We are all supposed to remember the registration number of our first car – mine was PWN 20R, a mottled brown saloon (mottled because of various amateur resprays even before it acquired a massive dent smack in the middle of the boot under my ownership when I reversed into a tree in Granville Road during some long passed local election campaign).
Francesca nicknamed it “the flying turd” and it sat outside our home in Pageant Road until my graduation to a company car allowed its mercy killing in the old car breakers’ yard at Redbourn.
It was the car name that resonated. CHRYSLER AVENGER.
We used to laugh and make up other ludicrously bloodthirsty family saloon names which never made it to the showroom floor: Morris Murderer, Vauxhall Vigilante, Austin Assassin (it almost certainly would have been to those inside), Reliant Revolver, Hillman Hangman.
These thoughts came back into mind on reading a line in Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending: “Humber Super Snipe… words that eased off the tongue as smoothly as ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost’.”
My current car is a Peugeot 206. Fail.