When a car connects with the public, it earns a nickname that reflects on its speed, demeanor or sheer dominance. Mention any one of these to a true petrolhead, and he will know exactly what you are talking about. Simply because true nicknames are earned, not given.
Welcome to TopCars TV, and get ready for the top 10 cars with the coolest nicknames. Let’s go.
No 10 - Red Pig: Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.8
Back in the day, some deranged Germans at AMG had a cool idea – Dude! Let’s strip down that Mercedes 300SEL, bore the engine out from 6.3 to 6.8 liters, paint it red, take it racing and let’s see what happens. It sounds like a dumbest idea ever, because when was the last time you saw an S-Class with the racing stripes on it?
What actually happened was quite extraordinary because its huge engine meant huge speed which made it finish 2nd at Spa 24 hours race. However, due to its immense size and weight, it was gulping fuel and chewing through the tires like some pig. A Big Red Pig.
No 9 - Yellowbird: RUF CTR
The way RUF CTR got its nickname was somewhat unceremonious. Photographers of Road and Track magazine noted its striking yellow paint against the dreary gray clouds… it looked like a Yellowbird.
But the reason why the name stuck, is quite something else. You see, at the photo shooting, there were 7 other super fast cars of the time, including the Porsche 959, and the deal was to find out which one is the fastest car in the World. Yellowbird easily outclassed them all, 0-60 time, 0-100, top speed, everything.
The World took notice, the name stuck, and one unknown car whose turbos sang like canaries turned into a legend.
No 8 - Daytona: Ferrari 365 GTB/4
Depending on which side of the pond you live, the magical word Daytona could mean two different things: a famous Florida racetrack, or the grandest of the grand tourers: Ferrari 365 GTB4. Coincidentally, it did get that nickname for that same track, where Ferrari achieved a 1-2-3 victory at 24 hours Daytona race in 1967, beating Ford GT40s on their home turf. Just one year after Ford humiliated them with a 1-2-3 at Le Mans 24 hours.
In commemoration of returning the favor, media applied the name to then best Ferrari ever made, our 365 GTB4. A car that’s as grand, as beautiful, and as sweet as revenge. Deal with it!
No 7 - Jeep: Ford GPW / Willys MB
Jeep is a nickname? Yes it is, because the original one was simply a reconnaissance army vehicle, built by Willys and Ford. The latter one had GPW letters stamped on it, and that’s where most people believe the name came from: slurring those letters. But it’s NOT SO, MAGGOT! Instead, soldiers were so impressed by its abilities they actually named it after Eugene the Jeep, Popeye’s supernatural pet, who just like the vehicle, was small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems.
After the WWII, jeep remained a general term for any rough terrain vehicle, but Willys turned it into a brand name and continued production for civilians.
No 6 - Turbo Brick: 80-90s Turbocharged Volvos
Volvos were always a byword for safety, no-nonsense bluff design, huge trunks and things like… Beige. Geography teacher. Slow.
But it all changed in the early 80s when Volvo slapped the word ‘Turbo’ on it and made it blistering fast. There was just something so irresistibly cool about blowing past most of the performance cars in these ultimate sleepers while hauling a fully assembled IKEA bed in the trunk. Who would have thought that a car with an aerodynamic coefficient of a brick could go so fast, but it did. Even on a race track!
What Volvo gave us at last, was an irrational and stupid reason to buy one. And THAT IS why we all love cars.
No 5 - Hammer: Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG
Like the name says, this German hot-rod is nothing but a blunt tool made to flatten everything in its path.
Tze Hammer was actually the fastest four door saloon of the time and one of the very few cars at all that could go over 300 km/h. But even better than that was the Coupe version with a bigger 6 liter engine and a meaner wide body kit. All dressed in black, inside out – including the hood ornament.
Its V8 burble coupled with those looks oozed a menacing attitude few other cars can match. It was because of this car that Mercedes signed an exclusive deal with AMG to be their official in-house tuner.
No 4 - The Beast: Cadillac Presidential Limousine
If you’re the most powerful person in the world, you are not chauffeured around in simply anything; someone might shoot at you. America knows that so it purpose-built this Cadillac Presidential Limousine. Well, it says it’s Cadillac, and it looks like one, but it is based on Chevrolet’s Kodiak.
Add to that an 8in armor plating, 5in layered windows, Kevlar reinforced run-flat tires, foam protected gas tank, air insulated interior, an arsenal of weapons ranging from shotguns to grenade launchers… and you got yourself one indestructible tank my friend, in a tuxedo. It may be slow, but once it gets going, nothing will stop The Beast!
No 3 - Terminator: 2003 Mustang Cobra
In 2003, Ford built the first supercharged Mustang, unofficially dubbed The Terminator by the development team. It was also the first supercharged muscle car out of Detroit.
With its obscene 390 horsepower figure for its time, it singlehandedly started a muscle car power wars which is still raging to this day. But it wasn’t just a straight line bullet. With an independent suspension all around it meant that it could go left and right as well.
In many ways, it was an insanity project just like the Dodge Hellcat. But with no Mustang to challenge it today, it might be a perfect time for the Terminator to be bakk!
No 2 - Widowmaker: Porsche 911 Turbo
Early 911s were notoriously difficult to handle because of all that engine weight hanging behind the rear wheels. Once that pendulum starts swinging, you will need superhuman abilities to get it straight again. Add a primitive turbocharging technology to the mix, and you get the Widowmaker.
The main problem was a huge turbo lag, which would keep you vulnerable to a sneaky but violent surge of power just a moment later.
If you were in the corner when it hits you, you'd make a donut shaped car around the tree, but if you manage to handle it and surf the boost, you will be screaming form the top of your lungs from all the excitement and excrement.
No 1 - Godzilla - Skyline R32/R35 GTR
When you are crushing everything in front of you with unstoppable force you are either Godzilla the monster, or Godzilla the Nissan GTR. Because that’s what happened 1992, when Nissan decided to put some science and computers into their racing, four-wheel drive, 600 horsepower, Skyline R32. It won all 29 races on the calendar in Japan, then demolished at Spa 24 Hour, then decimated the Australian continent. It was a monster!
25 years later Nissan did it again, with the GTR R35, but this time on the public roads. It terrorized Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, and everything else that dared to stand in its way. It’s a new but the same monster – Godzilla.
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