Can You Name the Car From Its Distinguishing Feature?
By: Steven Symes
About This Quiz
Do you remember the DeLorean DMC-12? Who could forget those batwing doors? If you don't remember the model off of the top of your head, the DMC-12 was the car used in the cult classic film, Back to the Future. Most people didn't even bother with the model name and number, because the DMC-12 was the only vehicle ever made by the DeLorean Motor Company. Because of this, most people simply call these cars a DeLorean. Yet, the DeLorean was definitely distinguishable from other cars of the early '80s (it was manufactured only from 1981 to 1983), with brushed aluminum body parts in addition to the doors that opened upward. Unfortunately, for John DeLorean, the car's maker, fewer than 10,000 DeLoreans ever made it to market, and the company was liquidated a few years later. There have been some rumblings in recent years that new DeLoreans were going to hit the market, but we have yet to see any actual time machines on the road.
From this to many other famous cars, a single feature is often enough to recognize the car itself - assuming, of course, that you are a car aficionado, Do you remember every iconic feature of every car ever made? If so, let's get started.
This had a cone nose and super tall rear wing.
While the Plymouth Superbird might look ridiculous to the average person, this car had such a wild design for superior aerodynamics. It was used in NASCAR with much success, with the nose helping the car to slip through the air for amazing top speeds, while that wing kept the vehicle from going airborne.
The winged hood ornament retracts into the hood automatically.
Thanks to pedestrian crash compatibility standards and an abundance of thieves, modern Rolls-Royce models have a power-retracting Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. In a crash and each time the engine shuts off, the winged lady disappears in a flash, only to reappear later.
A hard convertible top folds into covered bed.
People are still trying to figure out what exactly the SSR is supposed to be. After all, it's kind of a truck, kind of a convertible sports thing, and who knows what else? Really, no other vehicle out there is quite like this thing, for better or worse.
Front fascia smiley face and bug eyes.
This little British roadster has been delighting people who see it and those lucky enough to drive it for some time. While the ride might not be comfortable, you won't be bored from behind the wheel.
Tiny car with crossbars, not doors.
This little French electric car is odd all around. It's meant only for short city runs, so Renault wanted to keep the footprint small, for ease of parking. The lack of doors, bubble shape, and bizarre front/rear fascias make it look more like an amusement park ride than anything else.
The seats raise up so your head sticks out through the sunroof.
Back in the day, a Saudi king wanted his own version of the Sbarro Windhound, only it was for falcon-aided hunting. You could just sit in the car, boost the seat up through the sunroof, aim, shoot the prey, and send the falcon out to retrieve it.
The front is the only door.
Mr. Bean made the Isletta famous with younger people, but back when this was popular in England, people in the United States were dismayed by the ultra-weird layout. It was created to economize space, which it did, but thankfully was a direction BMW didn't pursue further.
Crossover with two doors and a convertible roof.
The Nissan Murano is a crossover favored by people for its good looks and practical nature. The Crosscabriolet version was controversial because it lost a lot of the functionality you got with the regular version. That, and with the top down, it was pretty ugly. Of course, Land Rover followed suit with the Evoque Convertible.
Compact wagon with barn doors in the rear.
Even though it's pretty big for a Mini, the Clubman still is considered small for a wagon. Maybe because of its low ride height, Mini decided to give this thing barn doors instead of a liftgate or you'd have to duck each time you got anything in or out of the cargo area.
Headlights where the fog lights normally are.
Nissan really went for a polarizing design with the Juke, which has funkiness far beyond the strange headlights. Some people absolutely love the unique nature of this small crossover, while others describe it as one of the ugliest cars they've ever laid eyes on.
A midsize jelly bean sedan.
Before this redesign, the Ford Taurus wasn't a bad-looking car. It competed well against other midsize sedans, but when the bubblier version debuted, people immediately started to call it the jelly bean. What's worse, the interior features all kinds of oval shapes, plus tons of cheap plastic.
Car-truck with seats in the bed.
Right in the middle of the oil crisis, Subaru released the BRAT, a car with a pickup bed and two jump seats. It was a huge success, because people could haul stuff, but not pay a small fortune for fuel.
SUV with a tire mounted on the hood.
Just like the venerable Jeep, which this vehicle was patterned after, the Defender was a no-frills off-road machine. Many people opted for the spare tire mounted on the hood, improving the departure angle, versus having it mounted on the rear portion of the chassis.
A flying lady mounted to the leading edge of the hood.
Made by AMC in the 1950s, the Nash Rambler is widely regarded as the first American compact car. The design overall was distinct, but the flying lady hood ornament was especially unique for the time.
Handles are welded to the all four corners of this SUV.
The Willys MB, or the original Jeep used in World War II, was designed to never get stuck, since that would lead to capture and death for American GIs. To that end, the vehicle was designed with handles the riders could jump out and grab, carrying the Jeep out of mud, sand, or wherever it was struggling.
Looks like a clown shoe.
Many enthusiasts call this car the Clown Shoe, because that's exactly what it looks like. It's also highly sought after, because your get all the performance fun of the roadster version, but more utility and the promise of year-round driving.
Split headlights with the "eyebrows" up top.
The controversial rebirth of the Cherokee was due in part to the polarizing design. In particular, the split headlight layout didn't win over plenty of people, who found the layout too bizarre and just plain ugly.
A three-piece tailgate adorned this SUV.
This SUV edged out the Suburban for overall size, and it was made to tow all kinds of toys. Ford decided a liftback would be impractical with a trailer hitched up, but that barn doors blocked the driver's rearward view. The three-piece tailgate was the beautiful solution.
Modern hatch with an all-glass tailgate.
Volvo made a weak play to grab the thunder from BMW's Mini brand with the C30. While the compact hatchback didn't last past one generation, it did leave us with a super-unique tailgate you can't confuse with anything else.
Crossover with clam shell doors.
Honda really aimed the Element at active young drivers, which is why the floor had zero carpeting and the clam shell doors made loading things like mountain bikes or surf boards inside easier.
It wears a running pony badge.
Everyone should instantly recognize the Mustang, especially once they see that iconic running pony badge. Whether it has the tri-bar behind it or not, this emblem is one of the most widely recognized in the industry.
Exposed side frame members on a street-legal two-seater.
This crazy, stripped down car from the other side of the pond might not look like much to the untrained eye. Those exposed side frame members signal a low curb weight, making the Atom a blast to drive anywhere.
Taillights that look like jerry cans.
Jeep loaded the Renegade with all kinds of Easter eggs in the design, which hearken back to the storied brand's past. The jerry can-style taillights are one of many unique items on this SUV.
Looks like one big wedge.
The Countach made waves when it debuted in the 1970s. It was so wild in its styling, everyone from car fans to everyday people stopped and noticed it, which is why it became popular for posters. In fact, even today, the Countach will turn heads.
Ugly black front bumper in front of the wheels.
Few cars started out as a Hot Wheels design, but that's exactly where the Prowler came from. Sadly, thanks to government regulation, that beautiful front was marred by an ugly bumper. Plenty of Prowler owners take it off, which is a huge improvement.
Two doors on the passenger side, but only one on the driver's side.
The Hyundai Veloster has a really unique design that turns plenty of heads. But the door configuration is pretty interesting, with maybe one or two other cars in automotive history to ever offer something similar.
Front strut tower braces that make an X over the engine.
The Dodge Viper is a truly impressive vehicle, especially when you raise the hood. Not only does the massive naturally aspirated engine make a splash, but that X from the strut tower braces really punctuates things.
An SUV you can remove the doors with relative ease.
Jeep Wrangler owners love the open air experience they can enjoy, thanks not only to the removable doors, but also the removable roof. It's a great vehicle for basking in the freedom of the outdoors.
Giant hood heat extractor.
Few cars are as wild and high-strung as the Evo. Not only was the styling extreme, features like hollow camshafts pushed performance to levels that have left a number of drivers floored and in love.
The badge featured an ocean wave.
It's fitting that at one point, a car that was named after a famous seaside city featured a badge with an ocean wave on it. Sadly, that was the coolest design element on the Malibu in the early 2000s.
One might wonder what exactly was going on inside GM when Pontiac designers whipped up this abomination. After all, there's really nothing aesthetically redeeming about the Aztek, let alone the horrible mechanicals.
A frame made of ash.
You can't say that really any modern cars have a any wood in the frame, but Morgan is decidedly old school. The British automaker still uses ash wood to fashion portions of the frame, as well as designs that look straight out of the early 20th century.
Three headlights stacked on each side.
TVR, a brand that's exotic for people in North America, has been known for some interesting design choices. The stacked headlights is one of the most distinct design elements used by the automaker, which is in the middle of making a comeback.
Looks like the back end was suddenly chopped off.
One of the oddest cars ever made, the AMC Gremlin really does look like half a vehicle. That odd termination to the rear is arresting, and the reputation for poor reliability didn't help with sales long-term.
Comes with a roof scoop right out of the factory.
The Exige has an extreme look that will turn heads, and make the less-knowledgeable ask if it's a Ferrari. Thankfully, all those aggressive designs are backed up by some serious performance.
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