No one could possibly hope to know every make and model of car ever produced. We've been doing this for over a century and they're manufactured all over the world. Some were done in super limited production runs, others vanished decades ago and some never even made it to whatever part of the world you live in. It's impossible. But the flip side of that coin is there are some cars just about everyone knows. Some cars have transcended the idea of car and become legends. They're cars that you know just from looking at them, and others that have paved the road every other car drives on by being the first to set a standard we've all come to expect from automobiles.
These icons of the automotive world are much of the reason so many of us are infatuated with the very idea of cars. the sleek lines, the powerful engines, the styling, the rush. Everything you love about cars came from someplace. The power of the Boss 429 Mustang. The sleek lines of the Corvette Stingray. The sophistication of the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Even the boxy little reliability of the Mini. If you know cars, you have to know the icons. But do you know all of them? Take the quiz and show your stuff!
Wiki Commons by Greg Gjerdingen
Which of these has long been considered the first muscle car ever?
The 1964 Pontiac GTO basically started the muscle car movement. There had been some powerful V8 engines under the hoods of other cars but Pontiac made the rest of the big boys take notice and start actively competing in the muscle car segment after this car's release.
Do you know which of these made cars accessible to the common person in a practical, affordable version for the first time ever?
Ford Model T
Cars had existed before Henry Ford made the Model T, but none of that mattered after the Model T. The manufacturing process that made it easy to build multiple units at a price regular people could afford revolutionized the industry and made Ford a titan for over a century.
This car was one of the most-manufactured models of all time. What was it?
VW Type 1
The VW Type 1 is known to most as the VW Beetle and it was an automaking phenomenon. Nearly 22 million of thee little cars were produced. No car was manufactured for a longer period of time, from 1938 until 2003 before the "New Beetle" took over.
"Back to the Future" made which of these cars famous?
The maker only made the DeLorean for 3 years and it was never produced in great numbers. The brushed steel look and the gull-wing doors made it perfect for a sci-fi movie though, and "Back to the Future" has made it one of the most desirable cars ever made, even to this day.
Which of these was the progenitor of the pony car segment?
The Ford Mustang is credited with kicking off the pony car segment. A pony car was easily confused with a muscle car but it was meant to be affordable, marketed toward a sporty, younger crowd, with seating for four and a long hood with a short deck.
Do you know which of these won over 2,000 races in the 1920s?
Austin Healey 3000
Bugatti Type 35
Bugatti is known for high-performance vehicles to this day and back in 1924 the Bugatti Type 35 was a monster. The 35 used a crankshaft supported by two roller bearings and three ball-bearings, a revolution in engineering at the time.
Arguably one of the most recognizable sports cars in history, the Porsche 911 has remained relatively unchanged across its entire production history, at least on the outside. It also ranked top 5 in the Car of the Century poll.
When you want to pack a lot into a small space, which of these cars allowed the use of 80% of its floor space?
The Mini was a miracle of design engineering, with front-wheel drive and a transverse engine that made the small space somehow large enough to transport people and luggage at the same time. When the fuel crisis hit, the Mini more than proved its worth.
Which of these cars hit 231 miles per hour in 1998, setting a record?
The McLaren F1 is not just one of the most striking cars to look at, it had the power to back it all up. A BMW V12 engine that pulled 618 horsepower ensured that this machine meant business and the centrally situated driver's seat was just a cool touch.
Few vehicles are as closely associated with hippie culture as which of these?
VW Type 2
The VW Type 2 is the proper name for this vehicle, but just short of no one uses it. To most, it was a VW Bus, a Microbus, or a Hippie Bus. They were also built to last, and you can still find decades-old models on the roads today.
Do you know which of these cars was introduced on April Fool's Day in 1970?
The AMC Gremlin was not a beloved car but it was a memorable one. AMC put the boots to production to beat Ford and Chevy to the market with the country's first US-built subcompact car. They succeeded and despite its reputation, a lot of Gremlins were sold. Over 670,000, in fact.
If James Bond is chasing you, which of these cars is he driving?
Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 has been the preferred ride of 007 since way back in the movie "Goldfinger." First manufactured in 1963, it was only manufactured for two years but James Bond still drives them to this day because he's James Bond.
Which of these cars was called the Ferrari Killer?
The rivalry between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari played out at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Ford pulled out all the stops to build a car that could stop the Ferrari winning streak which had gone from 1960 to 1965. Ford came up with the GT40, and in 1966 it took down Ferrari and did so for another 3 years after that.
What car did Chevy introduce to compete with Ford in the pony car segment?
Ford's Mustang proved hugely popular in 1964, so by 1967 Chevy had produced its response, the Camaro. A little late to the party but nevertheless successful, the Camaro has gone on to be the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 9 times.
No other electric car in the world has a greater range than which of these?
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S was a revolution in electric car-making, and today it has a greater range than any other electric vehicle on the road. One charge in a Model S can take you 373 miles. The Hyundai Kona is the next closest competitor with a range of 258 miles.
Do you know which vehicle is considered the first SUV on the market?
The Jeep Cherokee was produced in 1984 and is considered the first SUV on the market, although there is abundant debate on the topic. There were, of course, earlier models in the military that were designed for off-roading and more rugged driving, but by our modern, civilian sensibilities, the Jeep Cherokee is it.
Which of these sports cars was named after a warship?
Aston Martin DB7 Zagato
Chevy's legendary Corvette has been one of the company's most popular cars since 1953. The name Corvette dates back to the 17th century. Corvette warships were a combat grade below frigates and had a single row of guns. They were known for speed and maneuverability.
Do you know which of these is the fastest production car ever made?
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport and its $3.2 million price tag bring to the table the most speed of any production car in history. The Chiron has been clocked at 304 miles per hour. It's worth noting that the consumer model will probably have speed limiters installed so you can't get it up to that speed without some tweaking.
Airbags weren't always the standard. Who had them first?
The 1974 Oldsmobile Toronado set the standard for safety by being the first vehicle to include an airbag as an option, something we all take for granted today. The year before, they were an experiment in some Impalas but not a thing you could typically buy.
Which of these classic racers is still prized by enthusiasts even today?
Alfa Romeo Stradale
Toytoa Supra 2000
Austin Healey 3000
The Austin Healey 3000 was a British car that was greatly prized in North America for its racing prowess. In fact, in 1963, over 90% of all the cars they produced were exported and most of them ended up in America.
The world looked at Japanese cars in a whole new light after which of these debuted in 1965?
The Toyota 2000GT looks like a sleek European sports car and would fit in right alongside a Porsche or an Alfa Romeo. The fact that it was a Toyota turned the auto world on its head as Japanese cars had previously only been known as utilitarian and, not to put too fine a point on it, ugly. This car changed everything.
Everyone loves a convertible, but which car had the very first retractable hardtop?
Peugeot 601 Eclipse
It was 1934 when Peugeot rolled out the 601 Eclipse, a car mostly forgotten by history. But the retractable hardtop was an innovation the world had never seen before, and it would go on to be one of the most popular features in a certain segment of cars, especially in the '50s and '60s.
Do you know what supercar was the first to have a rear mid-engine two-seat layout?
Alfa Romeo Stradale
The Lamborghini Miura showed up in 1966 full of sleek, smooth lines and curves. With a V12 engine firing it like a rocket down the highway, the term supercar had yet to really be invented but it never would have been without the Miura.
Automatic transmission first appeared in which of these cars?
1940 Packard One-Ten
Automatic transmission is a modern convenience most of us take for granted, and likely the majority of drivers on the road today couldn't even drive manual if they had to. That sad, it was the 1939 Oldsmobile that pioneered automatic transmission in a production car. They called it the Hydramatic and you could get it in the Cadillac as well.
Which of these was the first production car to crack 200 mph?
The Ferrari F40 was designed by Enzo Ferrari himself just before his 90th birthday. The company only planned to make about 300 of them, but they were so popular they kept production going until 1,315 were manufactured.
This was the first American-made car with a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. What was it?
The Tucker Torpedo, which was actually called the Tucker 48, was a highly innovative vehicle that was utterly destroyed in the market place due to what some believe was a Big 3 conspiracy to ruin the competition. For instance, the company ended up tanking thanks to a stock fraud trial at which all allegations were proven false.
Four-wheel drive was an innovation first seen in which of these production cars?
Oldsmobile Golden Rocket
It's fair to say four-wheel drive had existed for quite a while, but it wasn't until 1966 with the Jensen FF that it was available in a production car that was not meant to be an all-terrain vehicle. Unfortunately, the car was also a huge failure.
Enzo Ferrari called which of these the most beautiful car in the world?
The Jaguar E-Type was a performance monster with a low body and a V12 engine under that extremely long hood. It also tore up more than one racetrack in its day as well, giving it a place in car history that few others can touch.
Do you know which vehicle has the longest continuously used nameplate ever?
In 2019, the Chevy Surburban is a full-sized SUV, but that wasn't always the case. For instance, back in 1935, the Suburban was actually the very first all-steel framed station wagon on the market, making it a pretty historical vehicle all around
This car could do the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds. What was it?
Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda
Chevy Corvette Stingray
AC Shelby Cobra 427
Carroll Shelby had the brilliant idea to marry a Ford 427 V8 engine with the body of a British AC sports car. The result was one of the most iconic cars ever that handled like a dream and tore up the track. To this day, the name Shelby is like a garnish on a car's name that means it's better than the norm.
Which of these was built entirely from the ground up just for rally car racing?
Alfa Romeo Stradale
The Lancia Stratos started production in 1973, the first car ever built from the ground up just for rallying with nearly 500 produced for homologation. It managed to pull down 3 World Rally Championships, so it was clearly pretty well made.
In 1952, which of these was the first car ever to sport fuel injection?
The Goliath GP700 was very innovative for the time. A front-mounted transverse engine was impressive for its time and something other manufacturers would adopt later, but it's definitely the fuel-injection system that makes this one historic.
"The Dukes of Hazzard" made this car a household name. What was it?
The Duke boys drove around in a 1969 Dodge Charger called the General Lee. It's remarkably hard to find a '69 or a '70 Charger these days because the producers snatched up most of the spare ones that were around at the time, destroying more than one per episode on average. Word is they ran through about 325 of them.
When it comes to horsepower, which of these icons was the first to crack 1,000?
SSC Ultimate Aero
The SSC Ultimate Aero was produced from 2006 to 2013, and during its time it was the fastest production car in the world with a top speed clocked at 256.14 miles per hour. The 6.3-liter supercharged V8 had a beastly output of 1,047 horsepower.
Do you know which of these cars pioneered the idea of a turbocharger?
Chevy Bel Air
A turbocharger in your engine isn't a crazy idea these days by any means, but it was back in 1962 when it first rolled out in an Oldsmobile Jetfire. It managed to pull 214 horsepower back then with a 3.5-liter V8 engine.
Cadillac's Eldorado was one of the most insanely expensive cars in its day, and had all the luxuries to justify it. From air conditioning to lamb's wool carpets and self-leveling suspension, there were few cars as impressive, which is why it cost more than a Rolls-Royce.
Which of these is the sixth best-selling car of all time?
Honda was mostly known for making motorcycles when the Civic was introduced in the '70s. It was introduced in North America just as the oil crisis was hitting, which made it a sweeping success that turned Honda into a fierce competitor in the market.
This started life as a military vehicle. What is it?
One look at the Willys MB and you're going to say "but that's a Jeep." And it's true, this is a Jeep, but it really was called the Willys MB to begin with. Why the name change? Weirdly enough, no one can say with 100% certainty where the name Jeep actually came from.
The epitome of supercar awesomeness in the '70s and '80s, the Lamborghini Countach doesn't just have an unusual name, it has a vulgar one. The word "countach" is apparently a foul-mouthed exclamation from the Piedmontese dialect.
Many people consider this the premiere British luxury car. What is it?
Austin Healey 3000
The Rolls-Royce Phantom dates all the way back to 1925. It was their replacement for the car that would later be known as the Silver Ghost and stayed in production until 1935. It was then resurrected years later to continue the legacy.