In 1969, model car manufacturer AMT issued a kit of a new Ford Thunderbird dragster powered by an Allison V-12 aircraft engine and gave it a name that’s since become one of my favourite puns of all time: “Allison Thunderland.”
The car was completely fictional, but it was based on similar contemporary funny cars, which were also often decorated with pun-tastic names splashed across their flanks: “Nova-Caine,” “Deuces Wild,” “Bad Bossa Nova”—and those were just the Chevy II- and Nova-based ones.
Car puns were everywhere in the ’60s and ’70s, from dragsters to Hot Wheels to new car colours – I know you’ve all heard of Chrysler and Ford’s ’70 paint options lineup, with their “Anti Establish Mint,” “Go ManGo” and “Freudian Gilt” – but they’ve all but disappeared today.
If you’re lucky you’ll hear the name of a modern Ridler-chasing hot rod or something and chuckle, or cringe at some horrible wordplay some ad agency’s thought they could get away with. But that’s really about it.
Sure, Dodge had their “TorRed” and “Plum Crazy” paint options a few years back, but those were just revivals of their ’70s colours’ names.
We’ve collected a whole bunch of examples of classic car puns, but post below if you can think of some current-day examples, or even of some vintage ones we missed.