When you Google ‘Ford Prefect’, your first few hits are going to be about the Hitchhikers Guide. Which makes sense, since asking random people on the street will probably give you the same answer.
The books states this about the unusual name:
Although Ford had taken great care to blend into Earth society, he had “skimped a bit on his preparatory research,” and thought that the name “Ford Prefect” would be “nicely inconspicuous.”
Douglas Adams later clarified in an interview that Ford “had simply mistaken the dominant life form.”
I had always found the car story a bit implausible. Until early this week when I actually saw one (!!)
I felt happy and excited all day for no apparent reason. I guess it’s not everyday you meet your literature heroes in real life..