Quiz about UnClassic Cars
Quiz about UnClassic Cars

UnClassic Cars Trivia Quiz


With today's automobile manufacturing focusing on function and safety, there is a tendency for all cars to look the same. Here are a few cars that were "different" yet were either commercially or critically unsuccessful or both.

A photo quiz by 1nn1. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
1nn1
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
394,203
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
379
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 71 (8/10), Guest 145 (8/10), Guest 107 (7/10).
photo quiz
1. The Trabant became the symbol of life behind the Iron Curtain. These small under-powered smoky cars were in high demand. In what country were they manufactured? Hint

East Germany
Czechoslovakia
Poland
Japan

photo quiz
2. The Edsel was an offshoot of the Ford Motor Company introduced to handle a new luxury model. Who or what was the Edsel named after? Hint

An English painter from the Romantic Period
An earlier model Ford
Henry Ford's son
A warm African wind that originates in the Indian Ocean

photo quiz
3. The pictured car was meant to be a serious competitor to the Ford Escort (the UK top seller in the early 1970s) but ultimately failed in this ambition. What was the name of this car? Hint

Austin Mini
Vauxhall Viva
Hillman Hunter
Morris Marina

photo quiz
4. The tiny Isetta 250 started its life in Italy, but was bought out in 1955 by which German luxury marque? Hint

BMW
Mercedes
Alfa-Romeo
Opel

photo quiz
5. The Nash Metropolitan was an American car, and small for its time when introduced in 1953. However it was actually manufactured overseas. Where? Hint

Peking, China
Turin, Italy
Moscow, Russia
Birmingham, England

photo quiz
6. In the days (late 50s) before the American sub-compact car was a concept, Chevrolet identified the need to have a smaller model. In 1960 the rear-engined Corvair was launched. Which car apparently inspired its design? Hint

Ford Mustang
Tucker Torpedo
Porsche 356
Volkswagen Beetle

photo quiz
7. The Lightburn Zeta family (sedan, station wagon and Sports - pictured) were produced between 1963-1965 in a country generally known for its larger, more rugged vehicles. In which country was it manufactured? Hint

Mexico
Poland
Japan
Australia

photo quiz
8. No It's not a DeLorean but it had a similar backstory. True or False: The sports car depicted is a Bricklin SV-1.

True
False

photo quiz
9. The Messerschmitt KR had an unusual seating configuration. What was it? Hint

Single passenger on a swivel seat for reversing situations
Two passengers, side by side
Two passengers, one behind the other
Three passengers, one behind the other

photo quiz
10. Stutz Blackhawk was once a proud American marque. In 1971 the name was revived and this tacky model appeared. It did not stop people buying it though. Who purchased the first 1971 model? Hint

Elvis Presley
Eli Manning
Bill Clinton
Groucho Marx


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Trabant became the symbol of life behind the Iron Curtain. These small under-powered smoky cars were in high demand. In what country were they manufactured?

Answer: East Germany

After WWII and the division of Germany into East and West, the East Germans had little in the automobile manufacturing expertise and the communist way of life meant that the average worker could not afford much. These cars were made on the cheap. They were "powered" by a 500 cc 2-stroke air cooled motor (later increased to a whopping 600cc), had a 6-volt electrical system, there was no fuel gauge (a dipstick was inserted into the 24L petrol tank, there was no oil pump (the oil had to be mixed with petrol at fill up) and the carburetor was on top of the motor so it could gravity-feed fuel to the motor.

The body was made of plastic (and did not have to be painted), and it took 21 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph), which was its top speed. Despite this it sold over 3 million units between 1957 and 1991.

The latter date is significant: soon after the Berlin Wall came down in '89, demand decreased rapidly. Today, surviving models are treated with affection as symbols of the Cold War.

The model pictured is from a museum near Checkpoint Charlie and there is a Trabant hanging (yes, hanging) in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Photo available on request).
2. The Edsel was an offshoot of the Ford Motor Company introduced to handle a new luxury model. Who or what was the Edsel named after?

Answer: Henry Ford's son

In 1957, the Edsel was the first truly new American car in twenty years. It had a more powerful motor than its competitors (which is saying something) but the car was a dismal failure, selling only 63,000 in its first year when 200,000 were expected to be sold. The car had gadgets galore: double headlights, push button transmission and a flashing speedometer but it all came down to styling - in particular the unusual shaped grille, at a time when horizontal grilles were the 'style du jour' The grill was marketed as an impact ring but journalists cruelly made comments such as "horse collar"; "A Mercury pushing a toilet seat"; and an "Oldsmobile sucking a lemon".

A forensic analysis on why a well-engineered car could fail commercially included the styling, the over-hype of pre-release advertising and a final product that, because of Ford executive intervention, diluted the original concept so the final product did not differentiate itself enough from its Ford and Mercury stablemates.
3. The pictured car was meant to be a serious competitor to the Ford Escort (the UK top seller in the early 1970s) but ultimately failed in this ambition. What was the name of this car?

Answer: Morris Marina

The Morris Marina was built by British Leyland, a newly-formed (in 1971 when the Marina entered the market) conglomerate which was an uneasy alliance of major car manufactures in the UK. The Marina was meant to put BL back on top of the sales figures but some poor manufacturing decisions were actually a factor in the demise of BL. The car was cobbled together with parts of other models to produce a poorly handling, noisy car which somehow was more expensive to build. The car was rear-wheel driven and was under-engineered, meaning fleet buyers avoided the marque in droves.

The car was also under-powered, meaning that in the Australian version a 2600cc six cylinder motor was shoehorned into the engine bay but was coupled to a "three on the floor" gearbox. The heavier front end contributed to even poorer handling. The finished car was bigger than a Ford Escort but tended to be compared poorly with the more creditable Ford Cortina. The UK's Telegraph newspaper once included it in a list of "ten cars that should never have been built".
4. The tiny Isetta 250 started its life in Italy, but was bought out in 1955 by which German luxury marque?

Answer: BMW

The 1953 Isetta was tiny (only 2.29 m (7.5 ft) long by 1.37 m (4.5 ft) wide). This egg-shaped motor car's 'power' was attributed to a 236 cc (14.4 cu in), 7.1 kW (9.5 hp) two-stroke motorcycle engine that drove the closely-spaced back wheels. 'The 'door' was in the front, which meant the steering wheel and instrument panel stayed attached to the door so two passengers could be seated. There was a canvas sunroof attached, and as the door tended to stick this was often used as an 'emergency exit'.

Isetta's main business was building refrigerators and scooters. In 1955. BMW bought out the Italians, and installed a one-cylinder, four-stroke, 247 cc motorcycle engine, which increased power to a massive 10 kW (13 hp). This gave the Isetta 250 a top speed of 85 km/h. When production ceased in 1963, 161,000 units had been sold. In Germany, the Isetta could be driven with a motorcycle license.
5. The Nash Metropolitan was an American car, and small for its time when introduced in 1953. However it was actually manufactured overseas. Where?

Answer: Birmingham, England

Whoever did the market research got it all wrong in deciding that Americans wanted smaller cars in 1953. The result was the Nash Metropolitan, built by the Nash-Kelvinator refrigerator company. There was a 2-door hardtop and convertible available, both with a tiny 1.2 litre four cylinder engine. The car was manufactured in Austin's Birmingham (UK) factory under licence. The car closely resembled the austere post war British car type that the UK was producing at this time.

In 1955 the company merged with Hudson to form the precursor of the American Motors Corporation, and for a while the model was distributed with a Hudson nameplate. Sales were poor, the model's advertising material even marketed it as a better alternative for policing parking infringements - a job usually performed by motorcycles. The Metropolitan was mercifully euthanised in 1961.
6. In the days (late 50s) before the American sub-compact car was a concept, Chevrolet identified the need to have a smaller model. In 1960 the rear-engined Corvair was launched. Which car apparently inspired its design?

Answer: Volkswagen Beetle

The Corvair became synonymous with being a poor motor car not for poor design or lack of sales, but because of the controversy associated with it - all of which was ultimately baseless. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader went off on a mission by publishing "Unsafe at any Speed", a report on the safety aspects of the Corvair which resulted in over 100 lawsuits from owners against GM.

The car itself was based on the VW Beetle and had a rear engine. As such the car had a tendency to over-steer (tail comes out when cornering), while Americans were used to under-steering automobiles, where the vehicle still tends to move in a straight line when cornering.

In many ways it was innovative. It had a lack of extra features such as tail fin ostentation, had good performance from a modest six-cylinder engine, and a variety of body styles. The second generation introduced in 1965 was arguably one of the best looking American cars of all time (plus the handling issues had been fixed), but the lack of a V8 engine and the introduction of the Mustang in 1964 started the end, and the model only sold 6000 units in 1968 when it was killed off.

In 1972, report for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the 1960-1963 Corvair possessed "no greater potential for loss of control in extreme situations than its contemporaries". But by that time it was too late.
7. The Lightburn Zeta family (sedan, station wagon and Sports - pictured) were produced between 1963-1965 in a country generally known for its larger, more rugged vehicles. In which country was it manufactured?

Answer: Australia

The Australian Lightburn company - manufacturer of cement mixers and washing machines - decided in 1963 to branch out into motor cars. For 595 (about $US1200), you got a small fibreglass-bodied car powered by a 324cc Villiers front wheel drive engine, although the sports model was powered by a 498cc two cylinder, two-stroke engine producing 15.5 kilowatts (21 hp).

There was no reverse gear (you had to stop the motor and engage a mechanism to make the engine turn the other way to move the car backwards), there was no boot but the seats came out to facilitate loading) and the Sports had no doors nor bumpers. Over the 3 years of production, a grand total of 343 (sic) vehicles were sold including 48 Sports models.
8. No It's not a DeLorean but it had a similar backstory. True or False: The sports car depicted is a Bricklin SV-1.

Answer: True

Malcolm Bricklin from Philadelphia had a vision for a gull-winged sports car. The result was the Bricklin SV-1, a fibreglass/acrylic bodied car with a 5.9 litre Rambler motor under the bonnet. Mr Blackwell persuaded the provincial government of Nova Scotia to underwrite the manufacture.
As the car proved not to be quick, it was marketed as a safety vehicle (hence SV-1): The curiosity at the front end was an energy-absorbing front bumper and even the gull-wing doors were touted as protection for pedestrians and cyclists. The car was supposed to cost $3000, went on sale for $6500 and eventually $10,000 six months later.

The 1974-76 build was plagued with ongoing quality control problems, the promise of 10,000 units being built in its first year rising to 50,000 in 1978 were never realised. In 1978 when the operation was shut down, 1900 had been produced with more than one third unsold.
9. The Messerschmitt KR had an unusual seating configuration. What was it?

Answer: Two passengers, one behind the other

After WWII, Messerschmitt was not allowed to manufacture airplanes so turned its attention to the automobile and the KR series (Kabinenroller means "scooter with cabin" - a fair description) was the result. The canopy looked like it came off a WWII fighter plane. There the resemblance to aircraft stopped. The KR series was a three wheel two seater car (although the manufacturer boasted that the storage space behind the second seat could "accommodate a child" - frightening).

The KR175 used a 173 cc (10.6 cu in) air-cooled single cylinder two-stroke engine situated in front of the single rear wheel, behind the passenger's seat.The engine was started with a pull rope. An electric starter was fitted post-1954. The door was the canopy that opened to the right. There were four forward gears but no reverse. 150 000 units were sold in 1953-1955. In 1955 the motor was increased to 200cc and 40,000 units were sold before the introduction of the mini in 1959 killed off the global micro-car industry.
10. Stutz Blackhawk was once a proud American marque. In 1971 the name was revived and this tacky model appeared. It did not stop people buying it though. Who purchased the first 1971 model?

Answer: Elvis Presley

The Stutz name was purchased by an investment banker in 1968 and a personal luxury car was developed based on the Pontiac Grand Prix mechanicals and with 'original' styling The 'new' Blackhawk featured a droopy boot, spare wheel encased on the boot lid, a gimmicky grille (not unlike the Edsel's), fake side pipes and fender ports, with mink carpet listed as an option.

The paint was 22 coats of hand-applied lacquer. Notable owners included one E. Presley (one of three models he owned pictured, at Graceland), Dean Martin, Sammy Davis junior, Evel Knievel, Lucille Ball and Johnny Cash. Starting Price was $22 500.

The was produced for 16 years resulting in 500-600 models being sold.
Source: Author 1nn1

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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