For people of my advanced age, my name was fairly common, at least for a little while. I’m told it’s a name popular with Hellenized Greek Jews back in around 400 BCE, which is significantly older than I am, for example, and even predates another ancient Greek cultural touchstone, that poster of that blonde woman pretending to eat a gyro. The Greeks got my name from a mythological figure who traveled in a boat called the Argo looking for some golden wool, whatever the hell that would be, and died in a manner that feels uncomfortably plausible for me, when a part from his old decaying vehicle fell on his head. The name, of course, is Jason, and as far as I’m aware, only one car has ever borne it: the Jowett Jason.
Jowett was a British carmaker that was active between 1906 to 1954. Jowett was very fond of flat, horizontally-opposed engines, starting with flat twins and then around 1936 moving to flat-four engines, one of which the Jason had.
It’s an appealing little car, this namesake of mine. I’m fond of flat-fours as it is, so I’m happy one of those is thumping away under that hood, behind that rakishly-raked radiator grille there. I don’t think Jowetts of any type were ever very popular, but they do seem like appealing little cars, and I like that for a while after the war they continued with an alliterative naming convention, building cars called the Jupiter and Javelin. They also, in the 1930s, built a car called the Weasel, so it seems they knew how to have fun, too. Weasel fun.
Cars with conventional human names aren’t common; I’ve written about some in the past, and maybe some future Cold Starts will have more. In the meantime, this one is mine, along with all my fellow Jasons.
But not Jaysons. That’s just weird.