It’s a similar story with the Lotus Elise. In keeping with the Lotus Cars tradition of using model names beginning with the letter ‘E’ (Elite, Elan, Eclat, Esprit, Exige, Evora, etc.) the Elise name was derived from Elisa Artioli, the granddaughter of Romano Artioli who was chairman of Lotus and Bugatti at the time of the car's launch in 1996. The (now) 24-year-old Elisa Artioli appropriately drives a Lotus Elise today.
Other car models to use first names include the Opel (and Vauxhall) Adam, plus the Opel Karl (Vauxhall Viva in the UK); named after Karl, Adam’s brother and Opel co-founder. In South Korean Kia sells the domestic market-only Joice and Ray, with the unfortunately-named Datsun/Nissan Cedric, Gloria and Violet once being strong-selling models all over the globe.
Over time, some car owners become so attached to their cars that they give them nicknames. Many moons ago, for example, an old flame of mine soppily named her old Fiat Panda, Fifi the Fiat, which she then replaced (with considerable heartache) with Percy the Peugeot (205). A Goodwood colleague, working in the Motor Sports Content team (who shall remain nameless to spare his blushes), recently revealed that he affectionately named his first car (a 1995 Ford Fiesta), ‘Queenie,’ although he didn’t reveal why!