Car-naming connects students with their vehicles


    By Angelina Carini

    Like new pet-owners, some students bond with their cars by giving their four-wheeled friends a name.

    Joy Henshaw, 20, a junior from La Habra, Calif., majoring in math education, received a 1978 Chevy Monza from her aunt and uncle.

    “She was quite the unique original, so we decided that she needed a name,” Henshaw said.

    But Henshaw said she didn”t name her car – it already had a name, but it was just a matter of discovering what it was, she said.

    Henshaw said she tried several names, but said her car behaved best when she called it Gertrude. This is how she knew she found the right name for her car, she said.

    Kimberlee Smith, 19, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla., majoring in French, said her family has a truck named Delilah.

    Smith said the truck was named by an elder serving in their ward who drove a mission car dubbed Samson.

    The missionaries would always park their car next to the family”s truck in the church parking lot, hence the Samson and Delilah combination, Smith said.

    She said the car had a gender, a personality, and an identity. A car with a name receives more respect, she said.

    If Delilah wouldn”t start, the family would sweetly coax her, Smith said.

    “If I have trouble changing gears, I say she must be mad at me,” Smith said.

    Chris Evans, 24, a senior from San Jose, Calif., majoring in elementary education, said a car owner must first develop a relationship and a history with the vehicle before naming it.

    Evans said sometimes, events that occur within a vehicle can create a bond between the car and its owner.

    “My car, Celeste, has already seen some ugliness,” he said. “It was in that very car that I broke up with my girlfriend.”

    Another important part of the car-owner relationship is mutual trust, Evans said.

    “Everyone says, ”I don”t know if I can trust this car,” but the question is, can the car trust you?” Evans said.

    According to him, the golden rule applies to vehicles, too.

    “Take care of it, feed it, nurture it, say nice things to it, treat it like a person,” he said.

    In return, he said, the car will perform as the owner directs.

    Evans said he learned these car-care principles with his previous car.

    “With Catherine, I could have been brought up on abuse charges. I basically starved it,” he said, adding that as a result of his neglective behavior, the car is in a coma.

    Evans said after receiving a name, the car became part of the family and drew an emotional attachment from its owner.

    “Once you name a car, it becomes part of you. You”re no longer driving a stranger”s car,” Evans said.

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