As much as I have bantered around a hundred different names for my new car – a fire-red 2013 Chevrolet Cruze – I realize that a car must be nicknamed properly. It’s that link between vehicle and driver. It’s that moment when you finally feel that it’s “your” car and not a “the bank holds the title to it and you’re just paying it off in five years” car.
The wrong name can cause giggles or snickers, and can make a car owner feel rather – shall we say – intimidated. And I needed to make sure that whatever name I select for this chariot, it has to fit both the car’s personality and my own.
I suppose I’ve been bouncing around nicknames for this 2013 Chevrolet Cruze for a while. Some of the nicknames have been based on people whose last name is Cruz – Penelope Cruz, Victor Cruz, former baseball player Julio Cruz, the 70’s yacht-rock band Pablo Cruise, nah none of those work.
I thought about a name that invoked speed and power – the Spitfire… Cha-Cha… The Muscle… nah.
A name for a car must involve the automobile’s purported gender. My last three vehicles were, in my opinion, male cars. The Cruze? Gender-neutral. Which is fine by me, I don’t care which North Carolina bathroom my car uses.
I talked to a few of my online Facebook friends. They saw the photo of my ride, and they offered suggestions. Some were okay, some were moderately interesting, some were “oh hell no my car’s not getting named that” suggestions.
Then I realized. My car is a deep, dark fire red. Just like a fire-breathing dragon.
And what’s one of my favorite rock bands of all time? Dragon, of course.
So if Car #4 is to be mine, somehow I have to work the band Dragon’s name into this car’s nickname. Red Dragon…
Nah. Sounds too much like a book about a serial killer.
Nah. Sounds too much like the nickname for one of my cameras.
Maybe in a foreign language…
Nah. Sounds too much like a villain in a Buck Rodgers pulp novel.
Let’s combine the letters…
Hang on a second, Chuck.
Dracourage. Sounds like a bad-ass villain in a Spider-Man comic series.
Dracourage. Sounds almost like the French phrase, “Quel Courage,” a chant of bravery and determination against all odds.
Dracourage. Saying the name – “Drah-coo-rrrraggghhhh…” almost sounds like the finest bottle in the sommelier’s holdings. “May I offer you a taste of our Dracourage 1963? It was a very good vintage…”
Dracourage. It sounds sinister and powerful at the same time. Elegance and danger. Attitude and sincerity.
And at that moment… a puff of white smoke emerged from the chimneys. The bells rang in the village square.
Say hello to the former Car number 4…
Yeah. With that fire-red Spectraflame paint job, that aggressive front grille, this car is set for any and all journeys in my lifetime.
I think this name works for this car.
Now it’s time to stop referring to Dracourage as “Car number 4” –
And start using it as the next chapter in my life.