The 1970s Car Trivia Quiz


By: Robin Tyler

7 Min Quiz

Image: jallfree/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The 1970s were a mixed period in world motoring. The decade was largely dominated by the oil crisis which started in 1973. This saw members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries begin an oil embargo. And that led to a fuel crisis.

But how did this affect the motoring industry? Well, in the United States, restrictions were placed on the size of engines that could be put in a motor car. So no more massive fuel guzzling V8's then. Just think what that did to muscle car design, which in the early 1970s was a major part of vehicle sales in the country.

The 1970s also saw a Japanese invasion worldwide. A range of models, including the Toyota Corolla, were sold in Europe, the United States and elsewhere. These compact cars begin to gain a foothold, slowly rising in popularity. Why? Well, in the first place, they were extremely fuel efficient and overall, they were very well made, And don't forget, just like in the '50s and '60s, beautiful European designs remained popular in the United States as well.

So let's put your '70s car knowledge to the test, shall we? How much do you really know about this exciting decade in motoring?


Popular, but a massive fire hazard in rear collisions. Which American car are we talking about?

Although the budget-friendly Ford Pinto sold well, it had a terrible secret. Thanks to the placement of its fuel tank behind the rear axle, the Pinto was a real fire hazard in a rear impact collision. Forde only fixed the problem from 1976 onwards and paid some out of court settlements instead of recall. When this was found out, they were forced to recall the Pintos anyway and fix the problem.


1970 saw the last model of this vehicle, which was considered a muscle car thanks to a big V8 engine. What vehicle are we referring to?

Produced from 1962 to 1970, the Wildcat changed in looks pretty much every year. One thing that remained constant was the V8 engines found under the hood. The final model, produced in 1970 included a new 455 cubic inch V8 that produced 370 brake horsepower.


Please can you tell us the name of the British luxury introduced in 1971 and used by world leaders and royalty?

Designed by Bill Allen, the Corniche from Rolls Royce was produced for 16 years from 1971 to 1996. It was an advancement on the Silver Shadow and was available as either a 2-door coupe or 2-door convertible.


This German car was another hatchback model with a rear storage space added. Any ideas as to what it is?

Essentially a Volkswagen Golf with rear storage space making it a sedan instead of a hatchback, the Jetta first appeared in 1979. It proved to be just as popular as the Golf but attracted a different target market, most notably families.


The '70s saw this luxury 4x4 off-roader prove very popular. Can you name it?

The first luxury 4x4s sold by Jeep, the Wagoneers were produced for a period of 28 years, from 1963 to 1991. Even though this was a massive vehicle, the 4x4 performed admirably off-road and also won the Sno*Drift Rally of 1974.


Can you name the popular Japanese sports car produced for seven generations with the first available in 1971?

Seven generations of the Toyota Celica were produced between 1971 and 2006. A very popular sports car, the Celica has some excellent racing pedigree and took place in both track racing as well as rallying.


First seen in 1970, can you name one of the decade's greatest muscle cars?

The Challenger was first introduced in 1970 as a muscle car. The top of the range model from this era was powered by a 6.98-liter Chrysler Hemi engine and they sure could move!


Introduced in 1974, this hatchback remains very popular today. Do you have an idea of the make and model?

Since its inception in 1974, the Golf has gone from strength to strength. In fact, Volkswagen’s tagline, ‘The People’s Car,’ easily moved from the aging Beetle to this hatchback.


Can you name the American vehicle that came in a range of body types and sold 2 million units in just six years?

Competing in the subcompact segment, the Vega was produced by Chevrolet between 1971 and 1977. It was available as a hatchback, wagon, notchback, and panel delivery vehicle. Over 2 million Vegas were sold during its production run.


What American muscle car, released in the '70s was underpowered leaving fans of the brand unimpressed?

Introduced during the fuel crisis of the '70s, the Mustang II is frowned upon for one thing - its powerplant options. No longer a gas guzzling V8 muscle car, the Mustang II now had either four or six-cylinder engines. Mustang aficionados were not impressed.


Can you name the pickup truck with a modified V8 engine that sold over 5,000 units in 1978 and 1979?

A 'super truck' of sorts, over 5000 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 inches V-8 engine produced 225 brake horsepower, even more than the Corvettes produced at the time.


Released in 1976, can you name the car that is considered the original "hot hatch"?

Volkswagen started the ‘hot hatch’ revolution with the introduction of the Golf GTI in 1976. This was a Golf Mk 1 with a high-performance engine and instantly became a hit.


Do you know the name of a Japanese microcar first released in the 1970's and powered by a 350cc engine?

The Rex, a microcar from Subaru was produced between 1972 and 1992. Unbelievably, early models were powered by a two-stroke 350cc engine although larger engines were made available including a 750cc option in second generation export versions of the car.


Still a popular model world wide today, this American car was first introduced in 1976.

The Fiesta was originally made for the European and other world markets with the model first produced in 1976. It was only the sixth generation Fiesta, released in 2010 that was made available in the United States. The new 2017 model has a range of engine options from 1000cc to 1500cc petrol driven and 1500cc turbo diesel.


1970 saw the last year of production for this famed Japanese sports car. What is it?

Only 351 2000GTs were produced by Toyota between 1967 and 1970. This two-door fastback sportscar was designed in conjunction with Yamaha. It came with either a 2.0 or 2.3-liter engine and with a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic gearbox.


Two American rivals both produced utility coupes in the 1970s. One was the Chevy El Camino, what was the other?

A utility coupe produced by Ford from 1957 to 1979, the Ranchero was actually adapted from a station wagon design. Over 500,000 Rancheros were sold in the 22 years it was produced, many in the 1970s.


This Formula One car was so good that it raced for five seasons with minimal upgrades. Any ideas as to what it is?

Incredibly, this Ferrari was used in Formula 1 from 1975 to 1980 with minor upgrades each year. It won 27 races, three driver's crowns, and four constructors championships. Not only a classic but a phenomenal winner.


Produced for just two years, this vehicle included a 2 or 4-door sedan and a hatchback, with V8 power options of course. What American make and model is it?

Produced between 1973 and 1975, the Apollo from Buick was available as a 2-door coupe and hatchback and a 4-door sedan. The most powerful engine option available to the Apollo was a 350 cubic inch 5.7-liter V8.


From the list below, pick a Japanese offroader first introduced in 1970.

A small off-road option, the Jimny has been produced by Suzuki since the 1970s with the third generation of the marque currently available. The Jimny offers either two-wheel or four-wheel drive and a range of power plant options with the 1.4 liter being the biggest.


This Japanese off-roader proved popular around the globe. First produced in 1974, can you name it?

Marketed by Toyota between 1974 and 1993, the FJ40 Land Cruiser is considered to be one of their best ever off-road vehicles. Enthusiasts loved the fact that very little had to be modified on the original vehicle to tackle the toughest terrain.


Just 7,260 units of this Italian sports car were made over a 20-year period starting in 1971. What is it called?

The De Tomaso Pantera was an Italian sports car introduced in 1971 and built for a period of 20 years. It was a 2-door mid-engined coupe, and only 7,260 were made.


First marketed in Europe under the Hillman badge, this hit the U.S. and was sold by one of the United States' big three. Can you give us the make and model?

First marketed in Europe as the Hillman Avenger, this four-door small family car received Chrysler branding from 1976 to 1979. Interestingly, from 1971 to 1973, before it earned its Chrysler badge for the European market, it was sold in America as the Plymouth Cricket. Three models of the Avenger were available to the motoring public - LS, GL, and GLS


Marketed in both the United Kingdom and Germany, where it was built by Opel, can you identify this vehicle first introduced in 1979?

First released in the United Kingdom in 1979, the Astra is exactly the same as the Opel version except it is a right-hand drive car.


Sold in the United States as the Elcar, name the microcar first made in 1974 in Italy?

Available in seven colors, the Zagato Zele was a box-shape microcar made out of fiberglass and powered by an electric engine. Around 500 were made with some sold in the United States as the Elcar. The Zele could reach speeds of up to 80 km/h.


Marketed for the first time in 1971, this Japanese Kei car, or city car was only powered by a 350 cc engine. What is it?

Produced between 1971 and 2014 and over five generations, the Honda Life is a name badge used on city or Kei cars and microvans produced by Honda. The first generation included a 2 or 4 door hatchback with just a 350cc engine!


Only sold in Europe, this small three-door German hatchback was marketed between 1975 and 1979. Can you name it?

Contesting the supermini segment, the Audi 50 was a small, three-door hatchback. Produced between 1975 and 1979, the 50 was sold only in Europe. With a four-speed manual gearbox, it had three different engine options, the biggest of which was a 1.3-liter.


From the list below, which American car came in at 5.8 meters long?

At 5.8 meters, the Mark V was certainly a long car, especially for a 2-door coupe. Built between 1977 and 1979, the Mark V had two powerplant options, a 6.6-liter V8 or a 7.5-liter V8. No less than 228,262 were sold in three years, making the Mark V the most sold model of the Mark series.


This famed German machine was first released in 1975. Over 1.3 million were sold in 8 years! Of the options below, which vehicle are we talking about?

The first generation of BMW's famed 3 series was released in 1975 and remained in production until 1983. Over 1,3 million were built and included a convertible model designed with the help of Baur Coachbuilders.


A rebadged Japenese vehicle was sold by one of America's biggest brands from 1971. Can you name the make and the model?

Marketed between 1971 and 1994, the Colt was actually built by Mitsubishi Motors and marketed by Dodge in the United States. All-in-all there were seven generations.


This British car was one of the most popular small cars in the world. What is it?

By 1976, the fourth generation of the popular Mini had been introduced. It was available a 2-door saloon, 2-door truck, and 2-door van. The Mark IV was powered by three different engines. These included a 1000cc, 1,100cc and 1,200cc straight-four engines.


A Formula One car with six wheels? Yes, in the 1970s, it existed. Do you know what it is called?

The Tyrrell was the only car with six-wheels ever to race in Formula 1. It did so in the 1976 and 1977 season and won a race.


A race car with a fan? Yes, this American racer used a fan to generate downforce. It was quickly banned. Can you name the make and model?

With a massive fan on the back and low side skirts, the Chaparral 2J sucked to the tarmac, given the car incredible downforce and making it two seconds a lap faster than its competitors in the 1970 Can-Am series. It was soon banned.


A luxury compact car with a French name, this was the smallest model available from a famous American automaker. Can you identify it?

Lincoln marketed the Versailles in the luxury compact car segment from 1977 to 1980. At the time, the Versailles, named after the famous French palace, was the smallest Lincoln model produced and remained so up until the introduction of the LS in 2000.


Muscle cars are popular, right? Not this one; it might have had a V8 but it used outdated parts. Can you name it?

Voted by Time Magazine as one of the 50 Worst Cars of All Time, the Germlin was ugly. Essentially a shortened AMC Hornet, the Gremlin used vacuum-operated wipers, didn't have disk brakes or use radial tires. It wasn't very well received.


What was the name of a popular off-roader with World War II pedigree first marketed in 1976?

Released between 1976 and 1986, Jeep’s CJ-7 was one of the most popular off-roaders available during those ten years. It had a large, 93.5-inch wheelbase that coupled with a three-speed gearbox meant the Jeep went places other 4x4’s had trouble getting to. The top of the range CJ-7 was powered by a 304 cubic inch V8.


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