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Here Are My Favorite Cars Named After Places

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2019

When it comes to naming cars, there's a seemingly endless list of possible items -- including apparently random letters and numbers that have been placed through dozens of focus groups -- that can donate their name to a car. This includes geography, and there have been many cars named after places -- consider, for instance, the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Dodge Monaco, the GMC Yukon, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Pontiac Montana and dozens of others. Here are some of the best cars named after places.

Bentley Mulsanne

Bentley Mulsanne

The Bentley Mulsanne is named after the famous Mulsanne straightaway at the Le Mans raceway in France -- a straightaway that was well-known for its absolutely insane speeds, on account of the fact that it was almost four miles long. Some cars were developed just to hit crazy speeds on the Mulsanne straight, so they could set records, before chicanes were finally added in 1990 to slow things down. The Bentley Mulsanne is a huge sedan that doesn't belong anywhere near a race track -- but it's an excellent car, and the sound of the name "Mulsanne" perfectly fits the huge luxury car. Find a Bentley Mulsanne for sale

Dodge Daytona

Dodge Daytona

The Dodge Daytona is an easy entrant on this list, but not the 1980s hatchback version. No, I'm referring to the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, which was a high-performance version of the Charger and is now one of the most sought-after muscle cars from its era. The Charger Daytona was fast, desirable and absolutely ridiculous-looking, as it had a pointy nose for "aerodynamics" and a massive rear wing that made it look like a shopping cart. But it's cool, it's fast, and it's very famous. Find a Dodge Daytona for sale

Ferrari 550 Maranello

The Ferrari 550 Maranello (and its updated version, the 575M Maranello) is, of course, a high-performance Ferrari named after the location of the brand's headquarters and its factory in Italy. Although Ferrari hasn't often used place names for cars (one major exception being the original Ferrari 250 GT California Spider), recent examples have done this more frequently with cars like the Maranello, the California and the Portofino. This particular example is the best of the breed, with a glorious V12 up front and a 6-speed manual between the seats. Find a Ferrari 550 Maranello for sale

Lamborghini Jarama

Lamborghini Jarama

The Lamborghini Jarama was a very, very, very unusual Lamborghini -- one that almost looked like a large Italian luxury hatchback. But it used a V12, it sounded great and, most importantly for our list, it was named after a place -- sort of. It was actually named after fighting bulls, but they were called the "Jarama" bulls because they came from the Jarama River area in Spain -- so the car is named after the bulls, which are named after a place. The car is not, it's important to understand, named after a racetrack in Spain that's also called Jarama. Still, the basics are these: cool car, place name, so it goes on this list. Find a Lamborghini Jarama for sale

Subaru B9 Tribeca

Subaru B9 Tribeca

The Subaru B9 Tribeca isn't really one of my favorite cars, but it's one of my favorites for its absurdity. One piece of that absurdity was the name itself: Subaru had originally intended to rename all of its vehicles with a name starting with "B," followed by a letter indicating the size of the car relative to other Subaru models, followed by a word -- like, for instance, the B3 Impreza, the B5 Legacy, the B9 Tribeca. This didn't go well -- and neither did the B9 Tribeca's appearance, and particularly its absolutely bizarre grille, which was intended to be a corporate face for Subaru design in the future. Subaru quickly scrapped both. Maybe the only rational thing about the B9 Tribeca was the second half of its name, Tribeca, which refers to an area in Lower Manhattan -- and when the "B9" part of the name was ditched, Subaru kept just "Tribeca" until the model was removed from the market after the 2014 model year. Find a Subaru Tribeca for sale

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Here Are My Favorite Cars Named After Places - Autotrader