield life, then there was no use in using better bulbs in the dashboard, or having better circuitry.

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#14
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/11/2017 3:41 AM

That brings back not so fond memories for me. A slipped wrench, skinned knuckles, the 9/16 Craftsman combination wrench flying out from under the car with some demonistic sounds emanating from under the car!

I remember those days like they were yesterday, though it's been a long time.

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#17
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/11/2017 2:20 PM

Wow! Our cars had the same doggone name! That is just freaky!

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#4

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 7:06 AM

Cars not really, growing up on the farm, we did have names for some of our Tractors, a 8N ford was referred to as Henry...

As far as the cars are concerned... didn't really have a name for them. but I would refer to them as a person.

When my significant other and myself were going out, I'll refer to my significant other and my 911 that I'm taking the girls out tonight.

If I'm maintaining my vehicles, it doesn't matter if its the Porsche, Buick or what ever my wheels are at the time and am having trouble with lets say a Alternator bolt whether its stubborn or inaccessible, I would only question either why I still have it, or why didn't I have someone else do it.

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#8
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 1:04 PM

I call my DeLorean "Ole' Deloris", my Porsche " the nine one-one", my Hummer is simply "BJ"

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#11
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 2:29 PM

Yes, I also refer to my 911 as 911,... but that's it its given name so it doesn't count.

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#6

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 12:40 PM

The Naming of cars. A practice somewhat more common than most would believe.

For our household, the car first has to let us know if its male or female. This can take some time to see how the car performs. Once gender is determined it is time to evaluate the name. Some times the car already has an appropriate name. For instance, our 1967 GT350 is simply called The Cobra. (female, very flashy, High maintenance, tempermental) Our 87 CSX is called The Shelby. (male, loud and loves to race) Our Town and Country is called Moby. (male, its White, go figure) and our Dodge Caliber is named Autumn (female, low maintenance, loves road trips) as it is a very bright metallic orange. My old beater Shadow was Lil Blue (male, preferred being ignored) Gone to the junker with its friend the indestructible Ford Escort Wagon, Flivver, (male, cranky with no heater) which we sent off because I was tired of looking at it.

For the most part, everyone I knew in Florida named their car.

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#18
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/11/2017 2:27 PM

Cars are all females, for the devil is in them, and they never can be easy (to quote an Irish folk tune).

Pickup trucks should be given dog names - since they work for kibble and bit.

Trucks that do not run all the way to where you were going, most definitely are named SOB. (That's short for sonofabetyouthoughtIwouldsayit).

Motorcycles are too cool to have names- other than "mine".

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#23
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/16/2017 3:37 PM

Mush a - ree dumma do dumma da!

I have never found it necessary to name things I own. My ex-girlfriend Tammy however, had names for everything she owned. Her forest green Mazda 626 was "Chatsworth", and her white Miata convertible was "Tick Tack." Her electric lawn edger was... "Eddie." I can't for the life of me remember what she called her riding lawnmower.

Thanks for the song ref!

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#24
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/16/2017 4:12 PM

Yeah, Whiskey in the Jar is my favorite, I don't care who is playing it at the time!

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#12

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/10/2017 3:25 PM

One gal named her car "Brad".

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#20
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/12/2017 1:49 PM

Wifey and I both disenjoy (hate is a strong word) that commercial, and we wouldn't the "happy dance" to cease, now would we?

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#13

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/11/2017 3:36 AM

Most times. we call our vehicles by the color, except for the trucks.

The Blue Car, The Red Car, The Black Car, The Silver Car, etc. The big truck is called The Truck and the two smaller trucks are called "My Truck".

We currently have two blue colored cars, so what do we call them? One is called The Blue Car and the other is called the Boxster. We also have two silver colored cars. One is called The Silver Car and the other is called The Little Convertible.

When I had my 911, it was called The Race Car or once in a while it was The Gray Car!

Yes, we're pretty boring when we name our cars.

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#16

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/11/2017 5:05 AM

The paperwork for my current vehicle is filed under "Magic Carpet".

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#19

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/12/2017 10:22 AM

I had a Yugo that I named POS.

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#21
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Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/13/2017 12:56 AM

You were being generous!

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#22

Re: Your Car Already Came With a Name – Does It Need Another?

10/13/2017 9:11 AM

My old grey Chevy Silverado, she's a bit too dark of a horse to be called Traveler, and I would have to hide her from BLM, and ANTIFA, but I am also short of the correct wardrobe:

  1. grey cavalry field hat
  2. grey field coat (with stars)
  3. grey uniform
  4. long boots
  5. saber
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