These 10 cars are named after animals (No. 2 & No. 10 are popular in Nigeria)


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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Names of real animals have many times inspired the moniker that several automakers decided to give some popular car models. Check out 10 of such models here!

Every once in a while, it feels nice to go down memory lane and take a look at those car models that once ruled the streets here in Nigeria and all over the world. Few of them never cease to surprise us though as they still rule their respective segments of the Global auto market till today. However, in this article, we will mainly focus on the top 10 among these cars named after real-life animals.


There are many discontinued and current production car models that are actually named after real-life animals

When it comes to names of cars, there are many famous Nigerian nicknames for cars, which are so popular to the point that many people don’t even bother knowing some of the official car names. However, in this article, we will be highlighting some official model names that were actually inspired by names of real-life animals and not just nicknames.

10 cars named after animals (you must have heard of No. 10)

'Inspiration' they say can come from anywhere, anything and at any time but it is interesting how the names of many car models are particularly inspired by animal names. See these 10 examples below;

1. Ford Bronco

This popular SUV model was named after a type of horse called “Broncos” – a Spanish word which means “rough”. So, horses called Broncos are usually rough and untrained or sometimes partially trained. 


Ford Bronco is named after rough horses which American cowboys usually call “Broncos”

2. Nissan/Datsun Bluebird (Datsun)

This car model was popular in Nigeria back in those days. It was named after a group of bright-colored medium-sized birds only found in North-America.


The Nissan Bluebird got its name from a group of beautifully colored birds usually found in North-America

3. Nissan/Datsun Honey Bee

The name is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

4. Chevrolet Impala

This full-size car model used to be one of the best-selling passenger cars in the United State however it is actually named after a medium-sized antelope that is commonly found in Africa. Chevrolet is probably in the best position to explain why the name was chosen.


The popular Chevrolet Impala passenger car was named after a medium-sized antelope found in Africa

5. Ford Mustang

Yes, the popular Ford Mustang sports car was named after a feral horse common to the western part of the United States. You can pretty much say the name of the car is meant to emphasize that it is “wild” or “stray” – meaning it rides freely with high speed and anyhow it wishes to.

6. Porsche Spyder (Spider)

Not much needs to be said because the name already gives all the secrets away.

7. Ford Thunderbird

Just like Ford did with the Mustang, this popular model is named after a U.S mythological bird which is known to be powerful and strong. Tales say it protects humans from all evil spirits.

8. Ford Pinto

This car model’s name has to do with horses as well but the focus is on the color of a special type of horses. A “pinto” horse is pretty much any horse that has a coating that consists of large patches of white color and any shade of other colors. See a picture below;


Ford Pinto derived its name from a type of horse identified by its coating (color)

9. Jaguar

This isn’t even a car model name but instead the name of a luxury automaker itself which is just what it is. The name is inspired by the Jaguar animal which is mostly found in North America.

10. Volkswagen Beetle

Can this list ever be complete without mentioning the name of one of Nigeria’s most famous car models in history? We definitely saved the best for last.

Some grandpas and grannies, as well as anyone familiar with the 1980s period in Nigeria, will always recognize a Volkswagen Beetle even at a far distance because it was just so popular and “everywhere” during that time. Apart from getting various nicknames in Nigeria which are mostly inspired by lookalike animals, its original name “Beetle” is also inspired by a real-life insect as well. Funny, isn’t it?


The Volkswagen Beetle was officially named after the small Beetle insects because they are shaped alike

While you are here, it will interest you to know that there are actually some 7 re-branded cars in Nigeria that people don’t realize. You should check them out as well.

And if you still want to see more cars that are named after animals, check the video below;

  Popular Vehicles Named After Wild Animals


Cars are named after animals
 N/O Car model Animal
 1  Ford Bronco  Horse
 2  Nissan/Datsun Bluebird (Datsun)  Bird
 3  Nissan/Datsun Honey Bee  Bee
 4  Chevrolet Impala  Antelope
 5  Ford Mustang  Horse
 6  Porsche Spyder (Spider)  Spider
 7  Ford Thunderbird  Mythological bird
 8  Ford Pinto  Horse
 9   Jaguar  Jaguar
 10  Volkswagen Beetle                  Bug

>>> Keep visiting Naijauto daily to read more Auto fun articles!

>>> Also check out other topics: Car tips and adviceCar price updatesCar reviews, and Cars for sale!

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Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

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