Captain Misery's Miserable Mishaps

It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

What’s in a name: Part 2 the second (Special Sequel Limited Edition)

Writing about stupid car names was extremely enjoyable, but probably regarded by most to be a wee bit sad really. Which is fine by me. However, there was one glaring omission, very kindly pointed out by my mate Alec. The Mazda Bongo Friendee. Then that got me thinking, there must be other cars out there with names so diabolical. Something out there that would provide material for me to “write” about.

Mazda Scrum Wagon. Lose the "R" and you're almost there...

Mazda, generally have played it safe. The 323, 626, MX-5, RX-7 et al.  They were also feeling funky, vibrant and original when they called their MPV the, erm, Mazda MPV. However it seems Mazda are susceptible to anus biscuits for names. Some twatstick thought it would be a good idea to name a vehicle after a percussion instrument, but hang on, what the fuck is a Friendee? Especially one with two of the letter E at the end. Friendly would have still been a crap name but at least it’s a real fucking word. One Mazda that deserves a mention is the Japan-only Mazda Scrum Wagon. To describe this wagon for carrying those involved in a Rugby match, I can only provide you with a picture so you can see something that resembles Postman Pat’s van that’s collided with a bungalow.

The worrying emerging pattern is that most of the bad names emanate from Japan. Someone in Japan must have an English dictionary and just pick out random words. For example, Isuzu sold their 4×4 cars in the UK with different names to their Japanese counterparts. The Isuzu Trooper was known else where as the Isuzu Big Horn. Suzuki gave us the Suzuki Mobile Terrace Concept. Daihatsu went to go one better with the Rugged Field Sports Resin Top. Toyota thought they would try to top all of them with the Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxury Joyful Canopy. What were they doing? Were they having a competition to see who could get the biggest badge on the back of the vehicle?

Can anyone explain what a Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear Cruising Active does? Then of course is the Mitsubishi Carisma, which is the least apt name for a car. Carisma bypass would have been far nearer the mark. And let’s not forget the Mitsubishi Starion? Obviously it was meant to be called Stallion, but some one in the UK who did the marketing and price lists must have mis-heard…

The Peugeot 505 STD. They later launched the Peugeot 205 HIV and 309 VD.

And if you’ve read my previous entry on car names so absurd that the people (namely Nissan employees) that came up with them deserve to either be melted in a vat of acid or given brain transplants, don’t think I’ve finished with Nissan either. Fancy giving a limited edition model of your best-selling small car the name “Wave”. Genius. So then you have a Nissan Micra Wave. However, a Micra Wave is the last of your worries when your company decides to brand a car the Nissan Urban Dump. I would love to meet whoever thought up this name. I take it whoever named this particular edition had a damn good sense of humour. Not as much of a sense of humour that gave the following suffix: Subaru Impreza STI. And whilst we concentrate on the people of Camborne’s favourite things, please note the Peugeot 505 STD in the picture. Slightly unfortunate, n’es pas?

The other thing that bugs me slightly is when punctuation marks and symbols are used in model names needlessly. For example, Top Gear’s reasonably priced car, the Kia C’eed, or its three door sibling, the randomly named Kia pro_c’eed. And whilst we are dealing with the Koreans, maybe the Hyundai Atoz should get a mention. Supposed to be a witty take on A to Z (what do you mean you’re not laughing either?) what it actually should have been called is the Hyundai No Fucker Gives Atoz.  The Hyundai Getz (Gitz) is a bit rubbish also.

The Germans, what with their sense of humour and all that, aren’t free from it all either. Volkswagen, the creator of the world’s nastiest car (the Beetle) launched a posh and expensive off roader. We’ll ignore the fact that Volks Wagen literally translated into English means People’s Car and crack a whip at this £70,000 plus vehicle. The Touareg. Supposed to be pronounced Twa-regg, it’s more commonly refered to as the Toerag.

But as it is nearing the end of this post, it is time to get to the podium of strange names and yes, they are all Japanese.

In third position, we have the Isuzu Giga 20 Light Dump. They could have saved time and called it Isuzu Toilet Break.

In second position, we have the Mitsubishi Mini Active Urban Sandal. So, judging by this name I would assume it is small, moves, lives in the city and you can wear it on your feet? I never thought Mitsubishi as manufacturers of footwear. They’ve made some dull and tedious cars but never footwear.

The Mitsubishi Mum 500 Shall We Join Us? wins Paul's accolade of most absurdly named car.... in the world. Which is more pointless than the car or its name.

Our victor, however, must have literally swallowed an English dictionary and just picked out random English words to have come up with this corker. It’s Mitsubishi again with their town car, the “Mum 500 Shall We Join Us?”. Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Yes, that is a genuine car name and the question mark is also part of the name. I’m just glad in this country they named their small car the Colt.

I’d like to submit a few of my own made-up names that perhaps Nissan et al could possibly use in the future. Here goes:
Nissan Cook A Peregrine Falcon With Tampon Ketchup Thankyou Please!
Honda My Hovercraft is Full of Eels
Daihatsu Lightbulb Overlord Majestic Piece
Mitsubishi Oh! Hark The Mighty Subsonic Drum Watch Plaza Screen Test
Kia pro_lapse
Mazda Excellent Cock I’ve Most Had Recent Good Time Johnny?
Nissan Arthur
Toyota Hasp And Staple Bollocks I Can’t Stop….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..Fuck!

Suddenly I feel quite smug with the name of my car. Fiat Punto sounds sweet in comparison with some of these abominations that are for real. Like I said in my last post about car names, Peugeot, Ferrari and up to recently Alfa Romeo seem to have it right. Numerical symbols for model types. It works in every language and no one gets confused. Unless the Italians do it and the British are too ignorant to pronounce it correctly (yes, Cinquecento). However, the Americans seem to have some really excellent names. You simply cannot get better than Ford Mustang or Corvette Stingray. Awesome names for awesome cars.


September 26, 2011 Posted by | Motoring | 1 Comment

So long, old friend

Well, last weekend was quite a weekend quite frankly. Most shockingly I’d been accused of being a sexist pig by someone who I don’t know let alone even met. Now, as my wife, my friends and anyone who has met me will say that is far from the truth. Call me what you want but I am neither a sexist, nor a pig. On the contrary, I am an incredibly quiet eater. I quite resent it, especially when plastered all over Facebook because this woman couldn’t be bothered to communicate with her husband. But hey ho!

On the same day, I also had to bid a fond farewell to an old friend. A rather fine, trusty and faithful friend. It has been a grand six and a half years. Sadly and quite worryingly, I’m talking about a car. Its name? Fiat Stilo Active 16v to be precise. Our trusty steed that got us wherever we wanted to go. It got us from Cornwall to Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Scotland without a worry or issue apart from a coil pack breaking down. Once. It still got us to our destination.

It kept my long-suffering wife Jayne safe from harm when needed. It was used as a workhorse. It got used as a loan car by family members and friends when needed. It was also used as our posh car (our other car, a Corsa, can never be described as such) that we wanted to get noticed in. And last but most important – we were to bring our newborn son home from the hospital in it. That never happened as we never left home as our son decided to make an early appearance at home. And he’s been in the car a maximum of five times. And unfortunately that was the main reason for selling it. It’s not practical anymore. We need something with more doors. We need something more practical. Now don’t worry, I’m not on my way to buy an MPV, my life is far from over and as such am not requiring one just yet. Especially not one of those fucking Scenic bollocks things or one of dem well phat Shitroen Picasso pieces of wank stain.

But back to the Stilo. Apart from the usual jibes about it being a Fiat, no one that’s been in it has had a bad word to say about it. Which has made me glad in a way as if other people other than me like it, it goes to prove that the Stilo is in no way as bad as people will have you believe. Far from it. Other than largely wear and tear stuff, not much was replaced. It’s the best kept secret in the motoring world, just don’t tell everyone how good they really are. In my eyes at least, as a car it shouldn’t be in front of the firing sqiad just yet.

So what’s come up as its replacement? Well, the first option was to go down to being a one car family. That doesn’t work. So in the mean time, whilst we wait for the Corsa (and God am I waiting, as that will be replaced by something top notch and hopefully Italian) to expire and child number 2 to appear, the Stilo has been replaced by something Italian again. The Lancia Delta I wanted was sold before I got a chance to say Lancia Delta. I wanted a break from Alfas as repairing it would mean going to my old place of employment, which ain’t happening. So it’s another Fiat. A 2001 Punto 1.2 finished in Astral Blue to be precise. It’s nothing special. It’s a basic, poverty spec Punto with black bumpers and some seats. It’s not going to win any races or awards for best equipped car in the land. But it looks smart and drives well. Stay tuned for its first breakdown…

September 25, 2011 Posted by | Motoring | , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in a name? That which we call a…

Choosing a name is important. I think we chose well with the name we gave our child, but there are certain celebrity types that have dropped major clangers. Yes, Mr Chris Diet-Bono Martin, calling your daughter Apple Blossom ICI Dulux Cherryade wasn’t the best of ideas now, was it? Still, it could be worse. For instance if you trace the history of the car, there have been some absolute stinkers over the years.

Peugeot and, up to recently, Alfa Romeo have played it safe by giving their cars a numerical suffix to distinguish the different cars they sell. The Alfa Romeo 156. The Peugeot 205, for instance, has a certain ring to it and has become widely regarded as a classic, especially in GTi form.

Nissan (or Datsun depending on the era), on the other hand, haven’t been so lucky and have insisted on using names. The Nissan Cedric being one of them. Nissan Cedric doesn’t have a certain ring to it and has become widely regarded as a bag of shite, especially in car form. But I’m not letting Nissan off the hook here, especially as they seem to have a track record for providing names that provide more hilarity than the entire first season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

My Nissan Drizzle 1.6 SLX

My second victim of name calling would be what has to be the most ironically named car in the history of mankind itself. Tell me, how can something that is as interesting as a Thermos Flask, as inviting as Devon and handles like a drunk man trying to lift a night storage heater be given a name that implies a positive disposition? I owned one of these bastard cars and the only thing positive on it was the + battery terminal. Mr Clarkson was bang on the money when he decreed the car should have been called the “Drizzle” or “Bank Holiday Washout”.

This, however, is not the worst case of naming from Nissan. In the Eighties, Nissan were to launch a new sports Coupe, complete with fashionable pop-up headlights and a turbo-charged 1.8 litre engine under the bonnet. Essentially, a budget (ish) coupe aimed at Capri owners. So, aimed at blokes then. Sure the car looked a bit of a damp squib but what do you think Nissan called it? No, you’re wrong. The car was called a Silvia. I mean Silvia, come on! It’s as manly as David Walliams decreeing he’s “a lady” prancing around to “Dancing Queen” whilst wearing a full ballet get-up in pink.

The Nissan Juke. As ugly as a hatful of assholes

Recent years we have had things like Micra, Primera and Almera. All very reasonable, all very acceptable, all very dull. Pretty much like the cars themselves, but those names you could get away with. Things like the Nissan Note? Abso-fucking-lutely not. Thanks guys but I intend to drive my car, not write and/or read it. And what fucking shit were they on when they came up with Qashqai? What the fuck is a Qashqai? What does it do? You mean you don’t know either? Fuck, we’re all screwed then. If it were the last car on earth I wouldn’t own one. Would you own a car called Qashpoint? I think not. However, I think Nissan’s latest effort takes the biscuit. To wow the world is yet another of those crossover four wheel drive efforts. Ladies and Gentlepersons, I give you the Nissan Juke. I really cannot wait for Nissan to bring out a commercial van version of it. What will they call it? The Jukebox I hope!

Anyway, enough of bullying Nissan for a moment. My car manufacturer of choice is, as I’m sure you know, Fiat. Things haven’t always gone well for Fiat in the naming stakes and remained numerically suffixed until the very early Eighties. They started with the Uno, which was a good car with a good name. It does tail off a bit. Punto, whilst sounds good, means nothing more than “point” but in Italian. The Stilo, which is supposed sound like style simply means pencil. The Tipo may well be the best and most cleverly packaged car in the last 25 years in terms if interior space, but why call it the Type? I won’t even go into the face that Fiat renamed the Fiat 132 to Argenta just as the Falklands conflict was heating up. Oh bollocks, I already did.

Other manufacturers stick to just naming shit randomly when they bring out special editions of particular cars. The one that made me really laugh was Citroen C3 Desire. I laughed so hard when I saw that. I’m sorry but a C3 is a car that you just cannot desire, especially in our experience. My wife had one you see. Swear at?  Yeah. Shake your fist at? Yeah. Kick? Woah hell yeah. When it inevitably goes all French and surrenders you want to kill it. But Desire? No, you desire a C3 in the same way you desire getting AIDS.

Dear old Pablo Picasso would be turning in his grave if he had the knowledge that Citroen had decided to name a range of decidedly average MPVs (that’s Multi Purpose Vehicle or My Life is Over to you or me) in his (dis) honour. I mean, what next, the Volkswagen Golf Beethoven? The Aston Martin DB9 McCartney? Stop it now please, stop it now.

September 15, 2011 Posted by | Motoring | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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