How Many of These Cars from the '60s Can You Name?

By: Craig Taylor
Image: erclassicsholland via Youtube/soiouz via Youtube/GatewayClassicCars via Youtube/revokdaryl1 via Youtube

About This Quiz

Think you know your cars from the 1960s? Maybe you lived through those exhilarating days of big V8 engines and giant luxury sedans when cars seemed simpler, yet had more distinctive styling. You just started the engine and were on your way, with no buttons to press, no smart phones to pair or “driving modes” to select.

Even people who didn't experience driving cars of the ’60s still love them, though. From workaday sedans to iconic sports cars and even an American-brand endurance racecar that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row, the ’60s was a golden age for the automobile.

In the early ‘60s, the tail fins of the ‘50s faded away and muscle cars got young drivers all revved up on horsepower. Designs were more refined, yet you could still tell various brands and models from each other – not like today, when pretty much all the new crossovers and sedans look the same.

That same decade, tiny economy cars became big business. There are three in this quiz that returned in recent years as somewhat larger “retro” models.  

Most people who take this quiz don't come close to getting 100 percent correct. So, jump in, buckle up and see if you can do better!

Chevrolet introduced its iconic second-generation Corvette for 1963, giving it an added name, “Sting Ray.” It was available as a coupe or roadster, and the first year’s coupe had a split rear window. The design was built through 1967 and offered a wide range of V-8 engines, up to a 435-horsepower 427 cubic-inch “big block” in 1967. Fun fact: the Sting Ray name was absent on the 1968 Corvette redesign but returned as one word, “Stingray,” in 1969.

Although it had been in production for close to 15 years, the Volkswagen Type 1, better known as the Beetle, received some significant upgrades for 1965. Larger windows aided visibility, windshield wipers were improved, seats were redesigned for more room, and the rear seat folded flat to add cargo space.

The first generation of the Mercury Cougar was released for 1967 and built until 1970. Only V8 engines were offered, with options including Ford Motor Company’s famous 428 Cobra Jet. A convertible model and a special muscle car variant was called “Eliminator” joined the line for 1969, the latter named for a drag racing term.

Pontiac produced some iconic models, and none more so than its GTO. The first, released in 1964, was the brand’s midsize Tempest model with a 389 cubic-inch V8 with 325 horsepower, and it triggered a whole new muscle car segment. A “Tri-Power” option with three two-barrel carburetors boosted output to 348 horsepower. Two-door coupe, hardtop (no B-pillar) and convertible styles were offered. The “GTO” name came from the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO (for “Grand Turismo Omologato”).

Introduced in 1966, the Dodge Charger was a four-seat fastback coupe version of the midsize Coronet sedan. A range of V8 engines was offered, including the legendary 426 cubic-inch Hemi.

Ford introduced the 1965 Mustang in April 1964, sending a stampede of customers to its dealerships. It proved one of the most popular debuts ever, with 418,000 units sold. Available in coupe, fastback and convertible styles, the original Mustang offered a range of inline-six and V8 engines. It spawned a whole new segment, called “ponycars,” and some late-1960s versions could be equipped as muscle cars with “big-block” V8 engines.

Certainly an iconic name in American motoring, the Cadillac Sedan DeVille was introduced for 1956 and grew enormous tailfins over the next three years, peaking, quite literally, in 1959. The 1960 model’s overall styling and fins were toned down, and would get more refined from there. The DeVille name continued until 2005.

Chevrolet produced the El Camino between 1959 and 1960 and then again from 1964 to 1987 to compete against Ford's Ranchero. Starting in 1964, the El Camino was based on the Chevelle model.

A range of cars produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Volvo 140 was available as two-door and four-door sedans as well as a station wagon. They were powered by a 1.8 or 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

The Jaguar E-Type arrived in 1961. Not only did it look spectacular, but also offered staggering performance from a 3.8-liter inline six-cylinder engine, including 0-60 mph in under seven seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. The heavier 1971-1975 Series III version had a 5.3-liter V-12 engine but just about the same performance.

Jeep, then owned by Kaiser, introduced the Wagoneer in 1963 as a full-size SUV station wagon. (The name was a combination of “wagon” and “pioneer.”) It started out as a utilitarian vehicle, but by the 1980s skewed toward luxury. In 1984, it was renamed Grand Wagoneer when the compact Wagoneer model arrived. Production lasted until 1991.

This grand touring coupe instantly became a classic when released in 1963. It helped, of course, that none other than the fictional British MI5 secret agent, James Bond drove a DB5 in 1964’s “Goldfinger.” The DB5 was powered by a 4.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine wit 282 horsepower.

The Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company introduced its first Cyclone for 1964 as a performance upgrade on the compact Comet. The Cyclone really got hot for 1968, with an available new fastback body and, late in the year, an optional 428 Cobra Jet V-8 engine. The Cyclone excelled in NASCAR racing, but it was a relative sales dud with under 14,000 sold that year, versus nearly 88,000 Pontiac GTOs.

Produced from 1968 to 1971, the Dodge Super Bee muscle car was based on the two-door Coronet and was a first cousin to the Plymouth Road Runner. The standard engine was a 383 cubic-inch V8 with 335 horsepower, with the mighty 426 Hemi an option from the start. Starting in 1969, the 440 “Six Pack” joined the roster, getting its name from its triple two-barrel carburetors.

Ford’s first-generation Bronco hit the trails in 1966, and between that year and 1977, proved to be a more than capable off-roader. Blessed with a turning circle of just 33.8 feet, thanks to a wheel base of 92-inches, the Bronco could negotiate difficult trails. Engine choices included Ford’s 170- and 200 cubic-inch straight-six and 289 cubic-inch “small block” V-8 engines (changed the 302 in 1968).

Produced by American Motors Corporation from 1968-1970, the original AMX was a shortened two-seat version of the company’s four-seat Javelin sport coupe introduced the same year. The focus was on performance, with V-8 engine choices up to 390 cubic inches and 315 horsepower. When the fast-driving but slow-selling two-seater was dropped after 1970, the AMX name was used for the Javelin performance-upgrade model.

One of the most loved versions of the original Mini, the Cooper S was the brainchild of Formula One team owner, John Cooper. It was a performance-tuned Mini with more power, better brakes and better handling.

Produced from 1962 to 1970, the Wildcat was Buick’s full-size sporty model, available in two- and four-door hardtop versions and a convertible. The “wild” part was a standard big-block V8 engine, ending with a 370-horsepower 455 cubic-inch unit in the 1970 model.

The second version of the Volvo Duett, the P210, arrived in fall 1960. It came in two main body styles, a station wagon and a panel van and was powered by a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine. It was larger than the regular Volvo station wagon, and quite rare in America.

Truck-maker International Harvester introduced its small Scout utility vehicle in 1961, and a somewhat larger and more refined version, the Scout II, was built from 1971-1980. It was available in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, with a selection of various four-cylinder, six-cylinder and V-8 engines offered over the production run.

Pontiac began using the “Catalina” name in 1950, not for a specific model, but for the two-door hardtop body style on existing Chieftan and then Star Chief models. In 1959, Catalina became the name for the entry-level full-size Pontiac, although it could be ordered with lots of options. From 1961-1963, Pontiac offered its “Super Duty” 421 cubic-inch V8 in special stripped-down Catalinas built for drag racing. The Catalina name was retired after 1981

Plymouth introduced its sporty 1964 Barracuda three weeks before Ford unveiled the 1965 Mustang. Based on the compact Valiant, the Barracuda was vastly outsold by Mustang but did find a niche in the sporty car segment. Later models were offered in muscle car variants.

Nope, it’s not the VW Beetle. Although Fiat made some 3.8 million of its 500 model from 1957 to 1971, it was a rarity in America, mainly because it was just too small and underpowered. It had less than 20 horsepower from a 479cc (and later, 499cc) engine. That’s just half a liter. Fiat revived the 500 name for a larger (though still very small) “retro” model in 2007, this time with 100 horsepower and front-wheel drive.

Only 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs were produced by the Italian marque between 1962 and 1964. It was strictly for racing, although the car could legally be driven on the road. It is considered one of the greatest Ferraris ever made, and it holds the record for highest price paid for a classic automobile, with a $70 million private sale in 2018.

Jeep produced its Gladiator pickup from 1962-1988, an incredible 26-year run for the same vehicle on the same chassis. The name was changed to J-series in 1972. For 2019, Jeep re-introduced the Gladiator name on a four-door Wrangler-based pickup.

Volvo made the two-door fastback PV544 from 1958 to 1966, and it was really just an upgraded version of the PV444 introduced in 1947. Volvo’s advertising even poked fun of the car looking like a 1941 Ford.

One of Toyota's longest-running models, the Corolla was introduced in 1966 and came to the United States two years later. It was a thoroughly modern subcompact and quickly won over buyers with its high fuel economy, impressive quality and proven durability.

Named for a town in France, the Calais was offered by Cadillac from 1965 to 1976. It was basically the Sedan DeVille with less standard equipment and a lower price. You had to pay extra for things like power windows and an AM radio, both of which were standard on the DeVille.

Chevrolet introduced the compact Chevy II in 1962, giving it two models in this segment, the rear-engine Corvair being the other. The upgrade model was called Nova, and the “Chevy II” part of the name was dropped for 1969. Most buyers bought the economical six-cylinder models, but high-powered V8s were later offered.

The original Ford GT40 won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race for four straight years, from 1966 to 1969, which included filling out the top three positions in 1966. (Technically, the 1967 Mk. IV version was an entirely different car.) Only 105 were produced. Ford’s 2005-2006 GT supercar was inspired by the GT40, and looked nearly identical. An all-new GT road car returned for 2017.

Audi, an old German brand that became part of Volkswagen in the 1960s, introduced the “100” model in 1968. This compact sedan helped establish the brand in the U.S. when it arrived here the following year.

BMW built a little over 600 examples of this sports touring car from 1962 to 1965. It was powered by the company's V8 engine first used in the 1950s, including in the BMW 507 sports car.

The Datsun 320 was introduced in 1961 and offered until 1965. It was powered by a tiny 1.2-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with 60 horsepower. This is the “grandfather” to the current Nissan Frontier pickup.

Built from 1966-1973, the Lamborghini Miura was the world’s first mid-engine supercar. Its 345-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-12 engine was installed behind the driver. The Miura’s top speed was 170 mph, and its $20,000 price was about five times that of a base Corvette. Fewer than 800 of these hand-made cars were built, and customers included performers Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, and Rod Stewart.

Pontiac used the Ventura name on a full-size model starting in 1960. It was essentially a more deluxe version of the Catalina. In 1971, the Ventura name moved to a compact based on the Chevrolet Nova, and that model continued until 1977.

The early 1960s Mercury Marauder was a sporty full-size model, and for 1969-1970 only, a more muscled-up version was called the X-100. The engine was Ford Motor Company’s 429 cubic-inch “big block” V8 rated at 360 horsepower.

Did you know that France’s Peugeot is one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world? Its 504 model, produced from 1968-1983, was known for its ruggedness and became popular in many African countries with poor road development. It was sold in the U.S. in sedan and wagon versions.

The Datsun 1200 Bluebird was a four-door sedan (also available as a station wagon) offered from 1959 to 1963. It may be hard to believe, but this tiny, frumpy looking car with just 48 horsepower helped build a dynasty that would go on to include Nissan’s amazing “Z” sports cars and the Altima and Maxima sedans.

Based on the Chevrolet Camaro chassis, the Pontiac Firebird was its own car and distinctively different from its Chevy cousin. The Firebird was powered by a range of engines including a straight-six and several V-8s, up to a 325-horsepower 400 cubic-inch version. Over 82,000 were sold in 1967, the first year of production.

Years before its pivotal 240Z sports car, and years before its name changed from Datsun to Nissan, this Japanese carmaker took on British roadsters with the Fairlady. Yes, that was really its name in other markets, but in the U.S. it was called Datsun 1500 for its 1,500cc (1.5-liter) four-cylinder engine. A 1,600cc engine brought the “1600” badge” in 1965, and two years later it became the “2000” with a – you guessed it – 2,000cc (2.0-liter) engine.

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