Can You ID These '60s Cars From a One Sentence Description?
By: Ian Fortey
Image: Joschi71 via WikiCommons
About This Quiz
The 1960s were unlike any other decade in automaking history. Designs began to evolve heavily after the boom of the '50s, and more and more manufacturers had skin in the game. Simple pragmatism was no longer a driving force behind driving. Cars had to look good, feel good and be powerful. Before fuel and safety standards of the 1970s changed the game, the '60s was the decade in which manufacturers could let loose and produce what are still some of the most powerful and iconic muscle cars of all time, like the Corvette or the Challenger. Those cookie-cutter designs of long, high-finned land yachts of the '50s gave way to sleek European designs like the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the Toyota 2000GT.
The '60s offered up unprecedented style, luxury and performance. Everything that came after has been influenced in some way by these revolutionary designs. Many of them, like the Camaro and the Mustang, are still in production today because they're just that good and just that popular. So let's see what you know about the iconic cars of the 1960s. We'll give you a sentence, and you tell us what car it is. Think you can get them all? One way to find out!
The entire pony car class was started by which of these cars?
In 1964, Ford introduced the Mustang to its lineup and changed the course of automaking for the whole decade. The pony car class was a sporty, compact, powerful and affordable car, like a muscle car you could manage a little more easily.
NASCAR banned one version of this car in 1969. Do you know it?
In 1969, the Dodge Charger Daytona was banned by NASCAR along with other supercars that met similar standards, including the Mercury Cyclone, the Plymouth Superbird and the Ford Torino Talladega. Because they were designed specifically to beat the competition, NASCAR execs banned them and any car with an engine over 300 cubic inches to even the playing field.
Do you know which of these was one of the first car to feature crumple zones?
The MG MGB was a British car manufactured by the British Motor Company. Thanks to the fact that it performed well and was pretty affordable, all things considered, it remained a favorite among classic car enthusiasts for years. The crumple zone safety feature was only good for a collision up to 30 miles per hour but it was better than nothing.
Do you know which of these was available with a 425 cu. in 7.0L Nailhead V8 engine?
The Buick Wildcat had some definite power under the hood and came with either the Wildcat 445 engine or the Wildcat 465. A dual quad version of the 465 was available, which came with the intense name Super Wildcat. Meow!
This was the only car on the top five of the "Car of the Century" list produced in 1999 to include a car that began production in the '60s. What is it?
The Porsche 911 ranked fifth on the "Car of the Century" list that was conducted by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation. The top four were the Ford Model T, the Mini, the Citroen DS, and the Volkswagen Beetle, all of which began production before the '60s started.
Do you know which car was made famous by "The Dukes of Hazzard?"
Bo and Luke Duke drove around in the iconic General Lee, which was a 1969 Dodge Charger. The show destroyed or otherwise banged up so many of that year and model that they're actually pretty hard to find in good condition these days.
Chevy introduced this car a few years after the Mustang as competition. Can you name it?
The Chevy Camaro was Chevy's entry into the highly competitive pony car class that heated up in the late '60s, much of it in response to the Ford Mustang. Unlike most of the competition, the Camaro has stood the test of time and is still in production today. Over 5 million of them have been sold.
Which of these was the first pony car to be used by police forces in the '60s?
AMC's Javelin was introduced as another competitor for the Mustang. Its ad campaigns directly targeted the Mustang, something that had never been done before, and in some of them, they even showed people literally beating Mustangs with sledgehammers.
Do you know which 1969 vehicle model was named for a TV comedy sketch?
Plymouth Road Runner
Pontiac GTO Judge
In 1969 Pontiac introduced a new GTO model called "The Judge." The weird story behind the name is that it came from a sketch on the comedy show "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" that included the repeated line "Here comes the Judge! Here comes the Judge!" The car's designer was just a really big fan of the show.
This was the first front-wheel drive car made in the US since 1937. Do you know it?
The Oldsmobile Toronado was a personal luxury car that won Motor Trend's 1966 Car of the Year Award. If you're wondering what "toronado" means, join the club. It's just a made-up word that is obviously similar to "tornado," but has no actual meaning.
In 1960, this car became Plymouth's first compact car. What was it called?
The Plymouth Valiant began production in 1959 to enter the 1960 model year. It was sold around the world in numerous countries as just the "Valiant," without the manufacturer's name attached to it at all. "Road and Track" called it one of the best all-around domestic cars on the market.
Which second generation car has sometimes been called "America's Sports Car?"
Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda
Ford Boss 309 Mustang
Chevy Corvette Sting Ray
Though the Corvette appeared in the 1950s, it was the second generation, the C2, in the '60s that really stood out. The Chevy Corvette Sting Ray, especially with the massive 427 Big Block engine, is still a highly sought-after model.
Which muscle car was famous for its dual exhaust, four-barrel carburetor and four-speed transmission?
The reason the Oldsmobile 442 was called the 442 was specifically for the specs that made it so powerful. Four barrels, four speeds, two exhausts. It was originally introduced as an option on the already established Oldsmobile Cutlass, and became its own model by 1968.
This SUV from the '60s was eventually replaced by the Tahoe in the '90s. What is it?
Chevy K5 Blazer
The Chevy K5 Blazer just snuck in at the end of the decade in 1969 as part of Chevy's C/K truck line. The next year GMC introduced a sister version of the vehicle called the GMC Jimmy. Chevy and GMC routinely release nearly identical models to this day.
Do you know which car was made world-famous by James Bond?
Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
Aston Martin DB5
First showing up in the 007 classic "Goldfinger," James Bond's classic Aston Martin DB5 has been associated with the super-spy ever since. It has made appearances in numerous other films in the franchise over the course of several decades.
For years, this car was synonymous with New York City cabs. What is it?
The reason Checker Cabs are called "Checker" isn't due to the checkerboard pattern painted on some; it's because the automaker Checker made them. Checker Marathons were available for the casual consumer but were used en masse for cabs in many major U.S. cities for decades.
Do you know which car was designed by legendary designer and driver Carroll Shelby?
The AC Cobra, otherwise known as the Shelby Cobra, was made by Caroll Shelby using an AC Ace frame with a Ford V8 engine inside. The result was a car that was big on power but still light in the body. Shelby would later go on to help create the legendary Shelby Mustang for Ford.
Which tiny car became an icon of British automaking in 1960?
Astin Martin DB6
Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
The Mini is to this day one of the most recognizable cars ever made. It was also voted the second most influential car of the century back in 1999, losing out only to the Ford Model T. Remember, the roads in Europe often predate automobiles, and can be very narrow and cramped in some places, making super-compact cars an obvious choice across the ocean.
Do you know which car was called "the most beautiful car ever made" by Enzo Ferrari?
The Jaguar E-Type was a performance and style beast and was based on the D-Type from the '50s. The D-Type was Jaguar's race car and won the 24 Hour of LeMans for three consecutive years starting in 1955.
This iconic little car is sometimes called a Punch Buggy. What is it?
VW Type 1
The VW Type 1 is the proper name for the car most people known as the VW Beetle or Bug. Though it dates all the way back to the 1930s, it was the 1960s version of the car that really stood the test of times thanks to things like the Disney movie "Herbie the Love Bug."
This car broke 29 records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. What was it?
The Studebaker Avanti was a short-lived vehicle that was in production for only a year. The supercharged version of the car could reach speeds of 168 miles per hour while a modified one hit a record 196 miles per hour. To put that in perspective, the newest model of Corvette can hit 212 miles per hour in the year 2019.
This fast-back personal luxury car showed up in 1965. What was it?
The Rambler Marlin was later renamed the AMC Marlin and was a sleek-looking personal luxury vehicle only for a few years in the mid-'60s. It was also apparently the car Mitt Romney drove when he first dated his wife, which she'd later describe as "goofy."
Do you know which car was introduced to compete with Ford's at-the-time unreleased Mustang?
Word has it there was no secret Ford was planning a new sporty car that would eventually be known as the Mustang. Plymouth didn't want to wait around to see what was what so they fast-tracked production of the Barracuda, which came out the same year. Later on, it achieved its own legendary status with the inclusion of the Hemi engine.
Many people still refer to this vehicle as a hippie van. What is it?
Plymouth Road Runner
Volkswagen Type 2
Even though it's almost universally known as a VW Bus, it's actually called a Volkswagen Type 2, and it's iconic of the whole hippie movement of the 1960s. Somewhere between a van and a camper, the VW Type 1 was spacious and efficient. VW made over 5 million of them during their lifetime.
Which of these was introduced as a full-size luxury car back in 1962?
Pontiac Grand Prix
The Pontiac Grand Prix had a massive production run from 1962 all the way until 2008 in various shapes and forms. It went from a personal luxury car to a full-size to a mid-size over its lifespan on the road. The second generation in 1965 was awarded "Car of the Year."
Which of these is considered the first muscle car ever?
Dating all the way back to 1964, the Pontiac GTO was not technically the first muscle car ever, but it was the one that really kicked off the major competition between the big automakers to produce bigger and better muscle cars every year.
Which of these successful cars was eventually replaced by the Malibu?
The Chevy Chevelle was first made in 1962, and for a time, the Malibu was simply a trim package on the Chevelle. It proved to be so popular that the Chevelle was simply replaced entirely by the Malibu some years later.
Which of these models helped pave the way for the Japanese sports car industry?
The Datsun 240Z was released at a time when most Japanese cars were economy models designed for commercial purposes or simply pragmatic driving experiences. The European-inspired 240Z showed that style and performance were not strictly limited to European and American automakers.
In 1965, this hatchback was huge in Europe but did very poorly in the United States. What was it?
Aston Martin DB4
The Renault 16 was the first successful hatchback in Europe and managed to sell nearly two-million units during its run. Given its huge European success, it made sense to try to export it to the U.S., but it did not go over very well there at all. The clunky Euro design just didn't appeal to North American buyers.
Which four-door European sedan is still prized for its handling?
Alfa Romeo Giulia
The Alfa Romeo Giulia was favored thanks to its overall performance. It didn't have a monster engine, but that was the point. Its handling, speed, and acceleration for a modest car was a standout at the time.
In 2018, someone bought a 1963 model of this car for $70 million. Do you know what it is?
Ferrari 250 GTO
The Ferrari 250 GTO was a sports car made from 1962 to 1964, but certainly not in high numbers. Only 36 of them were made at the cost of $18,000 apiece. That works out to about $153,000 today. Buyers had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari himself.
Which of these was the first Japanese car to auction for over $1 million?
The Toyota 2000GT was the first Japanese performance vehicle to really stand toe-to-toe with the European and American sports cars of the era and proved itself worthy. It was the first supercar Japan ever made and is immensely collectible.
One of the big innovations of this car was a rear mid-engine, two-seat layout. Do you know what it is?
Lamborghini's Miura was one of the sleekest models the Italian automaker ever produced. When it debuted in 1966, it was the fastest production car on the road anywhere in the world, with a top speed of over 160 miles per hour. It lasted until 1973 when the Countach replaced it.
This was one of the most-produced cars under the Rolls Royce name. What was it?
Rolls Royce started producing Silver Shadows in 1965. The luxury cars were elegant in design and are actually still pretty affordable if you're into classic luxury cars today. The average value tends to be less than $20,000, even today.
This was the first rear mid-engine production car ever made. What was it?
The Matra Djet started production in 1962 in France. The story behind the name is a rather weird one, as the designer of the car was afraid French customers would mispronounce the word "Jet," so they added a "D" to get the right sound from a French tongue.
Do you know which of these models was the first mass-produced car to rock a rotary engine?
Alfa Romeo Iguana
Mazda has long had a love affair with the rotary engine which, before they proved its ability on and off the race track, were long overlooked. But the Mazda Cosmo was released in 1967 and proved to be a resounding success.
Nearly 2 million units of this European economy car were manufactured. Do you know what it is?
Citroen began manufacturing the Ami, which means friend, in 1961. It proved to be an immensely popular model in Europe. It was notable for having lozenge-shaped headlights that were illegal in the US until 1975.
Which of these sportscars was the first to use a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body?
The Lotus Elan is still highly regarded by car enthusiasts and drivers as being one of the best-handling sports cars ever. The fiberglass body ensured it was lighter than a lot of similar models, which made it handle much better.