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Super Bowl opponents among NFL teams sharing names with vehicles


The folks at All-Fit Automotive, which produces American-made aftermarket trim pieces, thought it would be fun as Super Bowl LIII approaches to see how many NFL teams have the same name as a car or truck. 

“This research was fun,” A.J. Dudon, All-Fit chief executive, is quoted in the company’s news release. “Some of the cars I’d never heard of before. Once we found a vehicle, we tried to place a star quarterback or popular coach behind the wheel. Some of those worked out and some vehicles just had something in common with the teams.”

“The AFC teams had a lot more teams that were similar to vehicle names while the NFC had just a few,” the company discovered as it offered a sample of vehicles with similar names to NFL teams.

Super Bowl, Super Bowl opponents among NFL teams sharing names with vehicles, ClassicCars.com Journal

 AFC West:

 *   Ford Bronco – This one shares a name with Denver’s 3-time Super Bowl winners. The graphic depicts a white Bronco, which sadly has a dark history with a once-celebrated NFL player.

 *   Dodge Charger – Like the L.A. Chargers, this car made its debut in Southern California. This Dodge model was introduced at the 1966 Rose Bowl. At that time, the Chargers had already been representing San Diego for six years.

AFC South:

 *   Nissan Titan – When the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville, fans scoffed at the Oiler name. Considering the Grecian architecture that is common in that Tennessee city, the team was named the Titans. According to Nissan, its “warrior” truck included design elements with a nod to the helmets of antiquity.

 *   Jaguar XKE – The Jacksonville Jaguars are owned by a well-known, international businessman. Jaguar vehicles are known internationally as luxury performance cars for the wealthy. Since Shahid Khan paid more than $750 million for the team, there’s no problem seeing him in a Jaguar XKE.

AFC East:

 *   Renault Dauphine – This rear-engine ride was done after the 1967 model year when the Miami Dolphins were barely a year old. Despite the French car’s sunroof and advertised “great maneuverability” it didn’t sell well in Florida or anywhere in the USA. Maybe the car would have done better if it was driven by some Miami football players? It’s been all but forgotten by Americans, but the Dolphins of the 1970s cemented a place in history due in part to two Super Bowl victories.

 *   Muntz Jet – This car was sleek, sporty, and a stand-out for its day. There were less than 400 Jet cars made, and only one Joe Namath. Just imagine Broadway Joe rolling through New York City in one of these collectibles.

AFC North:

 *   Bengal Tigers – After some debate, the Sunbeam Tiger was left off the list because some really thought Bengal should be in the name.

 *   Cleveland Browns – There’s just no way to make a car called The Brown. We think it’s safe to say no one would drive it.

NFC West:

 *   Ram Trucks – This NFL team started out as the Cleveland Rams in 1936. Ram trucks started out as Dodge trucks with a Ram hood ornament in the 1930s. The team moved to L.A. in 1946, to St. Louis in 1995, then back to Los Angeles in 2016. The trucks evolved into Dodge Ram trucks in the 1980s, and finally became their own division, Ram, in 2010.

 *   Seattle Seahawks – Another team without a vehicle under a similar name. Of course, if one were built, it would have to be large enough to hold 12 men.

NFC North:

 *   GM/Chevy Viking – The first time GM produced a Viking it was on the GM B platform and built under the Oldsmobile division. The car was only made for a few years. Chevrolet took the Viking name and added it to a medium duty truck in 1958. The truck model was only produced through the ‘60s. Neither of these vehicles could stand up to the longevity of Bud Grant, the Minnesota Vikings head coach (1967-83 then ’85). Given his reputation for frugality, if he owned either of these vehicles, he probably still has it.

 *   Stutz Bear – Iron Mike Ditka is Chicago royalty, so the Stutz Motor Company’s Bear might be a nice, armored vehicle for someone of his stature. More commonly, these cars were used by Middle Eastern royalty and their families.

NFC South:

 *   Ford Falcon – The Falcon sold reasonably well in the U.S. during its 10 production years, but the team thinks the early Mustang, built on the Falcon platform, is a better ride for this NFL team. Of course, the Atlanta Falcons home stadium is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. We’re pretty sure those players aren’t driving Fords.

 *   De Tomaso Pantera – This collaboration between Ford and De Tomaso was unveiled in 1970. The Carolina Panthers were unveiled as an expansion team in 1995. The Pantera had reliability and consistency problems but owners who kept the vehicles had those fixed and continue to enjoy them. There’s been some recent debate about Cam Newton’s accuracy and reliability, but the team thinks he’ll impress next season.

NFC East:

 *   AMC Eagle – Introduced in 1979, this early crossover wagon had 4-wheel drive and a 3-inch lift. During the car’s production years, coach Dick Vermeil took the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl.

 *   Dallas Cowboys – There’s no vehicle named the Cowboy, but the team thinks this is another great name for a hardworking truck.

“There are a lot of vehicles in the world, so it’s possible we missed one,” said Dudon. “Maybe this chart will inspire car names for another generation of automobiles. Who knows?”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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