How Well Do You Know '70s Sports Cars?

By: Torrance Grey

How Well Do You Know '70s Sports Cars?
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?
the Datsun 260Z
the Jensen-Healey
This sports coupe is a two-seater that followed the defunct Austin Healey. It only came in a convertible model.
the Lancia Stratos
the Dacia Sandero

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The third generation of this Chevy car came out in the '70s.
Charger
Corvette
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.
Corvair
Bel Air

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The 1970s Corvettes offered buyers what innovation?
all-nitrogen tires
sequential taillights
shoulder belts
T-tops
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.

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By what additional name were the 1970s Corvettes known?
Sunfire
Halo
Mako
Stingray
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?)

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Which of these is NOT a 1970s sports car?
the Camaro Z28
the DeLorean
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.
the Lotus Esprit
the DeTomaso Pantera

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What was the British two-seater Spitfire named for?
a weather phenomenon
a show dog
a racehorse
a WWII fighter plane
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.

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Which of these cars suffered its most unloved period in the 1970s?
Corvette
Camaro
Mustang
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).
Firebird

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What year was the Mazda RX-7 released?
1971
1974
1976
1979
The RX-7 barely qualifies as being a 1970s car. Introduced to the world in 1978, it went on sale in 1979.

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What decade did Mazda quit making the RX-7?
the 1990s
the 2000s
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.
the 20-teens
they are still in production

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This version of the Dodge Charger was named for a NASCAR venue.
Charlotte
Daytona
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.
Laguna Seca
Martinsville

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The ______ 240Z was also called the "Fairlady" in Japan.
Chevrolet
Datsun
The Datsun 240Z was a very popular two-seat coupe that sold until 1978. You'll still occasionally see one on the streets today.
Lancia
Tesla

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If you're not careful, you can mistake the 1971 Ferrari _________ for a Datsun 240Z.
Countach
Daytona Spyder
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.
Miura
Balboni

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The Trans Am was a model of what kind of car?
the Countach
the Firebird
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.
the Camaro
the Mustang

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Which carmaker made the Firebird?
Chevrolet
Ford
Pontiac
The Firebird, and therefore the Trans Am, were a Pontiac product. This makes them part of the vast General Motors family.
AMC

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In which movie can you see a classic late-'70s Trans Am?
Ordinary People
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
Smokey and the Bandit
both #2 and #3
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).

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What 1977 film made the Lotus Esprit so popular dealerships had to start waiting lists?
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Annie Hall
Saturday Night Fever
The Spy Who Loved Me
According to imdb.com, 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.

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The _______ was a solid addition to Porsche's evergreen 911 lineup.
Boxster
Carrera
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.
Cayman
Toreador

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What model did Lamborghini introduce at 1971's Geneva Auto Show?
the Balboni
the Countach
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.
the first Miura
the Zoetrope

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What was the name for the Countach's unique doors?
bailout
gullwing
scissor
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.
suicide

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Some of Ferrari's 308s were made with what kind of innovation?
a hybrid battery
fiberglass bodies
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.
suicide doors
cupholders

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In 1971, Lamborghini made its last production model of which car?
the Aventador
the Diablo
the Miura
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.
the 300GT

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In the 1970s, this iconic British brand introduced its XKE Series 3.
Austin Healey
Lancia
Jaguar
Jaguar straddles the line between luxury and sports. The E-Type Series 3 leaned toward the "sporting" side, offering drivers a monstrous V12 engine.
Maserati

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What was the name of the Datsun sports car only sold in the US in 1974?
the 260Z
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 310Z
the Geo
the Storm

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The M1 was a racy coupe introduced in 1978 by ______.
BMW
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.
Datsun
Ferrari
Lancia

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The SM was a sporty coupe released by this European automaker.
Citroen
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.
Dacia
Mercedes
BMW

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Which of these did the Camaro NOT offer 1970s buyers?
a convertible version
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!
a choice of paint colors
a fastback version
seat belts

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Which of these was made by Italian carmaker Lancia?
the Karmann Ghia
the Spyder
the Sandero
the Stratos
"Lancia" is a more familiar name to Europeans than Americans. Its mid-1970s Stratos was a very successful road rallying car.

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What carmaker released the X1/9?
Fiat
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.
BMW
Mercedes
Maserati

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Which of these TV characters drove a 1970s Mustang?
BJ, "BJ and the Bear"
Jill Munroe, "Charlie's Angels"
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!
Jack Tripper, "Three's Company"
Sgt. Hooker, "TJ Hooker"

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What unusual feature did the Maserati Merak offer buyers?
a backseat
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.
lizard-skin upholstery
a horn that played "Tarantella"
a "star" harness

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In 1971, Maserati released this more traditional two-seater sports car.
the Bora
This was an early-70s classic from the Italian supercar maker. Mid-engine, V8 power, two seats, aerodynamic design ... it's all there!
the Gallardo
the Corrado
the Sandero

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What kind of car was the unofficial star of 1971's "Vanishing Point"?
an Aston Martin Vantage
a Dodge Challenger
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).
a Ford Mustang II
a Volvo 240DL

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This car's most notable feature was its very high rear wing.
Corvette Sting Ray
Camaro Z28
Plymouth Superbird
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.
DeTomaso Pantera

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Who made the car the public named "the Montreal"?
Alfa Romeo
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.
BMW
Lancia
Maserati

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What kind of car did The Dude drive in "The Big Lebowski"?
a Camaro Z28
a Ford Gran Torino
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!
a Ford Pinto
an Alfa Romeo Spider

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