Do You Name Your Cars?
I name my cars. I’ll drive them for a while, figure them out a bit, and give them a name that I feel is fitting. Why? Well, it’s far easier to talk to a machine if you’re able to praise or curse it by its first name—“This goddamn 535i” just doesn’t sound as evocative as it should.
The most socialist car I’ve owned, the Citroën 2CV, I’d named Bertrand (after Bertrand Russell, the philosopher.) My Fiat Abarth is Bart (take the “A” and “h” off “Abarth”…) and a Volvo 240 sedan I had for a while was Olaf. In the case of poor old Olaf, he was a $200 Volvo that was fantastic for a few months, until I realized that traveling 200 km (124 miles) every day in a $200 Volvo was both impressive and depressing.
Honestly, it’d seen better days, and Olaf earned his share of expletives due to his unquenchable thirst for fuel and plodding pace—it traveled as fast as an Ikea couch would, carried from your living room to the curb out front.
Early racing machines were often named and not branded—La Jamais Contente (“The Never Satisfied”) is a good example, as are drag racing machines from the ’60s and ’70s. Call me crazy, but I’ll keep up the practice for as long as I’m able to—do you also name your machines?
Photography by Afshin Behnia, Bryan Joslin, Chris Gonzalez, Jonathan WC Mills, and Kika Vigo-Behnia