Describing a car seems to be an easy thing to do. It's a mechanical machine which works with a clutch, brakes, wheels, engines and others elements. Can we really describe a car with only technical elements? Our cars are like our friends or our boyfriends/girlfriends. We drive them loving them during a few years. We live some magical meetings and moments inside. How many couples spend their time together in a car. How many children learn to drive the cars of their parents? Sometimes, babies were born in cars before driving them!
From the differences of the gender in languages to the personification.
When I want to write the word "car", I'm not sure to use it correctly. I mean I'm French. In my native tongue we said "une voiture" (a car) or "la voiture" (the car). It's the same thing with car's synonym "une automobile" (an automobile) or "l'automobile" (the automobile). Can I use her or him about the car? I campare it to another difference with the word "ship" ("un navire"). We use "her" to describe a ship in English. The ships are ladies who sail on the rivers, the seas and the oceans of our blue planet. Every ship has a name and a class. Do you know the class Olympic included the RMS Titanic? The first ship built was the Olympic (1909-1936), the second was the Titanic (1909-1912) and the last one was the Britannic (1911-1916). Like children, the are christened and have godfathers/godmothers. Unlike, it wasn't the case for the class Olympic contrary to the "Greyhounds" or the "Queens" of the Cunard Line.
The Olympic (on the left) and her youngest sister-ship, the Titanic (on the right) in 1912.
I continue with the nicknames. Do you know the first British gigantic and powerful ships in 1907 were named the "greyhounds of the sea". The Lusitania (1907-1915), the Mauretania (1907-1937) and the Aquitania (1914-1950) became symbols of the British maritime supremacy. The Olympic was also called "The Old reliable". She survived to her two sister-ships and the WW1. The Titanic sank after colliding an iceberg whereas the Britannic sank after touching a mine in the Aegan sea in 1916. On the contrary the Olympic sank a german U-boot, saved auxiliary cruiser's crew, the HMS Audacious and carried on thousands soldiers from Canada to Europe. She's the only to have a long career with heavy dammages. It's the nearly same history for the Mauretania, Olympic's rival.
Real names for some cars : an efficient strategy for car makers.
Hi, my name is Mégane. I have an electric sister, Zoe! (Renault.fr)
Why I wanted to mention some maritime customs? Our cars don't have a same the treatment than the ships. We don't give a special name to each car produced and assembled in the factories. Every Mini Cooper S or Countryman have a number but not a personnal name. The Bugatti Chiron is a model and not a single car to have a name of a Greek hero. Chiron was Hercules' teacher. He was killed by his pupil later. The car brand's names come from their founders. André Citroen, Louis Renault, Armand Peugeot or Carl Benz give their name to their entreprises.
But why some cars have real names like Mégane, Zoe or Aurelia? The Renault Megane is very popular in France since the 1990s. Then Renault announced the release of a new electric car named Zoe. French people don't understand why a real name was chosen. One of the explanations was the tribute to the French nuclear battery named "Zoe". Imagine your child have the same first name and the last same name. How do you react about that? The Renault Mégane represents the perfect SUV for your family whereas the Renault Zoe is the future. Maybe Renault wanted to translate these spirits choosing these names.
Tintin and the Captain Haddock inside a Lancia Aurelia B20. (Pinterest).
The Lancia Aurelia, a model released between 1950 and 1958, symbolizes the Italian automotive legacy. Six models wore that name which was taken from the Aurelian Way (Via Aurelia) between Pisa and Roma. I was amazed to discover that when I made some researches for that article. There were some models which became famous classic cars. The Lancia Aurelia Spider B24 and the Lancia Aurelia Convertible made the happiness of people in the 1950s and the popular movies and cartoons. Vittorio Jano and Paolo Pininfarina worked on the B24 founding a legend around those cars. Like the Lancia Aurelia, the Lancia Ardea (1939-1953), the Lancia Appia (1953-1963) and the Lancia Flaminia (1957-1970) were named after the Roman roads (Via Ardeatina, Via Appia and Via Flaminia). Those roads were the first Roman highways.
The cars named after automotive heroes.
Some cars are named after some motoring engineers and racers as John Cooper (Mini) and Pierre Veyron (Bugatti) who left their names in the history of the motorsport. Do you remember our trio was impressed by the Bugatti Veyron in Top Gear? James May was a concentrated child driving that French automotive monster. Pierre Veyron would have been proud of a car like. He won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 and conceived models for Ettore Bugatti and his son Jean.
John Cooper was a racer too. He introduced the Mini in the motorsport races improving some elements. As a maker car, he knew the importance to create daily models and sportive models. After his death in 2000, his son, Michael founded the brand John Cooper Works which was included in the BMW's consortium in 2007. New models of the MINI Cooper S are still produced in Oxford. MINI plays on that legacy to develop a spirit around the successes of the Mini in the races in Monte Carlo, Monaco or Le Mans. In a few words, Pierre Veyron and John Cooper became legends and lifestyles.
Have you go some theories or some names of cars I've forgotten? What do you think the cars should have real names and not invented names? Share, bump and comment below or in my chat #the-transportation-world.