Can You Name the Most Famous Cars from 1969?

By: Steven Symes
Image: Tom Kelley Archive/ Retrofile RF/gettyimages

About This Quiz

If you're a car person, it wasn't just The Beatles who invaded the U.S from Britain. Instead, a certain type of Beetle had been flowing from Germany for some time. It was also an era of big V-8 engines, further refined designs, and technological innovations. 

During the 1950s, car design was fueled by wild optimism and relief from the end of World War II. But in the 1960s, things started to change. The Korean War was a tragedy, Vietnam wasn't pretty, hippies were parading through the streets, and people began questioning plenty of social norms. These values can be seen reflected in the cars of the time period, especially in 1969. At the close of the decade, any hints at the massive amounts of chrome, huge tail fins, etc. that dominated in the previous decade were completely gone. 

It was a year of divergence in the auto industry. On one hand was the quickly escalating muscle cars war, where horsepower was pushed to extreme heights and fuel efficiency wasn't even a thought. There was also an emerging group of fuel sippers, most from Japan and Europe, that would prove invaluable when the oil crisis struck. Cars from both groups are considered classics today, but how many can you identify from a single picture? Take the quiz now and find out! 

Chevrolet didn't build the Z28 to be the quickest-accelerating Camaro out there. Instead, the car was refined for better handling, thanks to a revised suspension, steering system, and different tires. That, combined with standard front disc brakes, made the car better for driving on tracks instead of the drag strip.

While the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 didn't compete in NASCAR races, it was patterned after homologation models that did. Sadly, the 429 V-8 wasn't great for street acceleration, but these cars are still huge collector items today.

Many consider the 1964 Pontiac Judge to be the first real muscle car. As the competition heated up, the head of Pontiac, John DeLorean, ordered a potent version to be built. He named after a television comedy skit.

Three years after launching, the Ford Bronco continued to be a huge hit with American consumers in 1969. Sharing many parts with the Ford F-100 pickup, shoppers could get it with a hardtop, convertible top, or even in pickup form. It was completely Spartan but could get your through all kinds of trail conditions.

Everyone knows the Dodge Charger from the muscle car glory days, and the R/T was the baddest version of them all. Adding the SE option, which was Code A47 at dealers, meant the car gained a sport steering wheel, vinyl bucket seats, wood grain trim for the instrument panel, pedal dress ups, a light package, deep dish wheel covers, and turn signals mounted to the hood, making it more luxurious.

Even though the Barracuda seriously lagged behind the Ford Mustang in sales, Plymouth refused to give in. for 1969 it trotted out the Chrysler 340 small block as an optional engine, which NHRA said produced 310 horsepower. Many enthusiasts consider that setup to be the most well-rounded Barracuda made.

Many suspect Buick understated the potency of the 6.6-liter V-8 stuffed under the hood of the GS 400, which supposedly produced 340 horsepower. This could have been done to help owners keep their insurance premiums lower.

Chevrolet only built two Corvette ZL1s in 1969, making the cars ridiculously rare and collectible. They packed an all-aluminum L88 big block V-8, making for a wickedly fast and desirable setup you're lucky to see ever in your life.

1969 was the second model year of the Series 2, which featured a number of design changes necessary for selling the car in the United States. One of the biggest changes was the deletion of the glass headlight covers from the Series 1. You might also notice the rear bumper wraps around the corners of the car, while the front turn signals are larger and moved to a different position. Jaguar also boosted cooling with dual electric fans and a bigger lower front air intake.

COPO stood for Central Office Production Order (COPO) within Chevrolet, and was originally created to handle fleet sales, like special modifications for police cars or taxis. Some clever dealerships figured out a way to leverage COPO and create monstrous Camaros with mods like the 427 V-8 from the Corvette, which packed 425 horsepower, or the ZL-1 427 V-8, which boasted about 550 horsepower.

The first time Maserati used the Ghibli name it was for this sleek, dramatic roadster, which was first produced in 1967. Only 1,295 of these cars were made from 1967 to 1973, so a 1969 model is exceedingly rare and collectible today.

For 1969 the Plymouth Fury got a complete makeover, including Chrysler's new "Fuselage Look" design language. Shoppers could get the car as a 2-door hardtop, 2-door convertible, 4-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, and 4-door station wagon, making it appealing to a wide array of people.

Phillip T. Clark designed this fastback coupe, which makes use of the Ford Cortina's mechanicals. The original idea was to market the Capri as the "European Mustang" since it boasted improved handling. The first model year was 1969.

Dodge's compact car didn't start out that way, with the first two model years being full-size and 1962 being midsize. For 1969 there was no two-door sedan, but instead Dodge offered a tow-door Swinger hardtop. A few minor cosmetic changes set it apart from the 1968 models.

Honda has quite the history of making fun roadsters, with the S800's origin dating back to the S360 prototype from 1962. Bruce McLaren suggested Honda make the roadster more powerful, so the S800 used a 791cc engine pumping out about 72 horsepower.

The Dodge Charger was a great street racing car, but it needed some serious modifications to compete in NASCAR. Dodge made the car more aerodynamic with a nose cone and huge rear wing, absolutely dominating races, until the modifications were made illegal.

Originally launched as the Austin 1800, the Morris 1800 was part of a wide lineup of copycat cars made by the British Motor Corporation. British consumers called the car the "Landcrab" and took to the practical utility it provided for families.

Launched in the previous model year, the Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina was a large sedan or "executive car" for more upscale shoppers. In 1969 production reached full capacity for the 1750 line in Alfa Romeo's South Africa factory.

Until 1969, Chevy was putting "Chevy II by Chevrolet" on the trunklid of the Nova, but that was replaced by "Nova by Chevrolet." Also, the "Chevy II" badge over the grille was swapped with a Chevrolet bowtie emblem instead. Chevrolet dealerships also simply called the car the Nova.

The first model year for the 128 was 1969, with the transverse front-engine, front-wheel-drive compact coupe, sedan, and station wagon making a big splash on the market. Families found the vehicle to be quite practical. Even Enzo Ferrari owned one.

Launched at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, the Renault 6 was a small car aimed at families who wanted something a little more luxurious. Because it used the same platform and engine as the Renault 4, the two cars were extremely similar, although the Renault 6 had a larger, updated body.

Promoted by Nissan for its motorsports pedigree, the Skyline GT-R launched in early February of 1969, after making a huge splash at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1968. The first generation lasted until 1972.

This coupe had a highly aerodynamic body for the 1960s, making it a real standout. It fit four passengers and used a four-stroke V-4 engine by 1969, which replaced a two-stroke engine that was less powerful and efficient.

After a lot of big changes in 1968, the 1969 VW Beetle was pretty much the same. It did gain a revised fuel filler door, day/night rearview mirror, revised suspension, and a heated rear window.

Auto Union Ingolstadt, a subsidiary of Audi, developed the 100 sedan, the name coming from the 100 PS or 74 kW output of the engine. Volkswagen had brought the Audi brand back from the dead in 1965 and the 100 came about at the end of the decade as the first large sedan to wear the four rings in a long time.

Even though Triumph is a British brand, the Spitfire was designed by Italian Giovanni Michelotti. The chassis, drivetrain, and powertrain were all derived from the Triumph Herald, a larger car.

The Karmann Ghia was a car that left some mystified and others delighted, thanks to the high-styled design, rear engine, sporty car. 1969 was the last year where the reverse lights weren't integrated into the taillights and the turn signals didn't wrap around the corners.

There's almost no missing the grinning face on this car's front fascia, making the Sprite something that will in turn put a smile on your face. The whole point of the design was to make something affordable yet fun, which many agree was exactly what Austin-Healey accomplished.

1969 was the first model year of the Galant. It had Dynawedge design language, which put a heavy emphasis on aerodynamic looks for the car's silhouette. The car didn't hit the American market in 1971, thanks to an agreement with Chrysler, where it was rebadged as the Dodge Colt.

The Mark III Mini Cooper launched with the 1969 model year, debuting a fairly revised body design that included bigger doors with concealed hinges. To save on production costs, the Hydrolastic suspension was dropped in favor of rubber cones, which might have sacrificed comfort but contributed to tight handling.

Originally, the 911 was only meant to be a temporary replacement for the aging 356, but consumer demand coupled with plenty of motorsports victories by 1969 cemented the car's status. For 1969 engine displacement increased from 2.0 liters to 2.2 liters.

Based on the Ford Mustang, Mercury made the Cougar feel different, injecting a fair amount of European flavoring into the car. It featured headlights that were hidden by small doors that would open when the headlights were turned on and close when they were shut off.

The 2002 is a performance legend today, although the later Turbo models are lauded even more. For the 1969 model year, the 2002 Automatic was launched with the base engine, plus the ZF 3HP12 3-speed automatic transmission, adding a convenience that was previously unavailable for the car.

The second generation of the Chevy G10, which was the light duty version of the van, launched in 1967. It has a cab-forward design that many don't associate with the Chevy brand today. For the 1969 model year, it gained a new 3-speed automatic transmission and air conditioning that's "body-integrated."

In 1969 the Mazda Cosmo was a two-door coupe that served as the brand's halo vehicle. Just the year before, Mazda used the car in the Marathon de la Route at the Nurburgring, proving that the rotary engines were durable and performance oriented.

The famous Mister K brought the 240Z to America under the Datsun brand name. It proved the Japanese automaker was serious about making a performance vehicle. Lately, the value of 240Zs has been climbing.

The S in this model's name stands for "Sweden." Thanks to quality control problems in 1963, production of the 1800 series was moved to Gothenburg, where the various issues were resolved.

The Series IIA version of the Defender looked almost exactly like the Series II, but under the hood was a new 2.5-liter diesel engine that makes it a desirable item for collectors and enthusiasts.

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