We’ve had many threads about stupid car names. I don’t remember one about beautiful car names.
I nominate ’ Phaëton’, which I thought was an early 20th-century luxury car, but turns out to be a style rather than a model (open to the weather, no windshield, thus no longer legal - a predecessor to the convertible) until Volkswagen appropriated the name for a rather ordinary sedan this century.
I disagree. The VW Phaeton is definitely not ordinary. Have you ever been in one? Have you ever seen one in person? It’s competitors were the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, the Mercedes Benz S-series, and maybe the big Maserati sedan. Hardly an ordinary list. Its problem was that it had the “VW” attached to it. At least in the USA. It was a hit in Europe, selling for far less than the A8 and quite comparable in performance and quality.
Then, you should contemplate this reality:
In the European marketplace, that same model is labeled as the “Lantra”.
Why would the addition of one vowel result in “good sound, positive associations (???), and clear pronunciation” in North America, but on another continent, Hyundai found it necessary to eliminate that vowel?
A Phaeton (also Phaéton) was a form of sporty open carriage popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Drawn by one or two horses, a phaeton typically featured a minimal very lightly sprung body atop four extravagantly large wheels. With open seating, it was both fast and dangerous, giving rise to its name, drawn from the mythical Phaëton, son of Helios, who nearly set the earth on fire while attempting to drive the chariot of the sun.
This is a phaeton drawn by horses.
The name has been occasionally used by automotive manufacturers to describe specific models
I love the old Ford early-30s phaetons.
The “prettiest name”?
I like the Soul. Perhaps I just like the hamsters.
Oh, by the way, a car that meets the phaeton definition but moved by an engine is perfectly legal… if it can be made to pass rollover and crash requirements.
IMHO the Triumph Spitfire was one of the most fun ragtop roadsters ever made. I almost bought a white one in '75. I fell in love with it… but up here in NH I needed something that would work for the winter too. None of the old ragtop sports cars were good winter cars.
I’ve driven just a good number of ragtop roadsters. A number of MGs, a Fiat 125 Sport Spyder, an MGTF, an X-1/9, a Midget, a Porsche 914, a Datsun 240Z, a TR4, a TR6, a Miata, and a number of others. The Spitfire was one of the absolute best from a pure fun standpoint.