Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 19th September 2017

Classic cars have a reputation for having the perfect blend of speed, style and detail. From sleek Impalas, to beautiful Corvettes, there are a variety of models that have stood the test of time. But how did these iconic motors get their names? Every car has a story, whether they were named after a person or object. Telling a story is important in communicating with customers because they will buy into the journey of the car. Here are five popular cars that got their name for different reasons.


1. Aston Martin

Often associated with James Bond, the Aston Martin was around long before 007 was asking for his cocktails to be shaken and not stirred. The company was founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin. The ‘Aston Martin’ name appeared in 1914, during one of Martin’s successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire.  


2. Mustang

The Ford Mustang has a complex history, with stories claiming it was named after the mustang horse or the P-51 Mustang WW2 aircraft. According to designer John Naijar, he was the one who suggested the car be named after the aircraft, but it was rejected for being too ‘airplaney.’ He pitched the name of a horse and it was a well received.


However, automobile tycoon Lee Lacocca said there was a trend of naming cars after animals, so an advertising consultant pitched him a mustang horse. Other names considered for the car included Cougar, Torino and Thunderbird II.


3. Corvette

First introduced in 1953, the Corvette was named after a warship. Corvettes were lightly-armed, fast and maneuverable, reflecting the speed of the car. Interestingly, only 300 cars were produced by General Motors in 1953 under the Chevrolet brand.


4. Pontiac

The name Pontiac was first used in 1893 by the Pontiac Buggy Company, with the business originating in Pontiac, Michigan. The name has historical significance, as Chief Pontiac was a famous Native American in the Ottawa tribe. He lead uprisings against the British during the French and Indian War, and though he was unsuccessful, Pontiac became legendary for his bravery.

5. Porsche

The Porsche was named after the founder of the company, Ferdinand Porsche. He was a German automotive engineer who had an important contribution to the German war effort in WW2. Porsche was involved in designing advanced tanks, like the VK 4501. The car has earned a reputation for being one of the most prestigious auto brands in the world.


Names decide whether a car is going to be memorable, as they make an impact for buyers. Finding the right balance between marketing a car and promoting the components ensures the vehicle will be a success. With well-known names like Mercedes-Benz and Rolls Royce, there are some truly remarkable brands out there.


What’s your favourite classic car? We’d love to hear about it on Twitter. If you’re interested in learning more about cars, our blog is full of helpful news, tips and advice.