I had to stop shopping for a classic car because the geniuses advertising used automobiles on Craigslist kept chipping away at my fragile ability to tolerate other people. The problems are so numerous and frequent, I hardly know where to begin.
Let's start with Cadillac converters.
Yep, you read that right. There are guys out there assuring potential buyers that their Monte Carlos, Mercury Zephyrs, and Plymouth Voyagers will have no problem meeting California's strict smog inspections and maintenance standards, because they just had brand new Cadillac converters installed in the exhaust systems.
Just about everybody with a Chevrolet Camaro for sale spells it "Camero," for some reason,
The Oldsmobile Toronado, meanwhile, has never in the history of classified ads been listed as such. It's always the Oldsmobile Tornado. The variant offered in the early 1990s with touch-screen, computer controls on its dashboard was called the Toronado Trofeo, but if you want one, I'd suggest searching the classifieds for a Tornado Trophy.
If you think the private sellers are bad, you should see what the automakers themselves do in the interest of giving their products the most confusing, redundant, self-contradictory, or awkward names that their marketing departments can possibly dream up.
The Toronado's corporate cousin, for example, Cadillac's El Dorado, could be ordered from the factory with upgraded trim and equipment, in which case it was called the El Dorado ETC. No, there's no marketing tie in with "The King and I"-- it's not the El Dorado Etcetera. ETC stands for El Dorado Touring Coupe, meaning the vehicle's full name is Cadillac El Dorado El Dorado Touring Coupe. Fair enough, I suppose.
It reminds me of how biologists distinguish our upgraded trim and equipment level from that of our very recent ancestors by adding a third name to the binomial nomenclature, so that instead of being mere Homo Sapiens, we are the much newer, sportier, more distinctive Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
Similarly, as the four-door Seville (one of the El Dorado's stablemates) lost its bustle-back trunk and positioned itself for the first time as a credible threat to the European performance and luxury models, Cadillac chose to offer a quicker, better-handling, up-market edition, which they christened Seville STS.
STS, of course, stood for Seville Touring Sedan, meaning the proper name for the manufacturer's flagship was Cadillac Seville Seville Touring Sedan.
Don't even get me started on the subject of the Daihatsu Charade or the Mitsubishi Precis.