Can You Identify All of These Restored Classic Cars?

By: Robin Tyler
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The hobby of collecting and restoring classic cars is stronger than ever. While top-tier classics like certain Ferraris can cost millions of dollars, you can get into the hobby for far less with cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Chevelle, Triumph TR6, Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and many others. 

Many people buy a classic car to relive a part of their youth, choosing a model they may have owned in their 20s. Others enjoy the opportunity to buy a car, restore it and sell it for a profit. 

It’s not hard to find the classic car of your dreams. You’ll find them at auctions happening all year long. You can buy classic cars on eBay and other online sites. There are even classic car dealers that stock many restored models and can even arrange financing for them.
What were the favorite cars of your youth? For some, it was cars of the 1950s. Others gravitate toward the 1960s models, which are generally better to drive than the earlier models. Today, even some cars of the early 1990s are considered classics. Imagine that – the first Camaro IROC-Z is more than 30 years old! 

You won't find 1990s cars in this quiz, but you have a chance to identify 40 models from the 1930s to the 1970s. So rev up your memories and dig in. Good luck!

Pontiac produced some iconic models, perhaps none more so than its GTO. The first model, released in 1964, was available in a convertible, hardtop and coupe. A 1967 model is shown.

By the late 1960s, Ford’s popular Mustang had grown a bit larger and offered impressive muscle car versions. This is a 1970 Mach 1, which could be had with the powerful 428 Cobra Jet V8 engine.

Porsche built its first production model, the 356, from 1948 through 1965, even as its successor, the 911, was already in production. Some 76,000 were made.

Plymouth’s first Barracuda beat the Ford Mustang to showrooms by just a few weeks in spring 1964, but the Mustang vastly outsold it. The second-generation Barracuda design for 1967-1969, shown here, offered muscle car V8 engine options and was popular for customizing, like this one.

Ford introduced the Falcon for 1960 as a low-priced, low-frills economy car. Some sporty versions appeared after 1962, including the V8-powered Sprint. The car pictured, though, is the base low-line sedan from 1960.

Established in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds, Oldsmobile became part of General Motors, which shut it down in 2004. The Cutlass, introduced in the early ’60s, became one of its most popular models by the early 1970s.

The 1962-1964 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk was the final version of a coupe that debuted in 1953. Designer Brooks Stevens creatively repurposed the older body shell, deleting the tailfins and gaudy trim of the late-1950s models.

With the 1963-1965 Riviera, Buick aimed at a European style for a luxurious and powerful American coupe. For 1965, the 1965 Riviera added a Gran Sport model (shown), melding performance and luxury.

Ford’s Mercury Division built mainly large sedans, coupes, convertibles and wagons in the 1960s, but for 1967 introduced the Cougar sport coupe. The Cougar was based on the Mustang chassis, but slightly larger for more interior room and comfort. Muscle car engine options were available.

Produced by American Motors Corporation between 1968 and 1970, the AMX was a two-seat offshoot of the company’s larger Javelin sport coupe. Its V8 engine came in 290, 343, 360 and 390 cubic-inch versions, all with a four-barrel carburetor.

Chevrolet introduced the first Corvette in 1953, and this first-generation model, today known as the “C1,” continued until 1962. This version was made from 1958-1960.

Available as a roadster or coupe, the MGA was extremely popular outside Britain with more than 95 percent of the more than 100,000 built between 1955 and 1962 exported. Its successor was called, not surprisingly, the MGB.

Ford replaced its hugely successful but crude Model T with the Model A in early 1928 and by summer 1929 had sold one million.

Chevrolet introduced the first Camaro for 1967 and in 1970 brought out a far different looking second-gen model with a design inspired by early 1960s Ferraris. Favorites to restore include the Z/28 and SS performance versions.

The Series 62 was Cadillac’s base model in the 1950s, available in coupe, convertible or sedan styles. This is the 1957 version, which had a more subdued style compared to the 1958 and iconic 1959 models.

Dodge jumped into the “ponycar” segment with the 1970 Challenger, which had a corporate virtual twin in the third-generation Plymouth Barracuda. Both were mechanically identical but with different styling. The top engine for 1970-1971 was the 425-horsepower, 426 cubic-inch “Hemi” V8.

Chevrolet introduced the Impala in 1958 as an upgrade trim level on the Bel Air, and it became an independent model the following year. This is the 1960 version. The top engine option that year was a 348 cubic-inch V8 with three two-barrel carburetors and making 355 horsepower.

The most famous Porsche of them all, the 911was introduced by the German carmaker in 1963 and remains a staple of its model line today, albeit in a far more advanced and powerful form than the early cars.

Ford introduced the Thunderbird in 1955 as a two-seat “personal car.” For 1958, it grew into a larger four-seat luxury model and became even more popular. The 1960s versions, like this 1966, have gained popularity with collectors and restorers.

Built from 1955-1974, the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia got its name from Ghia, the Italian firm that designed the body, and Karmann, the German company that built it for Volkswagen. It shared most of its chassis and mechanical parts with the VW Beetle economy car. More than 400,000 were made.

One of Chevrolet’s most successful models, the Chevelle was produced between 1964 and 1977. The SS versions are particularly popular with collectors and restorers, such as this1970 version. The most powerful V8 engine available for that year – and that year only – was the 454 cubic-inch “LS6” with 450 horsepower.

Pontiac tried to compete in the Trans-Am road racing series against its corporate cousin, the Chevy Camaro, along with the Ford Mustang, AMC Javelin and others. Its engine, however, was uncompetitive. That didn't stop Pontiac from licensing the “Trans-Am” name for its top Firebird street performance car. This is an early-’70s version.

British sports car maker Triumph introduced its TR-6 model in 1969 and went on to make more than 90,000 of them through 1976. And, more than 90 percent of those were exported, with most coming to the U.S. The TR-6 was powered by a 2.5-liter inline 6-cylinder engine.

Chrysler introduced its C-300 in 1955 as a kind of American interpretation of the Bentley R-Type Continental, but with a lot more power. Its 331 cubic-inch (5.4-liter) hemi-head V8 produced a claimed 300 horsepower, hence the model name. The 1956 model was called, oddly, 300B, followed in 1957 by the 300C – the first two of the company’s so-called “300 Letter Cars.”

Pontiac used the Grand Prix name from 1962 to 2008, but it made a convertible for one year only, 1967 (shown.) So if you find one in good shape, you might want to restore it.

Volvo introduced its P1800 sports coupe in 1961, with the design done by a Swede but looking quite Italian. More than 39,000 coupes were built through 1972. The model became famous quickly for its role in the popular TV series, “The Saint,” starring Roger Moore. The car was redesigned as an attractive sport wagon for 1973 and 1974, called 1800ES.

The Ford GT40 Mk. II won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race impressively in 1966, sweeping the first three places. A different version, the Mk. IV, won in 1967, and the Mk. II versions won again in 1968 and 1969. This historic racer inspired Ford to issue the modern GT road car in 2005, and then a successor in 2017.

Triumph’s tiny Spitfire roadster was designed by an Italian, Giovanni Michelotti, and named for a WWII fighter plane. Its final form, the Spitfire 1500, made just 53 horsepower from a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and took 16 seconds to go from 0-60 mph.

The Alfa Romeo Spider, introduced in 1966 gained fame the following year in the movie, “The Graduate,” staring Dustin Hoffmann and Katherine Ross. Restorers prefer this early version to the 1970s models, which had larger bumpers to meet safety standards. The Spider was made until 1993.

Replacing a model called the 100-6, the Austin-Healey 3000 was essentially a slightly larger version of that car, with a 2.9-liter straight-6 engine. It was made from 1959 to 1967, with most exported to the U.S.

Chrysler’s DeSoto division, started in 1928, eventually became just a rebadged Chrysler, like this 1960 model, and sales tanked. Chrysler dropped DeSoto in 1961.

While many think of the 1957 Chevy Bel Air as the most iconic, the early 1950s models are popular with restorers and customizers. This first generation of the Bel Air didn’t have a V8 engine but was powered by a straight-six.

British sports car maker Morgan Motor Company, which began building three-wheeled roadsters powered by motorcycle engines in 1911, introduced its first four-wheel model, the 4/4, in 1936. The +4 model arrived for 1950, still with the pre-war design, and still made with wood framing. Morgan is still at it, making 1940s-looking sports cars but with modern BMW engines.

Introduced in 1955, the Fiat 600 was the Italian carmaker’s first rear-engine car, preceding the even smaller 500 by two years. Barely 11 feet long, the 600 was powered by a 633cc water-cooled two-cylinder engine making – wait for it – 29 horsepower. Good thing it weighed just 1,300 pounds.

Hardly an “Ultimate Driving Machine,” BMW’s late-1950s 600 model was essentially a larger, four-seat version of its two-seat Isetta microcar. Power for this 1,100-pound car came from a 582cc, 2-cylinder BMW motorcycle engine.

MG sold more than sports cars. The MG 1100 sedan introduced in 1963 was built until 1974. It used a sophisticated front-wheel drive chassis with four-wheel independent suspension system and was powered by a 1,100cc four-cylinder engine making 55 horsepower. MG sold the 1100 in the U.S. for a few years.

Made between 1958 and 1963, the Lotus Elite is another beautiful British sports car. Powered by a 1.2-liter 4 cylinder engine making 75 horsepower (or up to 100 hp in racing guise), the Elite was extremely light, weighing just over 1,100 pounds (500 kg). Just over 1,000 were built.

Bugatti built only 17 of the stunning 57S Atalante Coupe model. This one is not restored, but was rather stored in original condition for decades by its second owner. It sold at auction in 2009 for an incredible $4.4 million.

Available as a coupe, convertible and four-door sedan, the Lincoln Cosmopolitan was produced 1949 and 1954, in two distinct body styles. This is the earlier style, made from 1949-1951, which was powered by a 337 cubic inch “flathead” V8 engine.

One of the earliest Cadillac models, the Model Thirty was produced between 1909 and 1911. It was the first model in the United States to offer a closed body, although that model is not shown.

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