Giving your baby a car-related name can be fraught with danger- after all, nobody wants to grow up being called Diff or Sprite (even if you are an American). So here are Hagerty’s suggestions for sensible car-related baby names that may just pass muster in the playgrounds of the future.
As long as your surname is not Allegro, the name Austin is full of British motoring heritage. Formed in 1905 when Herbert Austin left Wolseley- the company he had helped to found- the Austin Motor Company sold only 31 cars in its first year of production. Finally subsumed into the British Motor Corporation, the name was used until 1987 and still lays dormant- will it ever return?
The name Lola has become much more popular in recent years, but may people miss the motoring connection. Lola Cars International was formed in 1958 by Eric Broadley, and for over 50 years the company built racing cars across a huge range of disciplines.
Many people will associate this name with either Clark Gable or Clark Kent, Superman’s alter ego. But for motor racing fans, the name will always call to mind Jim Clark, the double Formula One World Champion from Kilmany in Fife who many consider to be one of the finest racing drivers of all time.
Another surname used as a first name, Danica Patrick is arguably the most successful open-wheel female racing driver on the planet. She holds the female records for the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500, is the only woman to have won an IRL race, and started racing right here in the UK in Formula Ford.
OK, so you probably have to be a little bit Italian to get away with Dino, but it wouldn’t be too out of place in today’s school yard. Dino was the nickname of Alfredo Ferrari, first son of Enzo Ferrari who had muscular dystrophy and died aged only 24 in 1956. As a tribute to his son, Enzo Ferrari named a succession of cars in his honour.
One of the earliest British motoring manufacturers, Riley were originally formed as the Bonnick Cycle Company in 1890 by William Riley. The first Riley automobile was created by his son Percy in 1898, much to the disapproval of William who disliked cars. Flourishing just before and after the Second World War, Riley later become part of the BMC and the last Riley-badged car was produced in 1969.
Tell a non-petrolhead that your child is called Bruce, and they will either think of a gameshow host or a superhero (Banner or Wayne, depending on their era). But tell a car enthusiast, and they will immediately think of that rare mix of racing driver and innovative engineer Bruce McLaren, whose name lives on today in both F1 and cutting-edge supercars.
When Philip Vincent bought the struggling HRD motorcycle manufacturing company in 1928, he added his name, creating Vincent HRD Co. Later dropping the HRD (to avoid any confusion with Harley Davidson) the company produced motorbikes until 1955, including the Black Shadow, then the world’s fastest production motorcycle.
If you were born in the 1970s, this name probably reminds you of Carlton Banks- the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character played by Alfonso Ribeiro. But that era also had another famous Carlton- this time made by Vauxhall and based on the Opel Rekord. Built between 1978 and 1994, the Vauxhall Carlton came in a number of guises, including the 377bhp Lotus Carlton that was launched in 1990.
Mercedes is one of those names that you can really only get away with if you are in a particular social class. Picture a lady called Mercedes. Is she sat on the deck of a yacht sipping champagne? Then you won’t be too far from the original Mercedes- the daughter of Austrian diplomat and racer Emil Jellinek who named his racing cars in her honour in the early 1900s. The name became a brand of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and was formally incorporated into the Mercedes-Benz name in 1926.
Those are our ideas- what about yours? Do you have a child named after your favourite driver, car or motoring brand? Let us know what your favourite petrolhead baby names are!