Can You Correctly Answer These Easy, Medium, and Hard Questions About American Auto Brands?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: CBS This Morning

About This Quiz

Although the first car wasn't built in the United States -- the first is generally agreed to be the "motorwagen" created by Karl Benz, who later gave his name to Mercedes-Benz -- America was an early innovator in carmaking. American Fords and Chevrolets were imported to all parts of the world in the early 20th century. 

However, during the oil crisis of the 1970s, Japan made major inroads in automobile production, and it seemed like America's time as automaker-to-the-world was finished. Everyone wanted Hondas and Toyotas, which were small, gas-efficient and highly reliable. American automakers struggled to rebound -- but rebound they have, with their own fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars. That's not to mention the sports-car designs that could only have come from the United States (we're looking at you, Mustang!)

If you bleed 91 octane, we've got a quiz for you! Test yourself on the automakers of the United States, from the "Big Three" to the scrappy little carmakers that never quite got off the ground, or thrived at midcentury before being folded into a larger company. Do you know, for example, which failed car was the subject of a movie starring Jeff Bridges? Or where the short-lived Saturn brand was produced? We'll test you on all this and more. Buckle up and get started!

Which of these is/was NOT an American car brand?

Subaru is Japanese, as the name probably tells you. Fun fact: "Subaru" is the Japanese name for the Pleiades, and the seven stars are represented on its logo.


The Ford Motor Company was founded by _____ Ford.

Henry Ford is an American icon, producing affordable cars for the people and paying decent wages to workers. Sadly, his legend is tarnished by his anti-Semitic views.


What was Ford's first major production car?

The Model T was a breakthrough in car production -- and in middle-class life in America. It was the first car within financial reach of middle-class buyers, and millions were sold.


Which company makes the Camaro?

The Camaro was Chevy's answer to the very successful Mustang. Like the Mustang, it has been redesigned for the 21st century.


Which company makes the Challenger?

The Challenger is a classic American pony car. It is a perennial rival to the Mustang and the Camaro.


What is the symbol, found on the grille, of a Chevrolet car?

The Chevrolet is represented by a gold-colored cross, with a longer crossbar than vertical bar. It's sometimes called the "bowtie."


What company's trucks are the F-150, F-250 and F-350?

The "F" kind of gives it away, right? Ford trucks are among the most popular in America among contractors and other heavy laborers.


Which of these was a nickname for the Model T?

You'll run across both these terms in early 20th-century American novels and short stories. There was also an irreverent saying from those days: "Ford's in his flivver; all's right with the world."


Finish the advertising slogan: "Have you driven a Ford, _____?"

There's nothing like an advertising slogan that admits you'd like people to forget about the past decade or so! Ford was pulling out of a slump in the 1980s when it created this tagline that encouraged people to give their product a second try.


The term "Big Three" refers to ...

This is a question that looks easy but isn't, because General Motors is a mega-company that owns so many other brands. This includes Chevrolet, which many people think stands alone as one of the "Big Three." (It should also be noted that of late, Chrysler is named "Fiat Chrysler.")


Which carmaker was associated with the unsuccessful Edsel?

The Edsel, introduced in 1958, was named for Henry Ford's oldest son. Advertised as the car of the future, it didn't impress buyers (who especially objected to the high price tag). "Edsel" became a synonym for commercial failure, like "New Coke" would be in the 1980s.


Which car helped Ford bounce back from the Edsel disaster?

The Mustang was introduced in mid-1964, leading to the first ones being affectionately called the "1964-1/2" model. The new car was an instant hit.


What carmaker situated its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee?

Saturn advertised itself as "a different kind of car company" and manufactured its cars in the US, with American workers. Saturn wasn't entirely independent, though; it was under the umbrella of General Motors.


Which carmaker produces the Volt?

The Volt is the top-selling plug-in hybrid in America, at least to date. It was released in 2010.


Which of these brands is NOT American?

Dacia is the premier automaker of Romania. If you said "Tesla" because of Elon Musk, sorry -- Musk is South African-born, but the company is American.


Which Chevy car (supposedly) sold poorly in the Latin American market because of its name?

"No va" means, "It doesn't go" in Spanish. However, the car sold just fine. notes that there's a brand of gasoline called "Nova" in Spanish, that is likewise not cursed by its name.


Who made the LeSabre?

Buick has long traded on a reputation as an upscale carmaker. The names of several of its cars reflect that, like the Gallic-sounding "LeSabre" and the "Regal."


Which of these brands are under the umbrella of General Motors?

General Motors used to own even more U.S. brands. These include Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Hummer.


Which of these was NOT an AMC car?

AMC was responsible for some of America's cheapest little cars, which you still see being driven around today as "poor man's cars" held together with bubblegum and baling wire. However, AMC didn't make the Dart -- Dodge did, and no one can take that away from them (or would want to).


Which of these early automakers made the Rambler?

The Nash Rambler, introduced in the 1950s, is considered America's first compact car. (It should be noted that it doesn't look very "compact" in the era of the Mini Cooper and the smart car).


Which two carmakers is Lee Iacocca associated with?

Iacocca was head of Ford during the rollout of the first Mustangs. In the 1980s, he was credited with bringing Chrysler back from the brink of failure.


What decade was the Chevy Corvette first sold?

Despite being a rival to the Mustang, the Corvette preceded that pony car. The 1950s Corvette was a convertible with rounded-edge body styling, like the Mercedes convertibles of that time.


In what city is Ford headquartered today?

Dearborn is only Michigan's eighth-largest city. Ford also has several overseas headquarters, as befits a multinational company.


What year did Saturn discontinue sales?

GM began signaling its intent to sell off the brand in late 2008, but an intended sale fell through. Eventually, GM announced that dealerships would remain open until their inventory was sold, essentially through the end of 2010.


What does the name "Camaro" mean?

It's a mystery! Someone at the carmaker liked the sound of the name, and that was that.


What year was the first Model T produced?

The Ford Motor Company went through several other models before hitting on the one that would be a huge success. Model Ts continued to be sold for many years afterward.


Which of these is the oldest carmaker in the U.S.?

Yup, Buick was there first, though the other companies are fairly old, as well. Buick was founded in 1899.


Where does Buick sell the majority of its vehicles?

Though an American brand, Buick sells about 80 percent of its vehicles in China. It's not entirely surprising, given that a huge population translates into a very large demand for cars.


What year was the Ford Motor Company founded?

Henry Ford founded his company shortly after the turn of the 20th Century. It celebrated its centennial in 2003.


What does the name "Corvette" mean?

A Corvette is a light, fast warship. The name comes from the Dutch word "corf" for ship, becoming "corvette" in French.


Which of these carmakers went under in the 1980s?

AMC stands for "American Motor Company," the merger of early automakers Hudson and Nash-Kelvinator. AMC became defunct in 1988.


What failed car was the subject of a movie starring Jeff Bridges?

Though both the Edsel and the Tucker failed, they failed in very different ways. The Ford Edsel had the full support of its maker, while the Tucker was, it was often been alleged, the target of a smear campaign by the Big Three automakers. The movie "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" was made by Francis Ford Coppola, who owns a Tucker.


What kind of car was the General Lee, on "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

The General Lee was the unacknowledged star of the show. However, the Confederate-flag design on the roof isn't aging well, it has to be said.


Mark Hamill tries to find his stolen sports car in "______ Summer."

This movie came out in 1978, during Mark Hamill's brief "heartthrob" period. Hey, don't laugh -- what would Harrison Ford have done, if the Millennium Falcon were stolen?


What nationality was Louis Chevrolet?

That's right, the co-founder of one of America's iconic car brands was European! (We call him "co-founder" because William Durant must have his due, though it isn't his name on the car). Louis Chevrolet was originally a race-car driver.


Explore More Quizzes

About Autoversed

Welcome to Autoversed: your online auto destination. If you consider a vehicle more than just means of transportation; if you treat your ride with love and care; if, even after years of driving, the feeling of accelerating hard on the open road still gets you revved up – you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re a daily commuter looking for a reliable ride, a car enthusiast thinking about your next hot rod, or a parent who needs to get the kids from A to Z, Autoversed has something for you. We’ve got the lowdown on hot exotic rides, pricy luxury vehicles, eco-friendly green machines, rugged off-roaders, and more. Come take a look!