We don’t know what the marketing department is putting in their coffee, but we’re betting it’s not just sugar.
1. Nissan Cedric
This has to top any list for us. Christened the Cedric because Nissan thought the chappy monicker would make it more appealing to a western market. They might have done better calling it the Bruce. But only just.
2. Mitsubishi Mum 500 Shall We Join Us?
We have no idea what’s behind this. But while many cars are launched with question marks over their looks, handling and future, this is the only one we know with a question mark in the name.
3. Mitsubishi Mini Active Urban Sandal
MAUS for short. Or perhaps even Mini Maus (geddit… oh, never mind). Despite the name, there was no strappy footwear and it wasn’t activated after being unveiled at 1995 Tokyo motor show.
4. Peugeot Bipper Tepee
They just asking for it to be nicknamed the Tepid. In fact, it was a versatile little MPV with big doors and great load space. You’d think the French might have had a better word for that.
5. Suzuki Van Van.
No, it’s a motorbike. Perhaps the name was supposed to suggest the revving sounds as you wrung the throttle’s neck and tried to get the thing movan … van van van …. vaaan …. vaaaaaaaaan.
6. Suzuki Every Joy Pop Turbo
Another from Suzuki’s marketing gurus. This one for a 0.66-litre – yes 660cc – oddity, every one of which offered no joy and never popped. But it did have a turbo.
7. Studebaker Dictator
Tried a grab for power in the heady years before World War Two, when the term dictator had yet received such bad press. At least they made the trains run on time.
8. Daihatsu Charade Social Poze
Sounds like it should be a prestige limo. But it was a tiny 1.5-litre shopping trolley with no chance of upwardly-mobile achievement. In fact, you’d be grateful just to achieve forward mobility.
9. Daihatsu Naked Be-Pal
Friends with benefits, perhaps? And even for that, the rule is: inquire about the pal status before you start getting your gear off.
10. Toyota Deli Boy
Also sometimes referred to as the ‘Pantry Boy Supreme’, with shades of the fake British Raj vocabulary and accents beloved of snobs with imposter syndrome. They'd look at home in the faked gelato colours of this vanity van.