The Ultimate Unusual Auto Race Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Let's face it: Ordinary auto races get boring somewhere around the 20th lap. But some races are so quirky, so eccentric, so…unusual that they never get boring. Here's a quiz about several very odd races that offer not only thrills but genuine surprises.

The Red Bull Soapbox Derby isn't an auto race in the conventional sense. That's because all the vehicles in the race have one thing in common. What is it?

The cars in the Red Bull Soapbox Derby don't have engines. That makes them low on maintenance but difficult to drive over a hill.


What form of "fuel" propels the vehicles in the Red Bull Soapbox Derby?

At the Soapbox Derby, gravity is the "fuel" that gets the vehicles from the top of the track to the bottom, which proves that gravity is good for other things besides than keeping your feet on the ground


What shape are the vehicles at the Red Bull Soapbox Derby?

At the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, creativity counts. Vehicles can be any shape the designer can build them in as long as they're within a certain range of sizes. Past entrants have included a vehicle shaped like a cob of corn and one shaped like the Golden Gate Bridge.


What year was the original Soapbox Derby first run?

1934 -- August 19, to be exact. It's still running today as the All-American Soapbox Derby, but its only relation to the Red Bull Soapbox Derby is that they both use gravity-powered vehicles.


The television show "Carpocalypse" ran on what network?

"Carpocalypse" ran on Spike TV from 2005 to 2007, during which time it staged what were probably the goofiest car races ever held in front of a national audience.


What was "Carpocalypse" inspired by?

"Carpocalypse" was inspired both by a series of Crash-o-Rama car races in Orlando, Fla., and the Atari video game "Test Drive: Eve of Destruction," which included races featuring such unusual vehicles as ambulances, taxicabs and hearses.


What does Mille Miglia mean in Italian?

The Mille Miglia is approximately 1,000 miles long and that's what they called it - in Italian, of course. Which just goes to show that Europe wasn't always on the metric system.


In what famous California valley is the California Mille held?

The California Mille is held in NAPA Valley, north of San Francisco, the best known of the California wine countries.


How long does the California Mille run?

The California Mille runs for four days. Can you believe that the vehicles only travel 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) in that time? Maybe it's because the drivers spend most of their time stopping at wineries and expensive hotels. Ah, the good life!


On the California Mille, you get to stop off at wineries and fancy hotels on the way to the finish line. Where do you get to stop on the California Melee?

While touring the California countryside, drivers stop at local brewpubs (breathalyzer tests, anyone?) and spend the night at cheap…er, inexpensive motels.


How old must a car be to qualify for the California Melee?

Cars entered in the California Melee must have been built before 1975. Leisure suits and bell bottoms are optional.


How long does the California Melee run?

The California Melee runs for three days, one day shorter than the California Mille. Any longer than that and those old cars would probably fall apart.


To be allowed into a 24 Hours of LeMons race, how much can you spend on your car, including modifications?

If you spend more than $500 on your car, you can't enter it into 24 Hours of LeMons without a penalty. Think of it as an inexpensive way to get into the racing profession.


What's the penalty at 24 Hours of LeMons for driving a car that cost you more than the rules allow?

You'll be docked one lap for every $10 you've spent over the limit, which might be worth it if you've spent the money on extra horsepower.


How are other penalties determined at 24 Hours of LeMons?

Penalties are determined by spinning the Wheel of Misfortune. Buying a vowel doesn't help.


What do the participants vote on halfway through 24 Hours of LeMons?

Halfway through the 24 Hours of LeMons race, participants vote on which car will be crushed. Most years they let the driver get out of the car first.


What was the full name of the outlaw racing event known popularly as the Cannonball Run?

The full name of the Cannonball Run was the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, a name that takes only slightly less time to say than the actual race took to run.


Between which two years was the Cannonball run held?

The Cannonball Run was held four times from 1971 to 1979. After that, the police probably got too good at catching speeding race drivers.


What two American cities marked the beginning and end of the Cannonball Run?

The Cannonball Run dodged police speed traps all the way from New York City to Redondo Beach, Calif.


What current race has inherited the outlaw racing mantle of the Cannonball Run?

The Gumball 3000 is the modern equivalent of the Cannonball Run, though the race organizers may have been inspired more by the 1976 movie "The Gumball Rally," which was in turn inspired by the Cannonball Run.


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