The Art of Naming Your Car: 5 Steps


Your car is special. Out of the millions that exist, you chose it. That, or it was handed down to you. Maybe you lucked into it. By virtue of its age, not a lot of people have what you have. And anything that special deserves a name.

But what name? How do you name something? Sometimes naming is easy. You got your family a dog in July so you name her that. Other times, finding the right name for something is elusive. You try on a couple and they just don’t stick. When it comes to your classic car, how do you name it?

We have five approaches that will hopefully help you out. You can choose the one that makes the most sense to you, or cobble a few together to produce the perfect name. Or maybe they’ll inspire you to think of a method all your own. Whatever you decide, we hope you’ll have a richer experience by naming your vintage automobile.

How do you name your car? It isn't easy. Click To Tweet

1. Simple, like Apple

This consumer electronics company had a penchant for “i” words, e.g. iMac, iPod, iPhone, etc. However, they have recently switched to something a bit more literal and descriptive, e.g. ApplePay, Apple Watch, etc. Therefore, take something squarely on the nose of your car. If it’s rusty, call it Rusty. If it growls, call it The Growler. You want to think like a 4-year-old. Is it a red car? Call it Red Car.

2. Use a prefix, like a comic book hero/villain

Names can lead to personalities, and personhood can be conveyed through Mr., Mrs., Miss. and Ms. Combined with some of other rules, you can get things like Mr. Glass, Monsieur Villefont, Senator Clinkle, Darius Von Moot, Countess Fire, and other various and sundry combinations. This one, as Don Draper would say, is delicate. But potent.

3. Tighten

As Knight Rider showed us, acronyms can be fun. (Acronyms with wordplay can be even more: Dan Aykronym). Thus the Knight Industries Three Thousand became KITT for short. It’s pithy, to the point, has some meaning to it, and if your car’s name is already unwieldy, can get to the core. Like a beet lemongrass reduction, all that flavor can be distilled into something far more effective than its longer form.

4. Use the Internet

Is your brain all wore out from trying to create something out of the void? A quick Googling of “how to name things” got us to Pun Generator and Uber Suggest within seconds. That’s because the Internet is good at crunching data. Take any random word (Butterscotch, Darla, Socialism) and get back dozens of variations. How do you think “Comcast” was made?

5. Like a scientist

These geeky little spooks with their pocket protectors and clicky pens have made terrifically unique names for everything in existence. Hence a hedgehog is really an Erinaceinae, a daffodil is really a Narcissus and Rick James is really Dave Chappelle. National Geographic has a 6-point process for how scientists name things, and you might find something helpful to yourself in there, particularly if you know different technical aspects about your car.

If you haven't named your classic car yet, you're lucky! Check out our guide for tips. Click To Tweet


Naming your classic vehicle is a rare and wonderful opportunity. We’re almost envious. Let us know on Facebook or Twitter what you named yours and why. If you like this article, please share with someone who would appreciate it, too.

The Art of Naming Your Car: 5 Steps was last modified: March 9th, 2015 by Raleigh Classic Car Auctions

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