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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday 5/6

Nice Wheels

Variety is the spice of life, right?  Normally, I would completely agree, but today’s post makes two in a row on a subject involving motor vehicles.  Car buffs, wipe that drool from your lip.  Everyone else, sit tight.  (I was gonna say ‘buckle up,’ but I changed my mind.)  Not to worry, I’m not scraping the bottom of the barrel for articles, I just draw inspiration from every day life.  (And what can I say, I drive every day.)  So let me begin with this:

“What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

I know what you might be thinking.  What does Shakespeare have to do with cars?  Well, not much.  I think Juliet just has a nice way with words.  Well, mash ‘em together and you get, “What’s in a car’s name?”  Ok, now we’re talking.  So…

How does a car company sell one of its own?  Well, style would be nice.  Comfort.  Reliability.  Speed, for some.  Cup holders.  You know, the standards.  How about a good name, like Corvette!  Or Lamborghini Diablo!  A good name definitely stands the test of time.  The opposite is true, as well.  One sure fire way to kill a product is to slap a terrible name on it.  I saw this winner driving down the road recently.  Behold!  The Ford Probe!

Go ahead.  Get all the probe jokes out of your system.  I’ll wait.

This car was doomed from the start!  The salesmen at all of the Ford dealerships at the time had to introduce, tongue-in-cheek, their new lines of Probes to their unwitting buyers.  And to top it off, you can buy it in Refrigerator White!  You know, someone with lots of money in a huge corner office with an exotic wood desk and a plush leather chair had to sign the dotted line commissioning the Ford Probe into production.  DID HE (or maybe she) MISS THE PART WHERE IT SAID THE CAR WAS TO BE NAMED ‘PROBE’?  The reason we have history books is so that we don’t repeat our greatest mistakes.  And there are plenty to learn from, too!  Subaru’s BRAT: Failure!  AMC’s Gremlin: Flop (and ugly, to boot)!  Renault’s LeCar: Tell me something I don’t know. 

If there’s anything you can take from this, it’s this advice.  Don’t buy a car named after a medical instrument.  Especially one that goes there.

By: S. Cole Garrett


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