These Cars Are a Mechanic's Dream. How Many of Them Can You Identify?

By: Jody Mabry
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

If your idea of a great weekend is spending it in the garage tweaking your classic muscle car, then this quiz is for you. If you can identify each of these 50 cars by sight alone, you can crown yourself a true grease monkey.

Let's be honest, many mechanics today have a love-hate relationship with modern cars. We can all appreciate what they do and the advances in engineering that have made even the lowest cost automobile an efficient driving machine, but today's cars definitely lack the personality of the classics. And, according to many mechanics, the classics were far easier to work on without an advanced degree in thermodynamics (or something else just as equally complicated and intimidating). The reality is many of today's cars operate on technology so advanced that the average grease monkey doesn't have the equipment to diagnose or treat problems. Oh, how we, and your average backyard mechanic, long for the days when cars were cars and not Jetsons-age machines. The good news is the cars in this quiz were so well made that they'll be on the road for decades to come. Take care of them, folks.

Let's find out how much you know about these great cars!

The Trans Am was a version of the Pontiac Firebird. It was made famous as the car Burt Reynolds drove in the "Smokey and the Bandit" movies.

Produced since 1953, the Chevy Corvette gained the nickname Sting Ray when its second generation models were released in 1963. This new line featured a tapered back end, while a third generation -- known as Stingray -- came out in 1969 with an entirely new shape.

While the actual story of the DeLorean is one of failure, it's permanently enshrined in movie history thanks to "Back to the Future." Sadly, the flux capacitor was never included as optional equipment.

The Firebird was conceived as a competitor to the Mustang, aimed at the Pony Car market. It was known for the striking Firebird hood decal that looked like Quetzalcoatl.

The so-called Mustang II was actually built on a Pinto body. Sold from 1973 to 1978, the car attracted buyers with its Mustang name, but was much smaller and more fuel efficient than the original.

Enzo Ferrari's son Dino was working on an affordable, less powerful Ferrari model when he passed away at age 24 from muscular dystrophy. His father named the entry-point 1968 Ferrari the Dino in honor of his son.

The Spider was a classically European sports car. It was tiny, tough and ferociously fast through corners. It was made from 1966-1994 and is still a favorite among collectors.

Released in 1966, the Toronado was the first mass-produced American front-wheel drive vehicle since the early days of the automotive industry. The sporty new car came complete with custom Firestone tires, which featured stiffer walls than standard wheels.

The Buick Riviera was GM's first venture into the luxury car market. In 1971, the company introduced its third generation line, which had a throwback boat-tail back end. The 1974 fourth generation redesign saw a return to a more conventional Colonnade back end.

The Porsche 911 was the first Porsche most Americans saw. It hit big in the market in the '80s, and soon the low-slung speed demons were everywhere.

The Shelby Cobra came about when American car designer Carroll Shelby decided to upgrade an AC Cobra from the UK with a powerful V8 engine from Ford. The result was one of the hottest two-seaters on the market, and was available from 1965 to 1967.

Produced from 1972 to 1983, the Merak used a Bora body, but included a smaller engine. This allowed Maserati to add a narrow second row of seating, helping the car appeal to a wider audience.

The uniquely-styled Plymouth Superbird was essentially a modified Road Runner, designed to go from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds. It's immediately identifiable thanks to its super-high rear wing.

The Testarossa's unmistakable silhouette, with the side "strakes" looking a bit like a cheese grater, served a purpose. The dual radiators were in back with the engine, so the strakes were needed to keep airflow to them.

Dodge brought out the first generation of its iconic Charger in 1965. The original vehicle used a Dodge Coronet body, but featured a more powerful engine. The two-door fastback on the earliest models had four bucket seats and plenty of upgrade options.

Better known as the Carrera GTS, the 904 was a sleek and stylish mid-engine sports car, and was also the first Porsche with a fiberglass body.

The Miura is arguably the most famous Lamborghini model of all time. Produced from 1966 to 1973, the vehicle is named for a famous fighting bull from Spain.

Plymouth's Barracuda was built on an E-body -- a shorter, wider version of the old B-platform. Produced from 1970 to 1974, the third generation limited designs to coupes and convertibles.

Ford built the GT40 to compete with Ferrari on the racing circuit, and by the mid-to-late '60s, the car was winning races around the world. It eventually became the first American-made car to win at Le Mans.

Acura is Honda's luxury/performance nameplate in the U.S. market. This car is a bit of both.

Lincoln has produced its iconic Continental since 1939. The '60s saw the 4th generation of the car, which was smaller than the '50s version and less ornamental overall.

Produced from 1973 to 1984, the Ferrari Boxer Berlinetta was created to take on Lamborghini's Miura and Countach. The company launched the 365G74 in 1971, and introduced the B512, which was named for its 5 litre/12 cylinder engine, in 1976.

Bring your BIG checkbook if you want to buy this car, which starts at more than $100K. However, for your expenditure you'll get a state-of-the-art power plant that can generate up to 600 HP.

Introduced in 1977, the British-made Aston Martin V8 Vantage was tough to come by in the U.S. due to emissions restrictions. A decade later, the car shot to fame when it was featured in the 1987 007 film, "The Living Daylights."

When it was released in 1961, the Oldsmobile Starfire was the priciest and most powerful Oldsmobile ever sold. The first generation of the vehicle was available from 1961 to 1966, and featured a convertible roof and leather bucket seats.

Sold at Lincoln dealerships, the De Tomaso Panera was the most popular car ever produced by De Tomaso. Introduced in 1971, it's name means "Panther" in Italian.

This car was one of the most recognizable high-end sports coupes of the '70s. In a famous Car and Driver article, humorist P.J. O'Rourke and Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner drove the car from coast to coast, having misadventures along the way.

Jaquar's iconic E-Type was available from 1961 to 1975. The first generation was a convertible roadster with style, while major upgrades in 1968 helped the luxury car keep up with increasingly stringent U.S. safety standards.

The Mercury Cougar was the rare car to be brought back after a long hiatus. It was sold from 1967 to 1997, then again from 1999 to 2002. In 1971, Mercury brought out a second generation model which weighed less than the original and had a bigger, more stylish grille.

This sporty two-seater is a bargain by German luxury car standards, coming in just below $90K. For that, you'll get more than 400 horsepower and plenty of second looks.

The stylish three-door hatchback coupe French Citroen SM was produced between 1970 and 1975. Just 2,400 were sold in North America out of the 12,000 produced, making it a relatively rare vintage for modern car collectors.

The '60s saw three different generations of Ford's classic Thudnerbird. Early models had a bullet-like appearance, while mid-'60s versions were squared off. By the late '60s, the car had become larger and more luxurious in an attempt to compete with Mustang.

Aston Martin will forever be known as the chosen car of James Bond in the early days. This $300,000 muscle car is a far cry from Bond's wheels, but it doesn't have machine guns or an ejector seat.

Fans of rally racing surely know the Lancia Startos, an Italian car that ruled race tracks in the '60s and beyond. The company also sold a small number of street legal Stratos to the U.S. market, including the 1976 Stradale with its wedge shape and 196 horses.

Chevy developed its secret "Panther" project in the '60s to come up with a pony car to compete with the beloved Mustang. The result was the Camero, which came out in 1966.

The 11-year production run of this car no doubt led to record revenues for speed patrol officers everywhere. It used the familiar wedge shape, with a V-12 engine that was ridiculously powerful.

The Lotus Esprit was almost named the Kiwi, but Esprit was chosen to keep with the company's tradition of starting all model names with the letter "E." Introduced in 1976 and featuring a sleek wedge design, the vehicle had a throttled engine in the U.S. to comply with emissions standards.

The Ford Mustang was a '60s favorite for car lovers. Originally built on a Falcon platform, the Mustang came out in 1964, and the company built more than one million units over the next 18 months.

Partnerships between American and Japanese carmakers have yielded mixed results, but the Stealth was definitely a win. It was only sold for five years in the '90s, but collectors still covet them.

Introduced in 1975, the Bobcat was Mercury's first sub-compact. It featured a Pinto body, but offered a much fancier grille and upgraded trim. The Bobcat was discontinued in 1981 and replaced by the Lynx.

You might recognize this as the car that converted into a submarine in the Bond flick, "The Spy Who Loved Me." It also rode across "For Your Eyes Only," giving Aston Martin some British competition.

The 1965 Mustang came with a $276 upgrade known as the K-code. Buyers who splurged on this option got a super powerful engine and a car built for speed -- with a much-shortened warranty, no AC or power steering.

The Viper is Dodge's bid to compete with the high-end Italian sports cars. It's hand-crafted, perfectly rounded and comes in at less than $90K, a bargain!

The Chevy Vega was an American-made sub-compact introduced at the start of the '70s. By 1977, it had been discontinued after having problems with everything from rust to reliability.

The 1961 Chrysler 300G was part of the luxury line's "letter" series. It had an oversized body with an inverted grille and prominent fins. By the next year, the 1962 model lost its fins and was slightly toned down in terms of trim.

From 1962 to 1969, the Nova was known as the Chevy II. In 1969, the name was changed to Nova, and the vehicle was produced over the next decade. A longer wheelbase introduced in the early '70s resulted in the sub-compact Nova measuring almost as big as an average mid-side vehicle.

The '60s saw two generations of Cadillac's Coupe De Ville. The second generation of the vehicle was produced between 1961 and 1964, and featured a prominent grille and large fins. The third generation, produced between 1965 and 1970, had a more rounded body, with none of the big fins found on earlier designs.

This two-door speedster was Volkswagen's big step away from the Beetle. It sold thousands in Europe, where its small body and nimble handling made it a star of the rally circuit.

The Modena was named after the Italian birthplace of Enzo Ferrari. It wasn't as groundbreaking as previous Ferrari designs, and the 360 line to which it belonged petered out in 2005.

Studebaker gave a sporty makeover to its Hawk model in 1962, and renovated the car again in 1964 -- giving it a sport roof that was half vinyl, half metal.

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