Two spellings, two meanings.
The name of Georgia Tech’s automobile mascot is a point of fierce contention. The problem comes from varied use of the word “Wreck” and its contraction “Reck” when referring to the modern-day 1930 Ford Model A sport coupe or even the mechanical contraptions built by Georgia Tech students for homecoming parades before the school’s acquisition of the official mascot car in 1961.
The earliest official reference to the mascot in the Georgia Tech archives is the 1962 Blueprint, in which the writers of the Athletics section refer to the car as the “Ramblin’ Reck”. However, references to Dean Floyd Field’s car, the Georgia Tech football team, and the Tech student body in the Technique that predate the mascot use both spellings interchangeably.
The historic use of both terms has created a lot of confusion amongst students and fans, and the Institute has further complicated matters by holding a trademark on “Ramblin’ Wreck” and discouraging the use of “Ramblin’ Reck”. But the question remains: which name is accurate? Well, it depends on who you ask.
The Reck Club stance: “Wreck” refers to students; “Reck” refers to the car and the club.
The Institute stance: “Wreck” refers to both the car and students; “Reck” is not used.