Do You Know Everything About Classic Cars?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: Mike Stanton

About This Quiz

What makes a car a classic? Popularity in its day? Staying power? Cult status? Is it aesthetics and design, or speed and power that really make a car beloved? Does price matter, or can a car that anyone can afford become a classic?

We don't have definitive answers to these questions. Our quiz tackles cars that fit in all of the above categories, and which sometimes defy definitions of "classic." Some were certainly beyond the reach of the average car buyer, like any given model of Ferrari. However, consider the Volkswagen Beetle. "Volkswagen" literally means "people's car," and the mega-selling Beetle was certainly that. But they, too, have become coveted vintage cars. And while Italy and Germany have long dominated the sports-car scene, a Japanese car from the 1970s made the cut as a classic -- do you know which one?

Whether your heart beats faster at the sight of an "Italian wedge" car, a classy British sports car, or a 1950s American car with tail fins and fuzzy dice, you'll find something in this quiz to please you. But be warned -- you've got to know a little bit about a variety of cars to score high. So start your engines, and good luck!

Which car is featured in both a Beach Boys song and the movie, "Thelma and Louise?"

Louise (Susan Sarandon) owned the aqua-green 1966 Thunderbird convertible in the classic film. In the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun," the girl simply drives a "T-bird," (other details unknown).


Which long-lived American brand is named for a racing driver?

Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss race-car driver (though the name sounds French). He didn't stay with the company very long, but it kept his name ever since.


Which car came out in a "1964 1/2" version?

The Mustang was released midway through 1964, instead of being rolled out late in the previous year, like many new model years are. This gave it the nickname "the 1964 1/2 Mustang."


Who made the sporty but dangerous Corvair?

Chevrolet produced the Corvair in the 1960s. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader called it "a one-car accident" due to several design flaws.


Which of these cars is named for a mythical city?

"El Dorado" is "the golden city" in Latin American myth. Cadillac compacted it into one word.


In which decade did Buick reintroduce the Roadmaster?

The Buick Roadmaster was a classic full-size car made from the 1930s to the 1960s. Then it was redesigned and sold from 1991 to 1997.


What kind of car is the unofficial star of 1971's "Vanishing Point"?

"Vanishing Point" was a classic expression of post-Vietnam angst. A veteran and ex-cop is tasked with driving the Challenger across the country. Do both man and car make it? We don't want to reveal any spoilers ....


The DeSoto was named for which of these?

The DeSoto (later Chrysler DeSoto) was named for Hernando DeSoto, the Spanish explorer. One model even came with a light-up bust of the explorer as a hood ornament. (Oh, those crazy guys in the marketing department!)


What was the last year the Chrysler DeSoto was made?

The DeSoto was a long-lived brand, but it had its swan song in November 1960. That was right before John F. Kennedy won the election for U.S. president.


Which of these American cars bucked the full-size tradition and became a '70s classic?

The Pacer turned heads in the 1970s for its compact, cab-forward design. It certainly wasn't in line with what the rest of Detroit was making.


From which country does the Jaguar hail?

Though the U.S. and Japan tend to dominate car making in terms of raw numbers, England has a proud tradition of making beautiful cars for the discerning buyer. Jaguar, which is both a racing-car and a luxury-car maker, is a case in point.


Which of these is an iconic '50s full-size car, often with a two-toned paint job?

The Chevy Bel Air is the kind of car you imagine parked at drive-in restaurants with skating car hops. Big, curvaceous, often two-toned or convertible (or both!).


For which of these was the 1950s Mercedes 300SL known?

Though its design was fairly aerodynamic, that wasn't a unique design feature of this Mercedes. Rather, it was known for having doors that lifted straight up, as well as for being the fastest production car of its day.


Which company made the Testarossa?

The Testarossa was made in the 1980s and 1990s. Its design was exemplary of the very low "slide it under a door" Italian sports car.


How many cylinders did the Testarossa have?

This is quite a lot of power, given that the Testarossa isn't a large or heavy car. All that power was in service of speed.


Which car had a version called the "Berlinetta" in the 1980s?

Technically, the Camaro Berlinetta entered production in 1979. The last ones were made in 1986.


What kind of car is also known (sometimes) as a Stingray?

Not all Corvettes carry the "Stingray" name. This got started in the second generation, which began in 1963.


What kind of car did Mark Hamill hunt down in a 1978 movie?

It's easy to view "Corvette Summer" as a star vehicle for Mark Hamill after the success of "Star Wars." However, since it came out only a year later, the wonder boy of the early films would have been cast before "Star Wars" blew up at the box office.


Which car company made the Belvedere and the Fury?

The Belvedere preceded the Fury, rolling out in 1954. But it was the Plymouth Fury that became a star on the big screen -- as Stephen King's "Christine."


Which car was known as the "Kafer" in its home country?

"Kafer" is German for "Beetle." In the English-speaking world, it's called a Beetle or a Bug.


What kind of design does the VW Beetle have?

This layout remained consistent throughout the years. However, the Beetle had more powerful engines as buyers began to expect the capability for higher speeds in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.


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

The General Lee was clearly supposed to be the kind of moonshiner's stock car that gave rise to NASCAR. However, because the show was so family-friendly, the Dukes' ties to moonshining (made explicit in the precursor movie, "Moonrunners") were downplayed in the series.


Which of these cars has been in continuous production since 1963?

The 911 is undeniably one of the world's most successful sports cars -- perhaps the most successful in terms of longevity and popularity. Got a challenger to this notion? Leave it in the comments!


In what decade did Porsche make the 912?

The 912 was like a "starter" 911, with only four cylinders. This offered greater fuel efficiency to buyers. It was made from 1965 to 1969.


Pick the correct spelling of this British icon:

Confusing, isn't it? Don't let James Bond find out you have trouble with this one. He'd be shaken, not stirred, by the news.


Which of these movies does NOT feature a Mustang?

The car in "Duel" was a Plymouth Valiant. It wasn't supposed to be a fast, hot car; it was an everyman's car. That was the point in this "salesman vs. homicidal trucker" movie.


Which company made the sadly-ahead-of-its time Airflow?

As the name suggests, the Airflow was aerodynamic. But this was in the 1930s, an age of boxy, carriage-like cars, and the public just wasn't ready for it.


What kind of car did Tom Cruise's character drive in "War of the Worlds"?

It's Hollywood's favorite trope: blue-collar guy who can barely pay the bills, but has a vintage car worth nearly six figures. In Cruise's case, the humble dockworker drives a 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350. Sure, we believe it.


Which company made the Edsel?

The Edsel, a Ford sub-brand, was named for Henry Ford's son. Supposedly the car of the future, it underwhelmed buyers who found it overpriced, and it became the car of future trivia questions instead.


Which car do the Winchesters drive on the CW's "Supernatural"?

Like all-American Dean Winchester would be caught dead in a sissy European car! No, "Baby" is 100 percent American rolling steel.


Which company made models called the Vantage and the Vanquish?

Aston Martin is a highly respected British carmaker, but money hasn't always followed respect. It has repeatedly had to struggle back from bankruptcy.


Which of these Ford cars was named for Henry Ford's estate?

Ford's home was called "Fair Lane." Though he was nearly rich enough to buy himself a galaxy, if he'd wanted.


In what decade did Studebaker stop producing cars?

The last Studebakers were made in late 1963. This was a sad occasion -- the U.S. carmaker had been in business so long that it was originally a 19th-century wagon maker.


In what decade did "Mini" become a British car brand of its own?

If you guessed the 1970s, that's nearly right, but it was 1969. Before that, "Mini" was an appellation added to small cars made by Austin and by Morris. For a time, "Mini" was its own brand. It's now owned by BMW.


In what year was the Honda Insight first produced?

Maybe you don't think of the Insight as a classic car, but think again. As the first gas-electric car widely available to consumers, the early two-seater Insight is clearly a classic of the future!


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