A bit of H2G2 trivia -- an answer to a question that has puzzled me greatly ... No! Not that answer, and not that question either ... it is this -- what is so funny about the name 'Ford Prefect'?
In the first book, Douglas Adams mentions that Ford chooses this name because he feels its nicely inconspicuous. Now after having read this far, knowing Adams' style, one begins to think there must have been some lingering irony behind that origin of his name.
A clue was revealed to me when I stumbled upon a wikipedia entry for H2G2 -- more specifically, the French translation, in which the names of the characters have been changed around. So, Ford Prefect becomes Ford Escort.
Apparently, Ford Prefect was the name of a Ford Car specifically marketed in the UK as a low-cost car in the 50s/60s that became quite popular. And Adams mentioned in an interview that the reason 'Ford' chose his name was because he simply miscalculated the dominant life-form.