On 27 September 2017 (Wednesday), the world woke up to the news of the death of Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine at his home, the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. He was 91 and died of natural causes. Hefner almost single-handedly brought a sexual revolution in the 1960s with the help of his acclaimed magazine.
While we know Playboy as American men's lifestyle and entertainment magazine, did you know there was a car company called Playboy Motor Car Corporation? Even intriguing fact is that the magazine is named after the car company.
The story goes as follows. Playboy Motor Car Corporation was a Buffalo, New York-based automobile company, established in 1947. The company is not known because it had only produced 97 cars before going bankrupt in 1951. The first and most notable model from the brand is called the Continental.
Meanwhile, Hefner started Playboy magazine in Chicago in 1953. According to a 2010 documentary titled "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel," a woman who worked for Playboy Motor Cars at the time they shut down suggested to her son's friend that he use the Playboy name for his new magazine. That friend's name was Hugh Hefner!
This story was confirmed by a letter from Hugh Hefner himself, says playboymotorcars.com. "The Playboy name was suggested by a friend whose mother had worked at the then defunct Playboy Motor Car Company..." the website quoted Hefner. This story was further confirmed in episode 2 of the 2017 Amazon Prime series entitled "American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story."
Interestingly, Hefner never owned a Playboy car. There are currently only 49 Playboy cars known to still exist in the world. Of those, about 15 are known to be in roadworthy condition, and less than five are known to have the optional windshield-mounted spotlights.