How Much Do You Know About Cars From the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s?



By: Robin Tyler

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by High Contrast

About This Quiz

They certainly don't make cars like they used to, especially when put up against those classics from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Most of them had none of the conveniences that we are used to today. Yet today, many of these vehicles are still sought after by collectors. 

An exciting time in motoring emerged in the '50s and saw a major styling shift. During the 1940s, cars hadn't really changed, with no major producers making new models in America due to World War II. But that changed in the next decade as designs shifted from the rounded looks of the 1930s and 1940s into the long, sleek designs especially when it came to American models.

The '60s brought us muscle cars, with the Ford Mustang leading the charge and the Pontiac GTO, Chevy Camaro and many others following along. Porsche and Ferrari turned out sleek speedsters for the European market which soon entered the American market.

The '70s ushered in a range of styles as broad as the legs of disco pants. American sedans were big, bold and loud, but their market share took a major hit from small, boring Japanese sedans that got great gas mileage and benefited from the oil crisis. 

Take a drive down memory lane and see how many of these cars from past decades you can identify!

In the 1970s, an American car manufacturer released a performance version of their Valiant model. Can you pick it out from the options below?

A performance version of the Plymouth Valiant, the Duster was a fairly small vehicle for the time. It had a range of engine options and was produced by Plymouth starting in 1970 and running until 1976.


British sports cars are loved around the world, but one 1960s model stands out as a favorite then, today and forever. What is it?

This classic British sports car was first made in 1961. Not only did he E-Type look spectacular, but it offered excellent performance and was capable of speeds of up to 150 mph while it covered 0-60 mph in under seven seconds. Over 38,000 of the Series 1 Jaguar, the first produced in the '60s, were made


With a advertising slogan of "Up the Rebel Machine," this muscle car was aimed at young drivers. Can you name it?

The Rebel, particularly the 1970 models, took AMC straight into the muscle car fight. This was a real looker, blessed with a muscle car stance. With “Up with the Rebel Machine!” AMC's slogan for the car, it was certainly trying to buy into the younger market.


A classic American luxury brand from the 1950s, this vehicle was available as a 2-door coupe or 4-door sedan. Do you know what it is?

Available in a 2-door as a coupe or convertible and as a 4-door sedan, the Lincoln Cosmopolitan was produced from 1949 through 1954. Power came from a 337-cubic inch 5.5-liter V8 coupled to either a 3-speed manual or 4-speed automatic gearbox.


Released in the late '70s, can you identify a "super truck" produced by an American car maker?

A "super truck" of sorts, more than 5,000 Li’l Red Express Trucks were sold in 1978 and 1979. And it's not difficult to understand why. Not only did it look incredible but it had some serious speed. In fact, the modified 360 cubic inch V-8 engine produced 225 horsepower, even more than Corvettes produced at the time.


A muscle car with a massive rear spoiler, can you name the car intended as a NASCAR contender at first?

Created as a high-speed racing machine especially for NASCAR, the Superbird was also for sale to the public. The first models appeared in 1970 and were instantly recognizable thanks to the massive spoiler on the back.


From the options below, pick the '70s pickup that was one of the first to introduce a crew cab cabin option.

A stalwart of the Chevy pickup fleet in the 1970s, the C30 is considered to be the first of the modern pickup trucks. It was also the first Chevy with the crew cab option, meaning the truck could easily seat six people.


Which of these vehicles, first released in the mid '60s, sold 400,000 units and quadrupled sales expectations?

Arguably the most iconic muscle car ever, the Mustang was first released in 1964. It proved one of the most popular debuts ever and within a year, 400,000 units had been sold which quadrupled Ford’s sale estimates. Today, the first edition versions of this legendary car are still in demand.


O.J. Simpson famously led the police on a low-speed chase in one of these in 1995. This vehicle, however, was introduced in the 1960s. Can you name it?

The first 4x4 Bronco hit the trails in 1966, and between that year and 1977 proved to be a more than capable off-roader. Later models also included a Ford V8 engine with incredible torque. Bronco production ended in 1996 after 30 years, but Ford will reintroduce the model around 2019.


Nobody makes sports cars quite like the Italians, and this 1960s vehicle was a sign of things to come. Can you name it?

Built between 1966 and 1973, the Miura was updated a number of times during its production. The first version, the P400, received its power from a 3.9-liter V12 engine also produced by Lamborghini. Only 764 were built during its run.


In the 1950s, this small car was perfect for the narrow streets of Europe's cities. Pick it out from the options below, please.

The Fiat 500 garnered legions of devoted fans. No, we're not talking about the modern one but the first model, released in the 1950s. This car took Europe by storm and it's not difficult to understand why. Small, cheap and certainly cute, 500s from that era remain in demand today.


Which of these options is the first mass-produced car from South Korea, introduced in the 1970s and made into the 1990s?

The Pony, Korea's first mass-produced car, was a rear-wheel-drive subcompact car produced by the Korean manufacturer between 1975 and 1990. Two generations of the Pony were produced with a range of body options, including sedans, wagons, a coupe utility and a hatchback.


It was the mid- to late '50s model of this car that is deemed a classic, especially thanks to its pointy fins! Which vehicle are we talking about?

One of the most iconic vehicles ever produced by Chevrolet was the Bel Air. The version manufactured between 1955 and 1957 will always be remembered for its fantastic trim, with plenty of chrome and those beautiful pointy tail fins.


Please tell us which of these is a '60s German grand tourers is powered by the first-ever V8 engine used by the company?

A little over 500 examples of this sports touring car were produced by BMW from 1962 to 1965. The 3200 CS was essentially seen as a 2-door grand tourer and was powered by the first-ever V8 car engine produced by the company.


Name the America model from the options below that was a 2- or 4-door sedan sold in both the United States and Europe, please.

The Ford Granada was marketed as a midsize car in the United States between 1975 and 1982. It came in many guises, including a 2- and 4-door sedan, station wagon and 2-door coupe. It was also sold in Europe.


American actor James Dean died in one of these vehicles in a road accident. Can you identify it?

The Porsche 550 Spyder sports car was produced by Porsche from 1953 to 1956. The 1.5-liter Type 547 engine produced 108 horsepower. Another popular car at auction time, a 550 sold as recently as 2016 for $5.4 million. Of course, it was Spyder that actor James Dean was driving when he was killed in a fatal crash in September 1955.


Which of these is the epitome of British luxury with a little bit of Italian flair added to it?

This luxury 2-door saloon was produced by Rolls Royce between 1975 and 1986. It was designed by the legendary Pininfarina design house in Italy, with Paolo Martin the lead designer. This was the first Rolls Royce not designed by the company itself since World War II.


Can you name the 1950s vehicle that many car historians see as the first-ever muscle car?

Many muscle car aficionados call the Chrysler 300 the first muscle car, although some go farther back and point to the 1949 Olds Rocket 88. No matter if you agree or not, the 300, introduced in 1955 and produced until 1965, certainly had the cool factor.


Can you name a lesser-known muscle car from the late 1960s with GT-styling?

Produced by the American Motors Corporation between 1968 and 1970, the AMX was a GT-style sports car. It featured a 2-door coupe-styled body and had six different engine options, all V8s of varying size. AMX's came with either a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission.


Which of these is a sedan that was essentially a German hatchback model with added trunk space?

Essentially a Golf with rear storage space making it a sedan instead of a hatchback, the Jetta first appeared in 1979. It continues to be a Volkswagen model to this day. More than 14 million had been sold as of 2014.


The British made some incredible road cars in the 1950s. One popular one was a classic tourer which proved popular in the United States. Can you name it?

Over 8000 Y-Type saloons were built from 1947 to 1953. Three different types were built, the YA, Tourer and YB, although the YA was far more prevalent. Y-Type MGs were powered by a 1.2-liter engine.


Which of these vehicles was based on the Chevrolet Camaro chassis in the 1960s?

Based on the Chevrolet Camaro chassis, the Pontiac Firebird was its own car and certainly caught the public's attention in the mid-1960s. The Firebird was powered by a range of engines including straight-six and V8s. Over 82,000 were sold in 1967, the first year of production.


Can you name the purebred American racecar that dominated the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race in the mid-1960s?

The first generation GT40 won the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour endurance race for four straight years from 1966 to 1969, which included filling out the top three positions in 1966. Only 105 were produced.


Powered by just a 780cc engine, can you name the Japanese van/pickup first released in the 1960s?

The Bongo was available as either a pickup truck or a cab-over van. This Mazda stalwart was first released in the 1960s. The first generation was powered by a 780 cc rear-mounted engine, although a 1000cc model was made available in 1968.


Only one British automaker can make only 18 examples of a car and sell them to royalty and politicians during the 1950s. Name the automaker and car model, please.

The Phantom IV was the first Phantom model in 11 years for Rolls Royce. This model was an exclusive, only for royals or heads of state. Only 18 were made, three of which were convertibles. 16 are still known to exist around the world, most notably either in museums or with private collectors.


With its fastback styling, which of these vehicles was a German coupe that sold 30,000 units in the 1970s?

More than 30,000 of these fastback coupes were built by Audi from 1969 to 1976. It was noted for its slanted back section. The 100 Coupe S was powered by a 1.8-liter engine coupled to a 4-speed manual gearbox.


Made in Australia, this car was a General Motors design but marketed under a different name. Which of these vehicles are we referring to?

Also known as the Holden FX, the 48-215 was a Holden model produced in Australia from 1948 to 1953. It was the first model from General Motors to be marketed under the Holden name. The "FX" was never officially used by Holden, although it persisted.


Although built by a German manufacturer, this microcar was actually built under license. Name it, please.

Mini cars have a certain charm, and perhaps the most famous of them all is the Isetta. Interestingly, this was not a BMW design but built under license. BMW built the Isetta between 1955 and 1962. Its egg-like shape led to it being called a "bubble car."


Can you identify a two-door coupe that was never sold in the U.S.A. but was popular in Europe?

Sold for a period of nine years from 1966 to 1975, the BMW 1602 was a 2-door cabriolet which included a high-performance version, the TI. This model was not sold in the United States as it did not meet emissions requirements at the time.


When this British car maker releases a new model, the car world stands up and takes notice. And that happened with its model first seen in 1975. Can you name it?

Formed in 1922 by Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley, the Swallow Sidecar Company was the forerunner to Jaguar. Under the name SS Jaguar, the company started producing two models, the SS 90 and SS 100. One of their much-loved vehicles, the XJ Coupe, was built between 1975 and 1978. These were available with both 6- and 12-cylinder options. More than 8,000 were sold.


Small, cute and awesome, name the car which was first introduced in 1959, and is still loved all over the world.

Perhaps one of the most famous cars ever produced, the Mini first appeared in England in 1959 with the Mark 1. This small car was produced into the late ‘90s with various upgrades and changes over the years. In 2000, BMW bought the brand and introduced the Mini ONE. Although the shape paid homage to the original, these were much larger cars.


Based on a chassis from General Motors, please tell us which of these is a Australian-only model produced in the 1970s?

First introduced in 1978 and still marketed in Australia today as part of the Holden lineup, the Berlina name has been associated with the Commodore model for a number of years.


Just 36 examples of this vehicle were produced in Europe between 1962 and 1964. Any idea which car we are talking about?

Only 36 Ferrari 250 GTOs were produced by the Italian marque between 1962 and 1964. Over its production run, the GTO featured had two engine options, a 3.0-liter and a 4.0-liter V12. The GTO is considered one of the greatest Ferraris ever made.


A German sports car designed by an Italian, but can you identify it?

With a body designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, the M1 sports car was released in 1978 and built for a period of three years in which 453 were made. This was BMW's first mid-engined car and was powered by a 3.5-liter double overhead cam straight-six engine.


A brilliant '70s muscle car, this vehicle was a star of the "Fast and Furious" movie franchise. What is it?

The Charger was Dodge's first muscle car in the 1960s and entered the market as their answer to Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The model was still prominent during the early 1970s as well. Recent models have hearkened back to the original design.


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