How Much Do You Know About Italian Car Makers?


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: Cars Day

About This Quiz

Most people know that Italian automobiles are like works of art on wheels, but that's about it. Germany may be the birthplace of the automobile, but few countries have demonstrated as much love for cars as Italy. This small country shaped like a boot is home to quite a few automakers, both big and small. The contributions Italians have made to the worldwide automotive landscape are simply undeniable.

Despite having some crowded cities where riding a bike, moped or walking might be preferable, the Italians have demonstrated quite a love for the automobile. They've even produced a huge array of small cars to fit in these urban areas, that are still amazingly fun to drive. Just take a Fiat 500 for a spin to experience that feeling. That's without even mentioning sexier brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini. The list of Italian automakers goes on and on.

Of course, if you live in the U.S., you've no doubt dreamed about taking a Testarossa on an all-out run on the interstates of West Texas (as long as the state troopers don't catch you!).

With such a vibrant, rich automotive heritage, there's a lot to know about Italian car markers. Just how extensive is your knowledge? Take this test and find out right now!

Who was the founder of Ferrari?

Enzo was born in 1898 and was an Italian citizen his whole life. He got his taste for fast cars in the world of racing, then went on to found the Scuderia Ferrari racing team, and finally the automaker. He died in 1988.


What city is the Museo Lamborghini located in?

The official museum owned and operated by Lamborghini, it contains production vehicles, race cars and some concepts/prototypes. This museum is a favorite destination of people who are obsessed with Lamborghinis.


What is on the Alfa Romeo badge?

Many people have puzzled over the potential meaning of Alfa Romeo's badge. According to the company, the cross is a symbol of Milan. The other portion of the badge is supposed to represent the Visconti family, which ruled Milan.


What is the name of Maserati's first SUV?

Following the trend of even European automakers giving in to the SUV craze, Maserati released the Levante in 2017. For a number of debatable reasons, the SUV hasn't been selling well, and Maserati has had to stop production a few times in response.


Where does the Spada Codatronca get its engine and chassis from?

Italians typically aren't fans of mixing their automotive products with those of other countries, particularly from America, which makes Spada a little odd. The chassis has been modified, and the bodywork is of course completely original.


What was the first car to ever wear a Lamborghini badge?

Most people have forgotten about the Lamborghini 350GTV, thanks to its non-geometrical design. The prototype was a bit of a mess, having been built in just four months and lacking an engine, thanks to a disagreement with the engine designer.


What is on the Abarth logo?

The scorpion badge lets you know that Abarth models are to be taken seriously. The brand was formed by Carlo Abarth in 1949 and has been involved in motorsports as well as making and customizing road cars.


Where does the Pagani Huayra's name come from?

Pagani got the name for its supercar from a Quecha wind god. That seems appropriate, considering the Huayra is exceptionally quick, like the wind, and incorporates plenty of aero effects.


What was the first Ferrari ever made?

The first car to ever wear a Ferrari badge was the 1947 125 S, which packed a 1.5-liter V-12 engine. Of course, Ferrari also used the car for racing, with its premiere event resulting in fuel pump failure.


When was Maserati founded?

At the turn of the century, all four Maserati brothers were deeply into the Italian automotive scene. Three of the brothers were making race cars for Diatto, but when that opportunity ceased, they struck out on their own.


Where is Lancia based out of?

Lancia has been around since 1906 and is a proud symbol of northern Italian ingenuity. The company has been particularly active in rally races, which has earned it quite the reputation. For now, Lancias aren't available anywhere but in Italy.


In what city are Fiat's headquarters?

Just like Lancia, which is owned by Fiat Chrysler, Fiat calls Turin in northern Italy home. From there, it runs operations in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa, making the brand truly global.


What company owns Lamborghini?

Technically, Audi AG bought Lamborghini in 1999, but the brand is part of the Volkswagen Group, which has a complicated corporate structure. As you can imagine, Italians aren't entirely pleased that Germans own one of their automakers.


Which Italian automaker has its own series of theme parks?

Ferrari fans are known for being a little fanatical, not that it's a bad thing. They're so into the brand that Ferrari has been able to open a number of successful theme parks. Most are in Europe, one is in Dubai and one is going to be opening in Orlando.


Where does the Maserati Ghibli get its name from?

Maserati has used the Ghibli name for three separate cars now, showing an affinity for it. The current model, a large sedan with the chassis code M157, has been on the market since 2013.


When was DeTomaso founded?

DeTomaso called Modena home, until it went out of business in 2015. The company got its start making race cars, notably a Formula One car for Frank Willams in 1970.


What city does Maserati call home?

Before moving to Modena, Maserati had its base of operations in Bologna. It's part of Fiat Chrysler and has a global market reach, with the brand held up as a symbol of prestige all over.


What was the first Alfa Romeo model to be sold in the United States for the 21st century?

Alfa Romeo didn't exactly surge into the North American market when it returned, but instead dipped its toe in the water. The 4C hasn't been a high-volume vehicle, but with the introduction of the Giulia and Stelvio, sales are on the rise.


Which model was the first hybrid Ferrari ever made?

The LaFerrari debuted for the 2013 model year, proving that hybrid powertrains could be used for extreme performance. It boasted 949 horsepower and 664 lb.-ft. of torque, and is now highly collectible.


What was the first SUV Lamborghini made?

Many people incorrectly assume the new Urus is Lamborghini's first SUV. The LM002 debuted in 1986 and went out of production in the early '90s, with only a little over 300 ever made, meaning it's quite the rare vehicle.


What year was Fiat founded?

Fiat is one of the oldest automakers in the world, and unlike some other long-standing automakers, it started out producing cars. The company has manufactured other items, like tractors, train engines, airplanes and even military vehicles.


Where is the official Ferrari museum located?

Ferrari fans flock to the Museo Ferrari, which is run by the automaker. It's open year-round, boasts an F1 simulator, and offers the chance to travel to the Fiorano track and outside the track for a view of the facilities.


What year did Maserati start operations?

The Maserati brothers struck out on their own with a brand new car company, never imagining what the end result would be. In the beginning and for some time after, the company was based in Bologna.


What was the first Pagani car?

Originally, Horacio Pagani was going to name his first production vehicle the Fangio F1, since it had a much less-exciting name, C8 Project. In the end, the Zonda name was used, and the rest is history.


Where is Ferrari company headquarters?

Interestingly enough, the legal headquarters of Ferrari is in Amsterdam, but the executive offices, plus the design and production areas, are all housed in the Maranello headquarters, making it the heart of the company.


What company owns Alfa Romeo?

In 1986, Fiat purchased Alfa Romeo, which at the time was owned by the Italian government. With the creation of Fiat Chrysler, Alfa Romeo has been able to gain a foothold in America once more.


What car is DeTomaso most famous for making?

Few cars enjoy a production run like the Pantera, which was made for almost two decades. That being said, it was still a low-volume vehicle, with a little over 7,000 made, but it was still the most popular DeTomaso ever.


Where does Abarth have its headquarters?

Just like Fiat and Lancia, Abarth calls Turin home. That proximity is part of the reason why Abarth is owned by FCA Italy, which is a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler. You might be familiar with the Fiat 500 Abarth, the only vehicle in North America to carry the brand's badge.


What does Maserati use on all its badges?

The Maserati brothers started using the trident thanks to the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Maggiore, which is located in Bologna. The suggestion to use the trident symbol supposedly came from a family friend.


What does the Fiat name stand for?

Most people these days don't realize that the Fiat name is actually an acronym. Translated, it means "Factory Italian Automobile Turin", which sounds a little bit like nonsense, but that's what the company is called.


What kind of animal does Lamborghini name many of its models after?

Ferruccio Lamborghini had a childhood fascination with bulls, which started to influence his company. That's why the official Lamborghini badges feature a bull, and why so many modern Lamborghinis are named after individual bulls.


What year was Pagani founded?

This small automaker hasn't been around long at all, especially compared to other Italian car companies that are among the oldest in the world. Still, its impact on the industry has been undeniable.


What city is the official Alfa Romeo museum located in?

Located about 15 km from the center of Milan, this museum was renovated just a few years ago. It showcases vehicles from throughout Alfa Romeo's extensive history, making for a sight any car fan would enjoy.


Before he made cars, what did Ferruccio Lamborghini build great wealth doing?

Lamborghini was able to make a big splash in the automotive industry, thanks to the success of the tractor factory, among other business ventures. Some people think the cars and tractors share certain characteristics.


What automaker did the majority of B-Engineering employees come from?

B-Engineering is small, but the company has achieved some success. Its Edonis supercar is based on the Bugatti EB110, but pushes performance well beyond what the French supercar was able to attain.


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