There’s a lot in a car name

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2003

I receive press releases from all over. You would be amazed at some of the organizations that have formed and send out information about themselves on a regular basis.

Anyway, my most recent one was a real humdinger, and it definitely got me thinking, eventually, in fact, realizing what a great opportunity I was missing.

It seems, during a recent poll taken of car owners, the No. 1 car name nationwide was Betsy, followed closely by Baby.

Remarkable, I know; but, there was a Betsy in my family.

When I was growing up, my grandmother, Neena, drove a brown &045; very brown &045; 1970-something Ford LTD. It was huge and BROWN.

But it was the vehicle I rode to school in for many years. I have a lot of fond memories of Betsy.

The day that Betsy died was even more profound for me than the &uot;The Day the Music Died.&uot;

There are other car names I can remember, not the least of which is the General Lee, the star of everyone’s favorite Friday night TV show, &uot;The Dukes of Hazzard.&uot;

My momma drove Old Blue, a large 1978 Delta 88 from 1978 until 1986. Two cars later, she drove what I, lovingly I’m sure, referred to as the &uot;Big Red Leathermobile.&uot;

One of my closest friends drives a car she calls &uot;Lois,&uot; as in Lois Lane of Superman fame. She’s also in the newspaper business.

Another friend had a 1986 GMC Safari van during college. He and his fraternity brothers referred to it as &uot;The Party Van.&uot;

And I have another friend who collects Lincolns. He’s had five now. The most interesting one was a 1970s-something ugly blue color that he called Clydetta. She drowned, unfortunately, during the recent floods in Leeds.

According to the press release about car names, there were a number of leading lifestyle car names including Babymobile, Freedom, Grocery Getting, Mom’s Limo, Mom’s Taxi, Mom’s Pride & Joy, Chauffer and my favorite of all, &uot;Thekidhaulinmoneyvacuumdentmagnet.&uot;

Apparently, 21 percent of the respondents gave their cars proper names like Leapin’ Lena and Bella Probina.

Fourteen percent named their cars after colors like The Great White Hype, The Silver Bullet and The Little Red Engine that Can. There were even cars named after foods like 2keyla and The Flyin’ Pea.

Holy Roller was a 1998 Mercury Sable owned by an Oklahoma minister who said he &uot;believes in rolling through life with the Holy One.&uot;

Pala was a 1978 Impala driven by an Augusta, Ga., man who began calling it Pala when the &uot;Im&uot; fell off, and DuckDuck was named by a Pasadena, Calif., driver who says she &uot;has a history of naming her pets after other animals.&uot;

She also sports a fish named Kitty, a cat named Buffalo and a second cat named Goose.

My car, a 2001 Chevy Cavalier, is a great car, except that it has no name.

Apparently, to my dismay, it lacks the character of these other cars.

So, I’ve got to name it.

I can always name it after my hairless puppy, Peggy Lou Parker &045; maybe Peggy Lou Cavalier or Chevy Lou Parker.

It’s sorta the color of tapioca pudding, so maybe I could call it Tapioca. I just don’t know.

Until I come up with something, however, I’ll just call it ‘The One I Haven’t Wrecked,’ a distinguishing mark, let me assure you.

Keep in mind that every time I say that I knock on wood &045; not that I’m superstitious, but just in case