How Well Do You Know '70s Sports Cars?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: Saabkyle04

About This Quiz

Are you old enough to remember the 1970s? If so, your car-related memories are probably about long lines for gas -- or even stations running out entirely -- and the rise of economy cars, many of them imported from Japan. But the 1970s weren't all about the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry. Just like some people today are recession-proof, some drivers back then were oil crisis-proof, and it was for them that the great sports cars of the 1970s were made. 

The great sports cars of the 1970s were a varied lot. Some were made in Europe, as you'd expect -- Porsche kept up its strong 911 line, and produced the 914 through 1976. Italy had just introduced the world to the "supercar" concept, and was busy producing ever-faster models in the "Italian wedge" style. Japan, then dominating the economy-car market, entered the field too, with a jazzy little two-seater you'll still see on the roads now and again today. (We can't tell you the name, as it's a question in the quiz). In America, meanwhile, some of the fastest, most desirable cars came from the popular sport of NASCAR -- production versions of the cars America's racing heroes, like Richard Petty, drove. 

Want to take a nostalgic ride back through the 1970s? Get started now with our quiz! 

Which of these 70s sports cars is British?

This sports coupe is a two-seater that followed the defunct Austin Healey. It only came in a convertible model.


The third generation of this Chevy car came out in the '70s.

The Corvette is in its seventh generation today, and they have lower, angulated bodies. The Corvette of the 1970s, though, still had the curvy "showgirl" look of earlier generations.


The 1970s Corvettes offered buyers what innovation?

T-tops are removable roof panels. A car with a T-top differs from a convertible in that it has a non-removable bar running over the passenger compartments, where the panels attach and detach.


By what additional name were the 1970s Corvettes known?

The secondary name "Stingray" was introduced in the 1960s. It stuck around for a good 15 years. (You have to admit, the name makes the car sound a little bit cooler, right?)


Which of these is NOT a 1970s sports car?

Yes, we know you've probably never heard of the Tomaso line, but it really did make its Pantera in the '70s. The DeLorean didn't roll out until the 1980s.


What was the British two-seater Spitfire named for?

The Spitfire, named for the plucky fighter plane, didn't originate in the 1970s. However, its Mark IV and 1500 models sold very well during this period.


Which of these cars suffered its most unloved period in the 1970s?

The very words "Mustang II" can make Ford lovers wince. Ford's first misstep was to offer it without a V8 engine (the first year, you could only get a V6).


What year was the Mazda RX-7 released?

The RX-7 barely qualifies as being a 1970s car. Introduced to the world in 1978, it went on sale in 1979.


What decade did Mazda quit making the RX-7?

Some of the 1970s cars in this quiz are still in production today. But the RX-7 isn't one of them; it bowed in 2002.


This version of the Dodge Charger was named for a NASCAR venue.

Unfortunately, the Charger Daytonas of the mid-1970s weren't nearly as powerful the beasts of 1969-70. Still, they looked sharp, with the classic racing stripe.


The ______ 240Z was also called the "Fairlady" in Japan.

The Datsun 240Z was a very popular two-seat coupe that sold until 1978. You'll still occasionally see one on the streets today.


If you're not careful, you can mistake the 1971 Ferrari _________ for a Datsun 240Z.

This early '70s Ferrari special offering had a surprisingly un-eye-catching body style, rounded and egg-like at the rear, not unlike the Datsun. Don't be fooled: It's one of the rarest, most-sought-after Ferraris ever made.


The Trans Am was a model of what kind of car?

Along with Camaros and Corvettes, the Firebird Trans Am was a classic American car of the 1970s. Enthusiasts still prowl the want ads looking for an affordable one to restore.


Which carmaker made the Firebird?

The Firebird, and therefore the Trans Am, were a Pontiac product. This makes them part of the vast General Motors family.


In which movie can you see a classic late-'70s Trans Am?

In the Burt Reynolds action classic, three Trans Ams were used, one of which was completely destroyed in a stunt. A Trans Am plays a smaller role in "Kill Bill." Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) drives one out to the desert for her meeting with Budd (Michael Madsen).


What 1977 film made the Lotus Esprit so popular dealerships had to start waiting lists?

According to, the Esprit handled so well it was hard to make the chase scene in this Bond thriller look exciting. A Lotus employee took over for the stunt driver to jazz things up.


The _______ was a solid addition to Porsche's evergreen 911 lineup.

Porsche's 911 is one of the few car models to be in continuous production since its first rollout. In the 1970s, Porsche brought out the Carrera 911 2.7 RS -- but not very many, so they're collector's items today.


What model did Lamborghini introduce at 1971's Geneva Auto Show?

This car was a BEAST. It had a v12, 400-horsepower engine, all in a body so low it looked like you could slide the car under a door.


What was the name for the Countach's unique doors?

These were a bit similar to gullwing doors, which open upward. But the Countach's doors had a hinge in front that caused them to go up at a high forward angle. If you think of a flying beetle that can lift its wings sharply diagonal to its body, that's what scissor doors look like.


Some of Ferrari's 308s were made with what kind of innovation?

In these 1975 models, Ferrari experimented with and rejected the fiberglass body. Only about 700 of the 308s had it. For this reason, they are now collectible.


In 1971, Lamborghini made its last production model of which car?

The Miura, named for an agile breed of fighting bull, introduced the supercar to the world. After making 150 Miura SVs in 1971, Lamborghini has only made "special edition" or concept cars in the Miura line.


In the 1970s, this iconic British brand introduced its XKE Series 3.

Jaguar straddles the line between luxury and sports. The E-Type Series 3 leaned toward the "sporting" side, offering drivers a monstrous V12 engine.


What was the name of the Datsun sports car only sold in the US in 1974?

This car was closely related to the 240Z, as its name suggests. It offered buyers a 2.6 liter, 162-horsepower engine, not bad under a curb weight of only 2400 pounds.


The M1 was a racy coupe introduced in 1978 by ______.

The M1s looked nothing like the high-performance luxury sedans BMW is known for. A classic sports car, they looked a lot like a Ferrari, especially in red.


The SM was a sporty coupe released by this European automaker.

Better known for economy cars, Citroen produced a sleek, fast coupe in the SM. Fun fact: No one is sure what the initials stand for. The "M" might be for Maserati, who made the engine.


Which of these did the Camaro NOT offer 1970s buyers?

All generations of Camaro offered a convertible version except the second generation, from 1969 to 1981. This Camaro was a serious driver's car: No Malibu Barbies needed apply!


Which of these was made by Italian carmaker Lancia?

"Lancia" is a more familiar name to Europeans than Americans. Its mid-1970s Stratos was a very successful road rallying car.


What carmaker released the X1/9?

The idiosyncratic name might have tipped you off -- not many carmakers use a "slash" like Fiat did. This 1970s two-seater only provided about 70 hp, but its light body and good handling made up for it.


Which of these TV characters drove a 1970s Mustang?

Farrah Fawcett's ride on "Charlie's Angels" was a Cobra II, with racing stripes and louvered windows. Just the thing a PI needs to keep a low profile!


What unusual feature did the Maserati Merak offer buyers?

Unlike most sports cars of the day, the Merak wasn't a two-seater. Just the thing, if you wanted to drive the spouse and kids to church at 88 mph.


In 1971, Maserati released this more traditional two-seater sports car.

This was an early-70s classic from the Italian supercar maker. Mid-engine, V8 power, two seats, aerodynamic design ... it's all there!


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

There's another Tarantino connection here! The women of Tarantino's "Death Proof" were so taken with the 1971 Challenger from this movie that they made arrangements to "test drive" one in vintage condition. (Spoiler alert: the test drive is anything but routine).


This car's most notable feature was its very high rear wing.

This production version of a NASCAR car might not fit your image of a "sports car." But trust us, with a 7-liter engine and a 5.5 zero-to-60 time, it deserves that accolade.


Who made the car the public named "the Montreal"?

This two-seat sports coupe was unnamed when it was rolled out as a concept car at a show in Montreal; the name came through popular use. The Montreal sold from 1970 to 1971.


What kind of car did The Dude drive in "The Big Lebowski"?

Jeff Bridges's now-iconic character drove a 1973 Ford Gran Torino. It's not exactly what you'd call a "sports car," but we couldn't leave it out. It tied the whole movie together!


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