Apparently, the Ford Edsel -- a car produced in the United States from 1958-60 -- is pretty much synonymous with "design failure" in the USA, in the same way as over here we would refer to the "Sinclair C5" (or even just "the British car industry"). No-one seems quite sure why, though I imagine it was probably a piece of crap, poorly manufactured and marketed, "the wrong car at the wrong time". The Austin Allegro, but without the stylish square steering wheel.
What is interesting, though, is that poet Marianne Moore was invited to submit suggestions for the name of the vehicle while it was under development. I don't know how difficult it can be to come up with a suitable name for a car, though some Far Eastern manufacturers clearly could do with a helping hand. Apparently the name "Edsel" (Henry Ford's son) came up early on, but Henry Ford II said that he didn't want his father's
According to Wikipedia, "Ford also ran internal studies to decide on a name, and even dispatched employees to stand outside movie theaters to poll audiences as to what their feelings were on several ideas. They reached no conclusions. Ford hired the advertising firm Foote, Cone, and Belding to come up with a name. However, when the advertising agency issued its report, citing over 6,000 possibilities, Ford's Ernest Breech commented that they had been hired to develop a name, not 6,000."
So, someone thought to ask Marianne Moore for some suggestions, the thinking being, "who better to understand the nature of words than a poet?" Indeed. Here are some of her suggestions (there were rather fewer than 6000, I think).
Andante con Moto
I think the "Ford Resilient Bullet" has a certain ring, don't you? It would certainly appeal to the Far Eastern market. But the "Utopian Turtletop" is a name that leaves me speechless with admiration. I'd drive one.
Moore, incidentally, as well as having a wooden ear for car names, was a dedicated wearer of idiotic hats. Check her images on Google. Classy! I had always assumed that the daft "highwayman" number she is often pictured wearing was the academic dress of some venerable American university. Nope. She just liked wearing a tricorn hat in public. With a cape. Well, wouldn't you, if you could get away with it?