Where Do the Car Names Come From?
Bel Air. Corvette. Nova. Delray. Car manufacturers have worked hard to create memorable names and for the most part, they have succeeded. But, where do those names originate? In many cases, the names are often taken from foreign languages, places, and science.
One of the most iconic cars of all time is actually named after a speedy warship. The Chevy Corvette shares the same name with a small, lightly armed warship. Most corvettes were and are still used by foreign navies, but there were some that were used by the United States Navy during World War II. It only seems appropriate that the fastest production car is named after another speedy object.
Another iconic car, the Chevy Bel Air, received its name from the posh neighborhood to the west of Los Angeles. Chevrolet wanted the Bel Air to have an air of sophistication, so they gave it a name that was synonymous with the Golden Age of Hollywood. When people bought the Bel Air, they felt like they were buying style.
The Chevy Delray is another car that was named after a place, but also included words from a foreign tongue. “Del rey” is the Spanish term for “of the king.” You can visit Del Ray beach in Florida and Del Rey, California. Strangely, there is a rumor that the Chevy Delray was not named after any coastal towns, but named after a small town in Georgia. The Delray had one of the largest trunks of any sedan at the time making it the perfect size for transporting moonshine and many of the ‘shiners lived in Delray, Georgia.
One of the worst car names ever was given to the Chevy Nova. In the space world, a nova is a star that increases in brightness, only to decrease in brightness after time. In Spanish, the words “no va” means “does not go.” In Latin, “nova” means new. Even though there are some positive aspects of the name, the Nova did go down in history as a car that was a star at first, but then became a car that would no longer sell or go, due to faulty manufacturing.