Home » Which Car Is Least (or Most) Like The Place It’s Named After?

Which Car Is Least (or Most) Like The Place It’s Named After?

Aa Monte Ts
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Laying wide awake thinking about every cringe thing I said and did in the previous eighteen-or-so hours is my standard sleep ritual, and at the top of today’s Greatest Hits will be my stunning display of ding-dongery in today’s Slack huddle with The Team, including David Tracy, Torch, and the formidable (but affable!) Matt Hardigree, who suggested today’s Autopian Asks query.

Parissiene

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I knew it was a good topic as soon as he offered it, but like a dope, I asked if we were sure there would be enough place-named cars. The cringe. My pea-brain only served up like three car names that were obviously (to me) titled after places, and one of them was the Pontiac Parisienne only because Jason wrote about it not long ago (that’s the story above). Thankfully, the gang was gracious enough not to ask if I was a moron [Editor’s Note: You’re great, Pete. So far from a moron it’s absurd! -DT], and rattled off enough place-named-cars to fill a Santa’s-list scroll if one was feeling old-timey enough to write them all down. For example:

Buick Lucerne

Kia Telluride

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… as well as Chevys Colorado, Tahoe, and Monte Carlo; Hyundais Rio… and a bunch more that we know but don’t want to spoil. Which of these, or the countless others you can no doubt think of, is the least or most suitably-designed to bear the mantle of its place name?  The Autopian Asks!

Images: top shot, GM and Etsy seller; Buick Lucerne via GM; Lucerne, France by Slav Yakounin/Wikimedia; Kia Telluride via Kia; Telluride, Colorado by John Fowler/Wikimedia 

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Usernametaken
Usernametaken
1 year ago

The American eductation system shines its light bright

Lucerene/Luzern is in Switzerland

Silubr
Silubr
1 year ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

I wanted to write the same at first, but it turns out there is actually a Lucerne (La Lucerne-d’Outremer) in Normandy ;o)

Maciej Winiarski
Maciej Winiarski
1 year ago
Reply to  Silubr

The photo is of the Swiss town though. Straight from Wikipedia.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 year ago

And the Swiss town is by far the more famous.

Ana Osato
Ana Osato
1 year ago
Reply to  Silubr

And La Lucerne-d’Outremer is the name. Calling it something else would be like calling New York City just… York.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago

I’m going with Buick Riviera for most like.

The first and third gen Rivieras (not counting “Riviera” as a trim level on prior cars) were striking, good looking, and dare say, sexy.

The Alfa Romeo Montreal is also a good candidate for most.

Hard to top the Daewoo-based LeMans for least like.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 year ago

Daewoo-based Suzuki Forenza and Verona too. And the Reno but maybe less high of a bar there?

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago

I love the Montreal. I also don’t really think of Montreal when I look at one.

Lokki
Lokki
1 year ago
Reply to  Anoos

Well, apparently a lot of people did..

The Alfa Romeo Montreal was introduced as a concept car in 1967 at Expo 67, held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.Originally, the concept cars were displayed without any model name, but the public took to calling it The Montreal.”

Maymar
Maymar
1 year ago

Montreal is beautiful, reasonably affordable, and kind of falling apart. It’d suit an entry level Alfa perfectly (and it might sell well if they offered the Quebec special of cutrate MSRP with no AC and crank windows), although the car we* got was just a little high end.

*the global we, as the Montreal was never sold new in Montreal.

EXL500
EXL500
1 year ago

Riviera is such a mellifluous name. Also Maserati Mexico.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

I always figured the Riviera was named after the casino in Vegas. Its owners seemed to be fond of that place, parking lot was full of them.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 year ago

Most: Ferrari 458 Italia

Least: Dodge Monaco

JDE
JDE
1 year ago

I don’t know, Monaco seems like and overhyped not so great place to be….it might be more than you think

Lokki
Lokki
1 year ago

“Least: Dodge Monaco”

Well with either the city or the car you’re likely taking a huge gamble, so….

OnlyFlans
OnlyFlans
1 year ago

Chrysler Sebring, for being the darling of every rental car agency in Florida.

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago
Reply to  OnlyFlans

This is true. In a pre-Caliber world I rented a lot of Sebrings.

Erik Hancock
Erik Hancock
1 year ago
Reply to  OnlyFlans

I would actually vote the Sebring as being both the most AND least like its namesake. It’s the most like Sebring, Florida for the reason you stated, plus the average Sebring owner is reportedly, 57 years old – right at home in Florida. The Sebring is least like its namesake in that Chrysler was actually referencing the famous local racetrack. There is nothing remotely sporty about a Chrysler Sebring and it’s reputation for lackluster reliability doesn’t evoke images of a twelve-hour endurance race.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
1 year ago
Reply to  Erik Hancock

When the 24 Hours of LeMons comes to Sebring, Sebrings race for free!

https://24hoursoflemons.com/blog/sebring-lemons-mothers-day/

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

Isuzu Rodeo: would look out of place on Rodeo Drive

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

Yet looks entirely at home when full of rodeo clowns.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
1 year ago

My Scorpion is called a Montecarlo outside the US and indeed she is tiny, looks gorgeous, and and is a gamble every time you turn the key!

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

Pontiac Catalina. Anyone who has been to Catalina Island knows the primary transport in Avalon is golf carts, and all the roads out of town are dirt. A big cushy sedan is not what the island is about

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 year ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

So, is the Toyota Avalon in the same boat as the Catalina?

JDE
JDE
1 year ago

Avalon is not a real place, it is a mythical realm where Arthurs sword was forged and where he sought refuge to recover after a mythical battle. Avalon could be change to Elysium as it rides like a gentle wind over the tops of wheat fields though I suppose.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 year ago
Reply to  JDE

It is also the main town on the afforementioned Catalina Island.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

Absolutely

and its a Catalina Express boat

Last edited 1 year ago by TXJeepGuy
Baron Usurper
Baron Usurper
1 year ago

Chevy Malibu. It looks nothing like a city with an AMI of $102k.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Baron Usurper

Malibu back when Malibu cars were actually decent was a nice place. much like the cars, the latest basic Malibu People and the car actually seems to fit each other adequately.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 year ago
Reply to  Baron Usurper

My 2013 Malibu has fashionable features with questionable implementation. The front styling looks like it was stretched and botoxed.

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago
Reply to  Baron Usurper

That income wouldn’t pay the rent (/mortgage) there these days. Lots of people must be dealing in cash or lying on their taxes.

Zerosignal
Zerosignal
1 year ago

My Hyundai Tucson is much like the desert outside of Tucson, AZ. Beige and boring.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 year ago
Reply to  Zerosignal

Or even inside of Tucson, Arizona, where so much of the town is the urban-sprawl version of the same boring beigeness. Even after living there for five years, you could blindfold me, drop me at any major intersection in town, and take the blindfold off, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you whether I was at Swan Road at Golf Links Road, or Kolb Road at Broadway, or Speedway Boulevard at Wilmot Road, or wherever.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago

Pontiac LeMans. You know, the Daewoo sourced version from the late 80s.
Not very French and definitely not a race car.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chronometric
Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 year ago
Reply to  Chronometric

That’s not the first LeMans. When Pontiac was rehabbing their image in the late 50’s/early 60’s, they adopted racy names like Bonneville, Grand Prix, and yes, LeMans.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago

I think it was pretty clear that I know there are more than one LeMans by the fact that I specified which version.

changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
1 year ago
Reply to  Chronometric

The Daewoo one though was based on the Opel Astra from Germany. Our friends in Ebikon (incidentally about 15 mins from Lucerne, Switzerland) had a black one (Opel) and my friends here in Aus mums first car here was the Daewoo version.

DysLexus
DysLexus
1 year ago

Ferrari Daytona or Ferrari California

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  DysLexus

the Ferris Bueller 250 Spider California was Very California at the time.

EXL500
EXL500
1 year ago
Reply to  DysLexus

I’m assuming that’s on the plus side, at least for the OG California.

Also ‘Daytona’ was a nickname that stuck; the real name was 365 GTB/4. I’m happy it stuck.

Maciej Winiarski
Maciej Winiarski
1 year ago
  1. Why does it say “Lucerne France” on the image? Isn’t Lucerne in the middle of Switzerland, in German-speaking part of the country at that?
  2. My vote goes to the Citroën C-Élysée. You could argue that “C-Élysée” references either Parisian Champs-Élysées or the mythological ones. Either way, C-Élysée as a “cheap family car” was not reminding of either paradise or one of the most expensive streets in the world.
Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

Plymouth Satellite. Although if you drove one around the world, I guess you could call that a very low orbit.

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

A neighbor had a 1968 (67?) satellite that he purchased from the son of an elderly neighbor who passed away. We carpooled to high school in that in the late 80’s.

I was very glad that the driver was scared to speed because I don’t even remember that car having seatbelts.

Dávid Tóth
Dávid Tóth
1 year ago

The Lada Niva California is both a Most and a Least, if that’s even possible.

Edit: I just remembered the Nissan Prairie. Nothing prairie-like in that suburban minivan.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dávid Tóth
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Does Baja Bug count?
If so it’s dead on.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
1 year ago

Chrysler Cordoba. An ode to reprehensible taste, big for no good reason, inefficient as fuck, driven by egomaniacs concealing a low self respect.
As regards my home city: spot on.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
1 year ago
Reply to  Argentine Utop

But also, IKA Torino. All the elegance and charm of the northern Italian city, and a similar affinity with motorsports excelence.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
1 year ago
Reply to  Argentine Utop
Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 year ago
Reply to  Argentine Utop

Does everyone in Cordoba dress in rich Corinthian leather?

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 year ago
Reply to  Argentine Utop

It’s not even pronounced the same way. Poor old Ricardo had to pronounce the town name incorrectly in all the ads.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 year ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Thanks to the Lemons Race Wrapups, I hear his voice every single time I read the name

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Argentine Utop

You can lump the Lincoln Versailles in with this group. But remeber the 70’s was all about personal luxury….they even put the Aspen name on a rear wheel drive mid level economy car and did not bat an eye.

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago
Reply to  JDE

The 70’s was all about cocaine.

Personal luxury is what you think you deserve after consuming lots of it.

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
1 year ago
Reply to  Argentine Utop

Maybe when they were new. Now? Anyone rocking a Cordoba has got to be an interesting person with a strong self-image who marches to their own beat, likes what they like just because they like it and feels no need to justify it.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 year ago

Would have thought this was question was inspired by the Chevy Corsica from yesterday’s showdown.

H/K do love to name after a place – Tucson, Santa Fe, Sorento (if spelled wrong) in addition to what’s been mentioned.

I was thinking Aztek if we do allow spelling variations, but they’re both history…though there is an Aztek NM. Montana too in the Pontiac fold.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 year ago

I feel like Pontiac wins at this more any any other manufacturer.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 year ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

I’m sure there’s been a Tempest out there with deteriorated badging so it’s just a Tempe.

Delta 88
Delta 88
1 year ago

Oooh, Corsica is a good answer

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

The Pontiac Bonneville is so very Utah.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
1 year ago

Respectfully disagree. Utah is secretly really fun, but the Bonneville definitely is not. Also Bonneville is the land of extremely high speeds, something which you would never catch the car doing.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 year ago

Yeah, that’s why all the fun is in West Wendover, hugging the Utah border. They have to leave their own state in order to have fun.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

I guess I was thinking of the early 90’s Bonneville and early 90’s Utah.
Booorrrring.
3.2% beer, dirt weed and no night life to speak of, come on.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago

The Pontiac Parisienne should’ve been called the Pontiac Montrealais.

The Kia Telluride would be right at home in Telluride, if only as an “or similar” rental. The Rio would need a 1.0L engine (which gets a tax break in Brazil) rather than the US-market 1.5 to fit in in the most famous Rio.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

Hyundai Santa Cruz is like it’s namesake; Pontiac LeMans and Plymouth Satellite Sebring are not.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
1 year ago

When the Chevy Bel Air debuted in 1950 , it was a top trim car named after a tony LA town – okay, that’s befitting… but by the time the nameplate died, it was a bottom feeder trim and no one who lived in Bel Air would be caught dead in one.

You could say the same for the Biscayne. Biscayne Bay was a fancy town in South Florida.

Last edited 1 year ago by Eggsalad
V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

It’s Saturn or Mercury (take your pick)

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Honda Del Sol if you must have a model name vs a marque

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I was leaning toward the Toyota Corona.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Del Sol is very fitting given it only came with a targa top which allowed that sun to shine through.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Ford Galaxy maybe?

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Taurus and Aries too if we get astrological.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
1 year ago

Isuzu Gemini checking in

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
1 year ago
Reply to  NebraskaStig

I was even thinking of Isuzu in another thread yesterday and forgot that one.

I also thought of Alcyone, Atlas, and Electra in the Pleiades constellation as seen in the Subaru logo but thought that might be too in the weeds…or in the stars.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous
Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 year ago

The Dodge Aspen was about as far from a luxury ski resort town as you can get. Couldn’t even ski off those right angles.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 year ago

I got to go with the Dodge Daytona as a perfect fit for it’s name. And there are quite a few that fit well.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 year ago

Perfect! I agree with this.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
1 year ago

Chevy malibu 5th gen. This is un-Malibu as it comes.

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