How well do you know your car talk?

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Did you know that a "deuce" refers specifically to a 1932 Ford coupé, popularized by the Beach Boys' song, "Little Deuce Coupé"? Conversation with your mechanic, car lovers or your friend who likes to wrench on the family car in the garage can feel like car talk is a foreign language if you're not a gearhead. See if you speak the language by taking this quiz!

Which is a common nickname for a mechanic?

There are a lot of nicknames for those who wrench on cars, including "wrench," "grease monkey" and "gearhead." Plus, when your mechanic is working on your car's engine, it's nicknamed, "wrenching."

What is the age criteria for a car to be considered antique?

A vehicle 25 years old, at minimum, is considered an antique.

What name is given to a car built between 1925 and 1948, typically with fine workmanship?

Vehicles made between 1925 and 1948 were part of the Classic car period, which was pre- and post-war automobile design and production.

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to the "sleeper." What's the secret of a sleeper car?

While the exterior of a sleeper car looks no different than any other car on the road, it's hiding high-performance equipment under the hood, such as a more powerful engine or turbocharging.

How can you prevent engine "knock"?

"Knocking," also called "pinging," can happen when the air-fuel mixture in the car's engine isn't the right ratio. It can damage the pistons if you leave it untreated, but an easy fix is to use a higher octane fuel.

Ford Motor Company sold its Model T between 1908 and 1927 -- but you might know it by what other name?

The first family-priced vehicle in the U.S., the Model T weighed 1,200 pounds and had a top speed of 40 mph -- and went by the nickname "Tin Lizzie."

Which is not a muscle car?

Muscle cars, like the 4-4-2, GTO and the Road Runner, are mid- or full-sized, two-door, American muscle cars that had a V8 engine under the hood. The first-generation Ford Mustang, which debuted in 1964, did not fit those criteria.

A Chrysler Sebring that's been stripped down and reassembled with parts from a Bentley body kit is an example of what kind of car?

Kit cars are functioning but not very exciting cars, such as a Chrysler Sebring, re-fitted with the components of another, usually luxury or sporty car, such as a Bentley.

What's it called when you put the pedal to the metal and your car pulls to the right (or left)?

This happens when the driving force between the front wheels of your car, specifically front-wheel drive cars, is out of balance when you accelerate heavily.

What are you supercharging when you install a "supercharger" under the hood?

A supercharger, also called a "blower," is, basically, an air compressor that moves more air into the car's internal combustion engine, which makes it work better.

Which car is considered a pony car?

High performance cars like Mustangs and Camaros, which are similar but smaller than American muscle cars, were the four-seater pony cars with long hoods and short back ends.

Sometimes it refers to exhaust flamethrower kits, but when you're talking about your car's custom paint job, what are "hot licks"?

When you see flames on a custom paint job, those are "hot licks."

They went out of favor in the 1970s, but for 70 years what tires were commonly used on American cars?

Between the 1900s and the 1970s, cars typically came outfitted with whitewall tires. Whitewalls, as opposed to blackwalls, have a stripe of white on the side.

Which of these does not refer to lowering a car?

When a car's been "chopped," it means the roof of the car has been lowered -- but the car itself isn't. On the other hand, a "dropped" car's suspension has been modified so the vehicle rides lower. And "channeled" cars appear lower because their body rests around the frame instead of sitting on top of it.

What is "HEMI" short for?

The HEMI was popularized by Chrysler when their new line of V8 engines named FirePower debuted in 1951. HEMI is short for an engine with a hemispherical combustion chamber, a combustion chamber in a half-dome shape, on its cylinder head.

What's it called when you're afraid of running out of battery power while driving an electric car?

Think of it like anything else in your life that takes batteries -- there's a finite amount of time before they need to be recharged or replaced. Some drivers behind the wheel of a pure electric car (not a hybrid) suffer from "range anxiety," which means they're afraid they'll run out of battery power before they can next plug the car in for a charge.

The mechanic you asked to look over the used car you might buy tells you it has a set of baldinis, but otherwise it's a good car. What are "baldinis"?

"Baldinis" is a term for bald, or heavily worn, tires. If you're not sure of the state of your car's tire tread, grab a penny: when placed into the tread grooves, if part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32" of tread depth remaining.

What's the nickname for the oversized chrome-loving, fin-having, luxury cars of the late 1950s - early 1960s?

At 18.5 feet long, the 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Coupé Convertible is a classic land yacht from the era. But it's not the biggest. The 1960 Lincoln Continental hit a full 19-feet in length. (And consider this: your typical garage is between 18 and 20 feet long.)

The person parked next to you nods and says to you, "Nice whip." What are they talking about?

Your "nice whip" is your expensive vehicle (although these days it doesn't really have to be an expensive car -- it really just needs to be a car).

A two-door car that's shorter than the standard sedan version of the same model is called a what?

The smaller, two-door version of the standard sedan of the same kind of car is called a coupé.

Which nickname was given to a station wagon with exterior wood trim, like you might see at the beach in the 1950s?

Whether you're talking about a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon with wood framework, the original style, or your 1985 GMC Jimmy with faux-wood siding, you were driving a station wagon with exterior wood trim. You're in a "Woodie."

Your see on the receipt that your mechanic repaired your car with LKQ parts. What is "LKQ"?

LKQ means, "like, kind and quality." These are aftermarket, salvaged replacements that are in good condition.

What does it mean if your car's got a "dual quad"?

Your car's "dual-quad" carburetor setup means your car has two four-barrel carburetors.

What might someone call your pickup with the suspension that's been lifted higher than when you got it?

If you lift your vehicle's suspension so that it's higher than the automaker's original spec, you might hear it called "jacked-up."

What does it mean if your car has a six pack?

When it comes to cars, a six pack isn't about nice abs. It's about the engine, specifically one that has three two-barrel carburetors installed on it.

When it comes to the "lead sled," it's more about style than it is about speed. Where does the "sled" part come from?

Commonly made from 1949, 1950 or 1951 model years Fords or Mercurys, the "lead sled" gets its name from the heavy customization done to the vehicle. The "lead" refers to the metal modifications made to the body. And the "sled"? That's from the lowering of the car that's part of the modifications.

What are those small side windows behind the rear door called?

The side windows are called quarter glass. If it's on hinges, and can be opened, it's called a vent window.

NOS stands for "New Old Stock." What is new old stock?

"New Old Stock", NOS, is pretty much what is sounds like: new stock that's old. Specifically, these are original parts that were made by the manufacturer at the same time as your car, but for whatever reason, the parts were never sold.

What kind of car would you call a "hooptie"?

If your car sounds like a Sir Mix-a-Lot lyric, “my hooptie rollin’, tailpipe draggin’...," it's a car that's falling apart and unreliable.

A patina finish or unfinished appearance is the signature style of what kind of hot rod?

A "rat rod" is a hot rod from the 1940s-1960s with an unfinished or rough appearance.

What's your car called when you restore it to its original appearance, but update its suspension, electronics and other systems with modern parts and comforts?

A restored car that's been updated with modern parts, instead of original parts, is called a restomod.

What's it called when your car has a 3-speed transmission with the shift lever mounted to the steering column, instead of on the floor?

A car with a 3-speed transmission that has its shifting lever on the steering column is called, "three on the tree." Got a car with a 4-speed transmission with a floor-mounted shifter? That's a "four on the floor."

Although a tiger was used in its marketing, the Pontiac GTI developed in the '60s is nicknamed what by its fans?

The GTO -- built under John Z. DeLorean, who was chief engineer for Pontiac -- was developed in the early 1960s. By 1965, fans had nicknamed it "goat" and called their get-togethers the "gathering of the goats."

If you walk about your car, you'll notice the bottom edge of the side windows creates a line. What's that line called?

The line that the bottom edge of your car's windows creates is called the beltline. A low beltline, by the way, typically means good visibility.

What's it called when the body shop fixes your badly damaged car by removing the crumpled back end and fusing on a replacement back end from a donor car?

A car that's been fixed by welding the front end from one car to the back end of a different (but usually matching or similar) car is called a "cut and shut" (or you may hear, "zipper car"). While it sounds frankencool, they're illegal depending on where you live.

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