Only A Car Expert Can ID These Famous 1960s Cars

By: Jodi C.
Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

Do you know your way around cars? More specifically, do you know your 1960s cars? This quiz will test you to the max by driving you into some crazy car trivia. Ready?

It's no secret that each decade, era, or generation will be defined by the cultural products popular during that specific time. From clothes to music and movies to language, each era or decade has its defining moments, memorable inventions, impressive innovations, and even forgettable flops.

The same can be said and observed with cars. Ever since the car was mass-produced in the 1900s, decade after decade saw imminent changes and revisions to the models first rolled out of factories. From the roaring '20s to the Depression-era '30s, then the war-torn '40s and the rebirth-slash-rehash of cultural norms during the '50s, you could say that cars went along for the ride and rolled along with the changes. It's no wonder that the '60s would find itself with the kinds of cars displayed along the streets of the era.

Are you old enough to remember what kinds of cars were considered "Kings of the roads" during those times? Or are you a nostalgia-lover who finds the sexy '60s intriguing and curious? No matter what your generation may be, it would still be fun to test your knowledge of '60s car. Care to try it out? Then start your engines, and let 'em fly!



Which division of Ford Motors, named in honor of Henry Ford's son, went under in 1960?

Edsel Ford was president of the Ford Motor Company until his death from cancer at age 50. Car buyers were unimpressed with the line named in his honor, however, and it was discontinued in 1960. (Ford's major success of the 1960s, the Mustang, was still years away.)

Ford changed the automotive world with the Mustang. What year was it released?

Ford introduced the first "pony car" in 1964. Lee Iacocca recalls knowing the Mustang was a success when he saw a sign in a diner window reading, "Our hotcakes are selling like Mustangs."

Which car had the name "Panther" in its prototype days?

There were already reports circulating that Chevy was going to roll out a "Panther" to compete with the Mustang. However, Chevy chose "Camaro" instead.

What is a "camaro" in real life?

The word comes closest to the Spanish words for "shrimp" or "waiter," neither of which are very flattering. It wasn't traditional at the time for car companies just to make up names, but it appears that Chevrolet wanted a "C" name to go along with Corvette, and made up "Camaro."

What year did Chevrolet release the Camaro?

Ford's Mustang had a solid head start on the Camaro, having been released in April 1964. Still, it did well; a fifth generation of the Camaro is on the market today.

Who produced the competitor car to the Mustang and Camaro called the Barracuda?

Technically, Plymouth's car was released a bit before the Mustang. Even so, the Barracuda is considered chiefly as a competitor to Ford's runaway hit.

Which European car is credited as starting the "supercar" trend?

The Miura was a passion project for Lamborghini designers. Built for speed, it ran counter to the larger, more comfortable cars Lamborghini was making at the time.

What is the difference between a pony car and a muscle car?

Pony cars, like the Mustang, Camaro, and Barracuda are smaller than muscle cars, which are full-sized. This doesn't, however, keep people from calling pony cars "muscle cars."

Which 1960s car is forever linked to James Bond?

Bond has driven a lot of cars, but when he took the wheel of an English-made Aston Martin DB5 in "Goldfinger," it made an indelible impression on the public. If you ask the average person what kind of car Bond prefers, they'll most likely vote for the Aston Martin.

Which of these was the first front-wheel-drive car in the US since the 1930s?

The Toronado (whose name was probably inspired by the success of the "Eldorado") was promoted by ads featuring racing driver Bobby Unser, who talked about the car's good handling.

Which safety feature became mandatory in 1964?

Surprisingly, lap belts weren't required until the 1960s (and shoulder belts later still). Rising traffic fatalities -- about 50,000 a year -- made them a necessity.

The Corvair was the first car in the US to have what feature?

This design feature was more common in European cars. It increases downforce and grip to have the engine close to the active wheels in a rear-wheel-drive car.

Which carmaker debuted its classic "911" model in 1964?

You'll still see many 1960s Porsche 911s on the road. They tend to be very-well-maintained by loving owners.

In the '60s, Ralph Nader changed the auto industry with his tell-all book on safety. What was it called?

"Unsafe at Any Speed" drew attention to the many safety issues that car makers knew about, but refused to change. A best-seller of its time, "Unsafe" ranks alongside "Silent Spring" and "The American Way of Death" as a nonfiction classic.

Which of these '60s cars takes its name from a small naval ship?

A corvette is a small, light warship. The Corvette was a Chevrolet model.

Which car manufacturer's name translates to "the people's car"?

Volkswagen produced the Beetle and the Bus, two very popular vehicles of the 1960s. The company has its roots in the Third Reich -- Adolf Hitler wanted a car that the average German family could afford.

"Fastbacks" were popular in the 1960s. What does the word "fastback" refer to?

"Fastback" means the roof of the car slopes downward in one line, reducing drag. Mustang fastbacks from the 1960s are still in demand today.

The 1960s saw the increasingly popularity of disc brakes. What kind of brakes did they replace?

Drum brakes were common in early cars. But Jaguar's racing team used disc brakes successfully in the 1950s, and soon they began to make their way into production cars.

Racing driver turned designer Carroll Shelby is most associated with what car?

Carroll Shelby designed the GT350 and GT500, based on the Ford Mustang. He died in 2012, after a storied career in racing and design.

What kind of car did Dustin Hoffman drive in "The Graduate"?

Bucking the domestic pony-car trend, director Mike Nichols gave Benjamin a small European car. The Spider has proven to be a very popular model for Italian car maker, Alfa Romeo -- the extent to which "The Graduate" helped is unknown.

If you have a vintage Eldorado convertible, what kind of car do you drive?

Eldorados (yes, it's spelled as one word) were a luxury car that thrived in the days before gas shortages. An Eldorado convertible from the 1960s still makes a substantial fashion statement today.

What kind of car was the Skylark?

Buick was a high-end line for General Motors, whose more meat-and-potatoes line was Chevrolet. The 1961 Buick Skylark was a redesign of the earlier Roadmaster Skylark sold in the 1950s.

What is a "Volkswagen Type 2" better known as?

The VW bus/van/minibus was immensely popular in the 1960s. This was despite a rear-engine configuration that put the driver's legs on the front line in the event of a collision.

What carmaker created the Galaxie?

"Galaxie" was the actual spelling, though in astronomy, "galaxy" is correct. The Ford Galaxie included "Sunliner" and "Starliner" models, in an attempt to capitalize on America's interest in space exploration.

"Ragtop" refers to what kind of car?

A ragtop, popular in the 1960s, is a convertible with a soft or canvas top. See also "hardtop," a car with a rigid but removable roof.

Which classic US carmaker went under in 1967?

No 1930s gangster-movie or WWII movie set in the US would be complete without a classy (yet hulking) Studebaker. This German family had such deep roots in the trade that they made carriages and other horse-drawn vehicles before getting into the auto line.

Which 1960s car takes its name from an African animal?

An impala is a grasslands animal, similar to an antelope. The Chevy Impala debuted in 1958 and was sold through the 1960s; you can buy a tenth-generation version of the car today.

A "Volkswagen Type 1" is better known as what kind of car?

Yes, the Type 1 was better known as the "Beetle" or just "Bug." Eternally popular, these were re-introduced to the market in the late 1990s, in virtually the same body style.

What kind of car did Steve McQueen drive in "Bullitt"?

Frank Bullitt drove a green Mustang fastback through the streets of San Francisco in the 1968 film. The men chasing him drove a Dodge Charger.

What kind of car do McQueen and his pursuers pass at least three times in "Bullitt"?

No viewing of "Bullitt" is complete without counting the number of times McQueen passes the green Beetle. The repetition was the result of editing to extend the length of the now-famous car chase scene.

Which carmaker rolled out the Cougar at the end of the 1960s?

The Cougar was another example of the ever-popular 1960s "pony car." In 1969, it would have cost you a little less than $4,000.

What classic 1960s car went over the cliff in "Thelma and Louise"?

The third star of "Thelma and Louise" has to be Louise's beautiful blue-green Thunderbird convertible. The car later sold at auction for about $71,000.

What otherwise-staid type of car had a renaissance among surfers in the 1960s?

Woodie wagons were cheap to buy and had plenty of room for hauling surfboards around. So what started as a matter of convenience became a cultural fashion statement -- the surfer and his/her vintage "woodie."

Which company made the Mistral?

The Mistral was part of the Italian "gran turismo" tradition. Like other Maseratis to follow, it had the name of a wind (a "mistral" is a chilly wind from the north).

Which cars stole the show in 1969's "The Italian Job"?

In this classic film, Michael Caine plays a thief who plans a gold heist. The bricks of gold are carried off in several Minis, which are nimble enough to race around Turin's sidewalks, arcades, and even sewers. Then, once the gold is unloaded, the cars are pushed over a cliff. That's gratitude for you!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes