Car Buffs Should Be Able to Name These Classic Cars From the ’70s. Can You?

AUTO

Ian Fortey

7 Min Quiz

Image: Greg Gjerdingen via WikiCommons

About This Quiz

Thanks to changing emissions and safety standards in the United States, the 1970s were one of the most tumultuous and unpredictable times in the history of automaking. Many popular older models from the 1960s underwent massive overhauls in terms of not just style and appearance but performance under the hood; they came out on the other side looking like totally different cars. Meanwhile, new models like the Pinto and the Gremlin were rolling down the line in stark contrast to the Corvettes and Mustangs of the '60s. The result is a decade of very mixed esthetics and standards, which makes it one of the coolest ones as well. 

Whether you were in the driver's seat during this memorable decade or you're just a fan of the classics looking back on what was, we're pretty sure you have your favorite cars from the '70s (and probably a few you're glad were left in the decade as well). Whatever the case, if you think you know the cars of the '70s, now's your chance to kick it into gear and show off what you know. Take the quiz and take a drive down memory lane. Keep it under 55, though.

Which of these luxury French cars was made between 1972 and 1974?

The Monica is a rare but prized luxury car that came out of France in the early '70s. Very few of them were ever made, and by that, we mean the word is only about 40 of them exist. They were priced on par with cars like the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, which would be over $200,000 in today's dollars.

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Ronald Reagan famously owned which of these cars?

The Subaru BRAT shows up on a lot of modern car lists not usually any for a good reason. It's often listed as having been one of the ugliest cars ever made, or one of the worst-named cars ever. BRAT stood for "bi-drive recreational all-terrain transporter."

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One of these cars sold at auction in 2014 for $3.5 million. What is it?

Everyone has heard of a Plymouth Barracuda, and everyone knows about the legendary Hemi engine. The '71 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible was the final model produced with that engine, and only 11 of them were ever rolled out. Was it worth $3.5 million?

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Which of these got a major overhaul when the cap on engine size was dropped in 1970?

GM used to cap engine size but removed that restriction for the 1970 production year. The result was the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 being a powerhouse with a 455 cubic inch V8 engine capable of pulling 365 horsepower.

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Lamborghini was originally supposed to help build this car, but then they backed out. Do you know what it is?

The BMW M1 showed up in 1978 and was envisioned as a joint effort between BMW and Lamborghini to build a production racing car. Lamborghini was having financial troubles at the time, and eventually, BMW dropped them and finished the car themselves.

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Do you know which of these is famous for a flat-12 engine layout?

Ferrari's Berlinetta Boxer was never officially exported to the U.S. by Ferrari because Enzo Ferrari thought the 55 mile-per-hour national speed limit, as well as various safety regulations, made it pointless. Buyers had to contract through third parties to import their own.

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Between 1972 and today, over 18 million of which of these has been sold?

Honda's Civic is one of the top-selling cars in automotive history, and it dates back to 1972. It was originally just introduced as a compact, fuel-efficient vehicle but has since grown into something of a sporty, performance vehicle.

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Do you know which of these cars was made famous in "Smokey and the Bandit"?

The Pontiac Trans Am from "Smokey and the Bandit" was a 1977 Special Edition, and all things being equal, it looked cool and the movie made it a legend, but it really wasn't a great car. It wasn't a bad car, but it was pretty run of the mill. Pontiac owed a debt of gratitude to Burt Reynolds.

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This car had gull-wing doors. Do you know what it was?

The Bricklin SV-1 was designed to be an exceptionally cool and safe vehicle back in 1974. In fact, the name "SV-1" means "safety vehicle one." It was designed with energy-absorbing bumpers and a highly advanced roll-over structure that was well ahead of its time.

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Do you know which of these was first produced in 1974?

Based on their earlier Wagoneer design, the Jeep Cherokee was actually meant to be a sporty two-door alternative to the station wagon. It was the first vehicle "Four Wheeler" magazine's Achievement Award.

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This was the first production car to have scissor doors. What is it?

Less than 2,000 Lamborghini Countaches were ever produced between 1974 and 1990 when production finally ended. To get one today, even a model from the mid-'80s is going to cost you at least $500,000 (but probably more).

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Which of these replaced a car called the Mangusta?

The very sleek De Tomaso Pantera showed up in 1971 and has been compared to the Ford GT40, but for the average driver. The name means "panther" in English and was sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealers in America.

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1970 was the second, and last, year that this model existed. What is it?

Ford's Boss 302 Mustang was a beast of a car and these days is likely most recognizable from "John Wick," although John had a '69 model. The 429 Mustang was a more powerful model, but the 302 was a performance machine that could corner like it was made for it. And it was!

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Which of these pony cars was made as competition for the Mercury Cougar?

The Dodge Challenger was pretty late to the pony car game. Ford started the concept in 1964 with the Mustang, so by 1970 when the Challenger first appeared, the competition had really been able to perfect things.

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1970 marked the final year of production for which of these cars?

Once known as the Rambler Rebel, the AMC Rebel was the most powerful car AMC ever built. They were always kind of an underdog compared to the big guns like Ford and Chevy, but this muscle car could hold its own against the best of them,

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Do you know which of these cars was named after a kind of wind?

The Maserati Bora is named for the Bora wind (which is known as a katabatic wind in the Adriatic Sea). It can be both an incredibly fast wind and brutally cold as well, making sailing very hard for those at sea.

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Nearly 700,000 of these were manufatuer from 1970 to 1978. What is it?

The AMC Gremlin may not have been a pretty car, but it sure was popular. It debuted alongside a glut of small economy cars like the Ford Pinto and the Chevrolet Vegas that were all opting for fuel economy over style and performance.

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British Leyland started manufacturing this vehicle in 1970. Do you recognize it?

Range Rover was first made by a company called British Leyland in 1970 and then later fell under the label of Land Rover. So technically it's called a Land Rover Range Rover, but no one ever uses that full (and somewhat awkward) name.

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Which of these car names means "heavenly"?

The Toyota Celica gets its name from the Latin wor "coelica," which can mean either "heavenly" or "celestial." Celicas were made by Toyota for seven whole generations and were finally discontinued in the year 2006.

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Do you know which of these was marketed as the Sagitar in China?

The Volkswagen Jetta was first manufactured in 1979, just getting in at the end of the '70s. It was rebadged many times in many markets, and the Sgaitra was just one of the names. It's also been called the Atlantic, the Bora, the Vento, the GLI and the City Jetta.

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This car was over 19 feet long. What was it?

Pontiac's Grand Safari was marketed as a luxury station wagon, which isn't something you hear every day. For an added bonus, many of the models came with woodgrain trim for that authentic station-wagon experience.

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Do you know which of these cars was rebadged as the Mercury Bobcat for a few years?

Ford's Pinto is one of the most famous and infamous cars from the '70s. The much-maligned car was a poster child for poor vehicle safety as a result of fuel-tank issues that lead to numerous lawsuits.

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Jay Leno once said which of these cars "looks like the future"?

The Citroen SM is not a car you probably saw on too many streets, but it was an amazing and futurisitic design that also packed a huge punch. 170 horsepower may not seem like much, but when it hit 140 miles per hour, it didn't matter.

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Do you know which of these cars was sold in Japan under the name Fairlady?

The Datsun 240z started life as the Nissan Fairlady in Japan in 1969. In 1970, it came to North America rebranded as the Datsun 240z and was one of the first Japanese cars to offer a sporty, European look as opposed to the very boxy, utilitarian look of past Japanese cars.

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The 1972 model of this car was one of the last of the high-powered muscle cars. What was it?

By 1973, standards had changed, and the Plymouth Road Runner's power had been brutally kneecapped. But in 1972 it was still powerful enough to make a scene on the road and you could still get a 440 Six Barrel engine, even if the Hemi was no longer an option.

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Which of these was most famous as a rally car?

The Lancia Stratos was a sports car and a rally car that won the World Rally Championship for three straight years starting in 1974. It also featured those flip-up headlights that the '70s made famous and even inspired a Transformer back in the '80s.

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Less than 2,000 of these cars were built just before the '73 oil crisis. What is it?

The BMW 2002 Turbo was able to pull 170 horsepower and was BMW's first turbocharged car. It sneaked under the wire before the oil crisis effectively restrained most cars to lower emissions and weaker performance overall.

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Do you know which car had switched from muscle car to touring sports car by 1973?

The Corvette C3 took the classic Corvette through a lot of changes in the '70s. The oil crisis caused Chevy to switch gears away from the muscle car past, and by 1974, you couldn't even find chrome on a Corvette; it was all sleek lines and sports car modeling.

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Do you know which car had the nickname "the Widowmaker"?

The Porsche 930 had more than one name for its run and was mostly known to the public as the Porsche 911 Turbo, the first turbo car that Porsche ever made. To those who raced it, the name "Widowmaker" came up, thanks to its notoriously hard to control handling in tight turns and corners.

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The second generation of which of these cars came out in 1970 and lasted the whole decade?

After being introduced in 1967, the Camaro was an instant hit, and Chevy took a few years to learn what made it work and what didn't before introducing the second generation in 1970. These Camaros were longer, lower, and wider than '60s models and apparently a lot more fun to drive.

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This vehicle is still in production after 40 years. Do you know it?

Also known as a G Wagon, the Mercedes Benz G-Class is one of the oldest vehicles in the Mercedes stable. Actually, in the entire history of the Daimler company, only the trucks known as the Unimog has been in production longer.

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Which of these models saw an all-time sales record in 1977?

The Coupe DeVille made up for changing emissions standards in the '70s by offering customers more and more luxury, which cemented the reputation Cadillac still has today. In 1977, between the Coupe and the Sedan, over 230,000 DeVilles were sold.

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Do you know this rotary-engine-powered car that showed up in 1978?

The Mazda RX-7 was a surprising car when it showed up, packing a lot of power into a relatively small, light space. At the 1981 Spa 24 Hours race, an RX-7, which had something like a 1,200 CC engine, still beat out 5.3L Camaros.

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Bertone took over production of this car in the '80s. What is it?

The Fiat X1/9 started production in 1972 and was a sporty little mid-engine model that featured those popular retractable headlights, along with a removable hardtop and storage in the front and the back

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Which of these cars had retractable grilles covering the headlights?

The Alfa Romeo Montreal debuted at the Montreal Expo in 1967 as a concept car that had no name. So, because it was in Montreal, people called it the Montreal. When it went into production in 1970, the name stuck.

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This car was essentally a mashup of sports car and luxury car. Do you know what it was?

The Porsche 928 was originally designed to take over for the Porsche 911, which had been in production for many years and was set to be retired. But people really like the Porsche 911, so it was never dropped, and the two models were produced simultaneously for nearly 20 years.

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Do you know which of these cars had more than four wheels?

The British-made Panther 6 was a six-wheeled convertible that was bizarre in every way. Aside from six wheels, this car had a pre-digital dash in the 1970s, a TV, a car phone and the glove box even locked with a little combination lock among other unexpected features. Only two were ever produced, and they still drive around today.

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They designed his car with flying buttresses. What is it?

The Jaguar XJS came out in 1975, but not without some controversy. The rear of the car was designed with flying buttresses, supports most often associated with architecture, meant to make the car more aerodynamic. Germany disagreed and wouldn't allow the car on the roads unless each individually owned model was given road approval by authorities. They thought the buttresses limited driver vision.

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Which of these muscle cars showed up in 1972?

The Aston Martin Vantage was only produced from 1972 to 1973 and was essentially a V8 powered Aston Martin DBS. The name, but not the design, would be resurrected by Aston Martin more than once as the years went by.

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Coca-Cola had a contest to win one of these in 1978. What was it?

The Triumph TR7 was a surprisingly popular sportscar back in the day. It showed up on the TV show "Dallas," Coke and Levis ran a contest to win one of three of them painted in red and white Coke colors and in the long-forgotten made-for-TV sequel to "Rosemary's Baby," the main character drives one.

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