Does Your Favorite Football Team Have a Matching Vehicle?

Here at the Motor City, soccer shares a unique relationship with our most notable export, the automobile. The All-Fit Automotive team recently challenged themselves to find 32 vehicles that match the names of NFL teams. While they couldn’t match every piece of equipment, they did find some rare, classic, and even international vehicles that fit accordingly.

“I had never heard of some of the cars, but the research was fun,” said AJ Dudon, CEO of All-Fit Automotive.

Here’s a look at what All-Fit Automotive found.

AFC West

The Ford Bronco immediately comes to mind, especially after Ford brought the adorable machine back for the 2021 model year. Though they took a beating at the hands of Joe Montana and the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV, John Elway and his troops would emerge to back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. The Denver Broncos returned to the Super Bowl most recently with Peyton. Manning.

Elsewhere in the AFC West, the Dodge Charger and Los Angeles Chargers share a common history. The Dodge Charger actually made its debut in Southern California, being introduced at the 1966 Rose Bowl. Astute Raiders fans may recognize the Mitsubishi Raider, a midsize pickup based on the Dodge Dakota. When the Raider truck debuted in 2005, the Raiders were still in Oakland.

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1968 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi. Photo: From The art of Mopar by Tom Glatch, published by Motorbooks.

AFC South

Remember the titans! But never forget the Oilers! The Tennessee Titans, who share their name with Nissan’s flagship truck, battled the St. Louis Rams during Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000. It remains the Titans’ only Super Bowl appearance, but it marked the first championship. for a Rams team led by quarterback Kurt Warner. . Despite the Rams having “The Greatest Show on the Turf” in regards to their offense, Super Bowl XXXIV was largely a defensive affair.

The AFC South is also home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who appeared in 1995 as one of two expansion teams that year. The connection here is easy: Jaguars football, Jaguar cars, but it goes beyond the obvious. Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, who wasn’t too happy with that bump and grind video with Urban Meyer last season, he has long-standing roots in the automotive business. The now billionaire paid for his studies at the University of Illinois while he worked at Flex-N-Gate. Today, Khan owns the car manufacturing company where he worked in college.

TITAN Lift Kit Photo 2
Nissan Titan with factory lift kit. Photo: Nissan North America.

AFC East

Holding up the AFC East is the Muntz Jet, a sleek and sporty offering for its time. Hagerty details the story from one Frank Kurtis, an IndyCar builder who later sold his car company to Earl William “Madman” Muntz. The seller’s vision for the car differed significantly from that of Kurtis, who wanted the vehicles to become the American equivalent of Jaguar. Under Muntz, the Jet came with a number of interior arrangements including alligator, emu, leopard, snakeskin, and even a cocktail bar.

Although he lost money, Muntz claimed that the company built almost 400 Jets (historians dispute that production number today). Regardless, there are even fewer Joe Namaths. That is to say; there is only one. Imagine Broadway Joe rolling through New York City in one of these collectibles? “Once we find a vehicle, we try to put a star quarterback or a popular coach behind the wheel,” Dudon said.

Jet Muntz
1953 Muntz Jet Convertible.

AFC North

In the AFC North, the Sunbeam Tiger is similar to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pittsburgh Steelers are also worth mentioning, as every passenger car made today uses some grade of high-tensile-strength steel.

As for the Cleveland Browns? For better or worse, not a single automaker (that we know of) has come up with a concept car called “The Brown.”

NFC West

The Ram Trucks and the Los Angeles Rams are an easy match in the NFC West, both of whom have done their fair share of moving and shaking. The NFL team started out as the Cleveland Rams in 1936, then moved to Los Angeles in 1946; St. Louis in 1995, then returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

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As for Ram, they were initially just Dodge trucks with a Ram hood ornament from the 1930s. In the 1980s, they became Dodge Ram trucks and finally became their own division in 2010.

That leaves the Cardinals and Seahawks, both of whom don’t have a vehicle named after them. In the future, we might see a small SUV called the Cardinal (Chevy Cardinal or Chrysler Cardinal, perhaps). As for the Seahawks, our vote is to use it as a name for your beloved Hooptie.

2019 Ram 1500 North front mid-clearance
Ram 1500 North Edition. Photo: FCA US LLC.

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings fans have felt that “so close, yet so far” ache for seasons to the end. The franchise has appeared in four Super Bowls, but has yet to secure a championship. Vikings fans have endured six NFC Championship Game losses since 1978, with the most painful coming during Brett Favre’s 2009 season. Favre was breaking records left and right as the Vikings entered the NFC Championship Game with a 12-4 record. Despite a hard-fought performance by the Vikes, the New Orleans Saints (eventual Super Bowl XLIV champions) defeated the Purple People Eaters in overtime.

While there is still hope for the Minnesota Vikings, the General Motors Viking less so.

The original Viking was an Oldsmobile built on the automaker’s GM B platform. The Viking car survived only a few years and was adopted by Chevrolet, who put its namesake car on the side of a medium-duty pickup in 1958. But the Viking pickup soon faded into the annals of automotive history. None of these Vikings could match the longevity of Bud Grant, Minnesota’s iconic coach (1967-83 and then ’85). Given his reputation for frugality, if he owned any of these vehicles, he probably still does. Skol!

Oldsmobile Viking Advertisement
Advertisement for Oldsmobile Viking, May 1929, Saturday afternoon mail.

NFC South

The Ford Falcon enjoyed solid production from 1960 to 1970, and the configurations were endless. The Falcon was offered as a two- or four-door sedan; two or four door van; and a hardtop or convertible. There was even a Ranchero pickup option. Whiz Kid Robert McNamara, later the US Secretary of Defense, oversaw the development of the Falcon when Ford was in trouble. The “Whiz Kids” were ten USAAF World War II veterans who became Ford executives in 1946 at the behest of Henry Ford II.

The NFC South Atlanta Falcons have their own nicknames: “Grits Blitz” describing their late-’70s defense and the more affectionate “Dirty Birds.”

The Carolina Panthers, also at home in the NFC South, share a bond with Ford just like the Falcons. Ford’s Panther platform supported the automaker’s biggest cars for more than three decades. The Ford LTD, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Continental are among the group of rear-wheel drive cars built on the Panther platform from 1979 to 2012.

NFC East

In the NFC East, the AMC Eagle pairs very well with the Philadelphia Eagles, as do the Washington Commanders and the Jeep Commander. Surprisingly, there’s no beefy work truck named after America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, though the new Ford Maverick seems close enough.

AMC’s last cars were the 1988 Eagles. Production was completed in late 1987. Photo: De American Motors Corporation: The Rise and Fall of America’s Last Independent Automaker by Patrick Foster, published by Motorbooks.

Putting it on the grill

All-Fit Automotive compiled it all into the graphic below, with one you can share on social media here. “There are a lot of vehicles in the world, so we may have missed one,” Dudon added. “Maybe this painting will inspire car names for another generation of cars. Who knows?”

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He is a member of the board of directors of the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, a former president of the Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal fan of the Detroit Lions..

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