Name That Iconic American Car!


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: Saabkyle04

About This Quiz

Americans have a long and intense love story with the automobile. Even though we didn't invent the car, we definitely took to it with glee, especially once Henry Ford found a way to make it affordable. Of course, Chevy followed suit with cars most people could buy, and soon everyone was ditching the horse and buggy.

Throughout the past 100-plus years, there have been some amazing cars made in America. Many have become iconic, usually because of what they represent in the form of freedom, luxury, and accomplishment. Even today, the reasons why people buy cars varies, because not everyone is exactly alike.

We have three major automakers in America today, although one is in an ownership relationship with Italians, making for an interesting situation. In the past, there were many American automakers who rose and fell, with some leaving a lasting mark on the industry. Even today, we have a new crop of American automakers emerging, although only time will tell what lasting impact they will have.;

Just how much of an American cars history whiz are you? Take this test to find out!

This Ford debuted in 1955 and created the personal luxury car market.

Ford made 11 generations of the Thunderbird, with some admittedly far inferior to the car's original legacy. The first generation is often cited as one of the most beautiful cars ever made and fetches high prices in auctions today.


This vehicle had a third headlight in between the other two.

Preston Tucker decided to take on the automotive industry in America and address what he perceived as a big safety flaw. His struggle has become epic and controversial, as was the eventual failure of his namesake brand.


This was the first mid-engine American-made car for consumers.

The Pontiac Fiero was heralded as a monumental achievement by GM, but some people took issue with what they perceived as design flaws. Instead of touching off a revolution where the Big Three started making more mid-engine cars, the Fiero was snuffed out after 1988.


This has been often referred to as "America's sports car."

In 1953, Chevrolet revealed its new sports car, which was named after a type of naval battleship. GM brass wasn't sure if buyers would go for it, but the gamble paid off big time, considering the car has a dedicated fan base today.


This sedan proved a luxury electric car could generate sales.

Still controversial, the Tesla Model S was the object of much derision when it first launched in 2012. Since then it's far outperformed what critics had predicted, and led to the creation of the Model X and Model 3, as well as other automakers scrambling to make competitors.


You could get this car only in black, including the wheels.

In the middle of the 1980s, Buick went crazy to celebrate the close of its Grand National line, creating the GNX. Thanks to generous turbocharging, the car could outrun plenty of more expensive vehicles, plus it came from the factory already "murdered out."


This wagon was the first to sport four-wheel drive.

AMC did something revolutionary when it made the Eagle line, which included the wagon as well as a coupe and sedan. While Subaru tries to take credit for creating the sport utility wagon, that honor really goes to the long-gone automaker from America.


There is a hot SHO version of this sedan.

The Ford Taurus has been kicking around since 1986, being a ubiquitous car on American streets. It's also had a starring role in television shows like the "X-Files," and the SHO version has wowed many automotive publications in the past.


This full-size luxury sedan enjoyed an incredible run from 1952 to 2002.

Once the crown jewel of the Cadillac lineup, the Eldorado far outlasted its competition and crossed into legendary status. You might question the quality of the later model years, but this sedan definitely had lasting power.


This current performance sedan has been a subcompact hatchback and a luxury coupe in the past.

Since it was first manufactured in 1966, the Dodge Charger has been on quite the journey. It's been made on three different platforms in many forms, although most people identify with the original version of the car.


Some say this vehicle won a war, because it played a pivotal role.

The Jeep Wrangler is loosely based on the original Jeeps, which were manufactured by Willys and Ford during World War II. They were agile, simple, and rugged vehicles top military brass raved about and the Axis forces marveled.


This American supercar was built by hand.

The average person probably thinks Vipers look pretty cool, but has no idea that each one is built by hand. That fact is what kept the prices so high throughout the life of this American icon, which sold for far more than a comparable Corvette.


This luxury vehicle often appeared in rap videos and at soccer practices across America.

For the 1999 model year, Cadillac decided to offer its first SUV, which was basically a GMC Yukon Denali. Since then, the vehicle has adopted brasher styling as well as increasingly opulent features, with pricing to match.


People incorrectly think this car was only available in black.

Despite quotes attributed to Henry Ford that customers could get the Model T in whatever color they wanted, as long as it was black, Ford actually offered this car in a variety of colors. Black was the most common by far, which likely sparked the urban legend.


This American full-size coupe could be had with optional "twin-H" power.

The Hudson Hornet had a twin one barrel carburetor setup as an option for better performance. The car also featured a step-down design that lowered the center of gravity, boosting handling as a result.


This notorious American car was made even more famous by a high school chemistry teacher.

Many people use the Aztek as an example of how poorly GM made decisions before it declared bankruptcy. The vehicle was only made from 2000 to 2005, with poor sales performance, but it has become a legend.


This pony car was AMC's answer to the Ford Mustang.

AMC made the Javelin for two generations, starting in 1968 and lasting until 1974. The car was manufactured in the United States, as well as in Australia, Mexico, Venezuela and Germany, giving it true international reach.


This was Chevrolet's first muscle car.

The Chevelle survived through the glory days of muscle cars, lasting all the way until 1978, leaving a huge impact on the industry as well as the lives of countless people. GM replaced the Chevelle, a smaller version of the Malibu.


Ford crossed the line between car and pickup with this model.

The Ranchero, which was made from 1959 to 1979, has been called a coupe utility vehicle by some. It was definitely a niche product, but Ford was able to grab over half a million sales during the Ranchero's run, making it a success.


This American performance legend actually had a British body and chassis.

The Shelby Cobra or AC Cobra was the result of former racecar driver Carroll Shelby realizing he could stuff an American V-8 in a small British car, creating a true monster. He was able to secure a deal with AC Cars for the bodies and chassis, creating a vehicle that won Shelby plenty of notoriety.


This might be the only car to have been promoted by a cartoon bird.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it wasn't uncommon to see commercials for this car, starring Warner Brothers' Road Runner and his arch nemesis Wile E. Coyote. The horn even sounded like the cartoon bird.


This pony car was spearheaded by Lee Iacocca himself.

Before he was CEO of Chrysler, Lee Iacoca was a rising star at Ford. He pushed for the Mustang's development, and there's even a super rare edition of the car named after him.


This car proudly wore what some people jokingly call a "screaming chicken" on its hood.

This car was really made famous by Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit," becoming a symbol of rugged rebellion at a time when most American performance cars had seemingly been castrated. The brash styling is somewhat of a joke among some people today, but the car is a genuine collectors' item.


This vehicle was built by a company better known for making farming machinery.

In 1953, International Harvester saw the success Jeep had with the CJ-5 and decided to build a true competitor, with the Scout as the final product. Today, this early SUV enjoys a cult-like following, even though most people know little about it.


This consumer vehicle was patterned after a race car that had won the Le Mans endurance race several times.

Ford had tried to buy Ferrari, but the Italian automaker resisted the efforts. In an act of retaliation, the American automaker entered Le Mans with the GT40, winning the race several times. The GT has been an updated celebration of that glorious time.


This was the first vehicle built by a brand that stood for American opulence.

Duesenberg didn't survive the ravages of the Great Depression, but in the 1920s, it was considered one of the top luxury car brands in the world. The Model A started it all, when it was released in 1921.


This was Chevy's response to the Ford Ranchero.

The first generation of the El Camino lasted only two years, 1959 and 1960. Chevrolet released the second generation for the 1964 model year and kept it going through 1987, leaving a lasting impression of the weirdness of a coupe utility.


This model was created by Ford to replace the Fairlane.

When Ford launched the Gran Torino in 1968, some automotive journalists boldly declared it "Ford's newest bright idea." The car exemplified Ford beauty, power, and refined styling for the time.


This is Chevy's famous pony car.

In response to the popularity of the Ford Mustang, GM decided to release a pony car of its own, the Chevy Camaro, in 1967. The two cars have been battling it out ever since, and owners certainly join in the mix.


This car features a flat-plane crank V-8 engine.

While the GT350 name has been used before, the current model has a more exotic sound to its exhaust note, thanks to the flat-plane crank V-8 engine under the hood. Normally, such a design is used on cars like Ferraris.


This is Dodge's famous pony car.

While Chrysler was heavily involved in the muscle car wars, the Challenger is one of the few nameplates to have been resurrected in the 21st century. The most extreme version, the Demon, pushes a thunderous 808 horsepower.


This car was originally launched in the 1950s, but was brought back by Chevrolet in 2000 to replace the Lumina.

When the Impala launched in 1958, it was a luxurious and large rear-wheel-drive car. After the nameplate had been rested for a long time, GM saw fit to bring it back, and the Impala has been an integral part of the Chevy lineup since.


This famous coupe and convertible was named after a fish.

The Plymouth brand did't know it in 1964 when the Barracuda launched into the market, but it had a real automotive legend on its hands. It was the third-generation E-body cars that most people think of today when you mention the Barracuda.


Many fans are eagerly awaiting the return of this legendary Ford SUV.

Some people get bent out of shape when you call the Bronco an SUV, because they insist it was an MPV or multi-purpose vehicle. Originally, the vehicle was made to compete against the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout, which is why it was so stripped-down in its design.


This Chevy was called a baby Cadillac in its day.

Everything about the 1957 Chevy Bel Air was swanky, from the upscale styling of the car to the luxurious interior, and even the way it drove. Collectors still pay handsomely for the privilege to own this iconic American car.


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