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It’s all in the name : Top 13 Spookiest Cars

By Grace Cunningham on 31st October 2016

To embrace the Halloween spirit we have taken a look at the world’s top 13 spookiest car names along with the editors at HPI, the automotive experts.

Tim Bearder at HPI said: “With Halloween just around the corner we thought it would be fun to look at some of the scary names car manufacturers give to their models.  Getting the name of a car right is really important for manufacturers so that it appeals to consumers and sells well.  Maybe with some of the models we came up with the manufacturers were hoping to scare up a bit of business by giving their cars a menacing but memorable name.”

He added, “Whether born of attempts to sound genuinely scary or to simply stand out from the crowd, car manufactures have a long history of concocting car names that sound dark and scary. There also a tendency to name cars after animals and these are generally based on predatory beasts.”

The Top 13 list of eerily named cars polled by HPI are:

1) Rolls-Royce Phantom 

First present in the motoring market in 1925, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is a classic that continues to get better and better with evolution. With it’s impressive stature and presence, it’s no surprise it has such an iconic name that suits its’ silent yet intimidating nature.

Silent like a phantom, the Rolls-Royce aptly name their model.
Top of the charts for spooktacular names had to be the iconic and much loved Rolls-Royce Phantom.

2) AMC Gremlin

Skip forward 45 years from the Phantom and across the pond to American manufacturers AMC who created the conspicuously named Gremlin. We’re not quite sure whether we’d want to own a car of which the name means “a mischievous sprite regarded as responsible for an unexplained mechanical or electronic problem or fault” but nevertheless, AMC stuck with the name and unfortunately it’s nature was slightly unpredictable apt to its’ name.

3) Pontiac Banshee

Staying with in the US we pick up 3rd place with the Pontiac Banshee, a concept car from Pontiac (manufactured and sold by General Motors) which certainly fits our spooky theme. Created as a design exercise, the Banshee was set to inspire future exterior and interior design themes for Pontiac models. Hopefully the name choice came more from design influences from history as opposed to the unwelcome screeching noise associated with a Banshee.

4) Hillman Imp

Created by Rootes Group, the Hillman Imp was designed by Formula One driver Michael Parkes and Tim Fry in Scotland during the 1960’s. Small, compact and a direct competitor for BMW’s Mini, it was hard task to take on and with a name meaning “a small, mischievous devil or sprite” , the sales of the BMW Mini unsurprisingly were not too challenged.

5) Lamborghini Diablo

Spanish for “devil”, the Diablo from Lamborghini certainly gives us shivers. Making records in the 1990’s, it was the first Lamborghini capable of attaining a top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour. After the end of its production run in 2001, the Diablo was replaced by the Lamborghini Murcielago which features on our list at number 13.

Stunning 90's Lamborghini Diablo became available for purchase earlier this year.
The Diablo was the first Lamborghini road car capable of a top speed of more than 200mph.

6) Alfa Romeo Spider

Caught at number 6 is the Alfa Romeo Spider, which first spun it’s web in late 1960’s and remained in production until 1993. Despite it’s spooky namesake, the Spider actually originates from the English word “speeder”, a two-person open horse-carriage.

7) Plymouth Prowler

The Plymouth Prowler, or more commonly known as the Chrysler Prowler, is a retro-styled production car manufactured in 1997, followed in 99-02 by DaimlerChrysler, based on the concept car of 1993.  Available for only 5 years, the Prowler model didn’t prowl for long but did sow the seed for future models including Chrysler Crossfire, Ford’s 2002 Thunderbird and the 2008 Dodge Challenger.

8) Ford Probe

The Ford Probe was first designed in the 1970’s as a concept car with a model finally released in 1989. It replaced the EXP model as Ford’s sport compact car and remained in production for 8 years. It’s lifespan takes little probing to unearth it’s relatively plain sailing story with a high profile feature in Back to the Future II, it may not be overly scary but who needs a reason to watch a classic film again and see if you spot the car. It’s not easy to miss!

9) Spectre R42

The second car on our list to feature a prominent Formula One link, the chairman in place at the time of production of the Spectre R42 was none other than Derek Bell MBE thanks to the request of Anders Hildebrand. However, as it’s name does suggest the Spectre brand soon became a ghost after only 23 models sold at £70,000 and followed with bankruptcy for the manufacturer. A subsequent model was planned but never materialised.

10) Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Sharing it’s name with the meaning of “spiteful,violent woman’ is the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Introduced to the market in 2015, the supercharged 6.2L engine supports its 707 horsepower output making it  the most powerful Challenger ever, Dodge’s most powerful V-8 ever and the most powerful muscle car ever. With it’s intimidating name, its an odd choice of phrase however, the true fright is its daunting presence.

11) Rolls-Royce Wraith

The Rolls-Royce Wraith was designed to be an imperceptible force, inspired by the words of Sir Henry Royce: “Take the best that exists and make it better.” Despite its “ghostlike” name reference, it is not possible to not take notice of what we feel is one of the most visually stunning cars in the spooky 13.

Inspired by Music Wraith Rolls-Royce extends the brands's Rock & Roll love affair.
The Rolls-Royce Wraith comes in several different Inspired options including music and sport homages.

12) DF Goblin

A slightly different model to feature at number 12 is a kit car, the DF Goblin. A monstrous creature which can be adapted, built on and developed into whatever the user prefers.

13) Lamborghini Murcielago 

To round up our 13 spooktacular vehicles we have the Lamborghini Murcielago. Spanish for ‘bat’, the Murcielago may not be able to fly through the air, but it can certainly pick up some speed with the ability to go from 0-60mph in just 3.8 seconds.

Bat inspired Murcielago features in our halloween spooktacular list of models.
Rounding up our haunting 13 models is a supercar favourite, the Lamborghini Murcielago.