Can You Identify These Convertibles?

AUTO

By: Ian Fortey

7 Min Quiz

Which of these was introduced to the world in 1953?

The first generation of Chevy's iconic Corvette was produced in 1953 as a svelte little two-door convertible model. Though it's a classic today, in 1953 it was commercially unsuccessful, and Chevy almost stopped making them.

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Which of these cars was emblematic of Britain in the '60s?

The MINI has been in production since 1959 and is still available today in its convertible form if you like the wind in your hair but a small, fuel-efficient ride at the same time. A brand new convertible will set you back roughly $28,900.

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The non-convertible counterpart of which of these cars had gullwing doors?

The Mercedes Benz 190SL was the convertible counterpart to the 300SL. It was in production from 1955 until 1963, and only about 25,000 of them were ever made. The soft top was priced under $4,000 when it first appeared.

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You could remove the windscreen of which of these cars for racing?

The Porsche 356 had a very VW Beetle look to it, albeit more sleek and aerodynamic. The Speedster, however, was very much a sports car, especially with the windshield able to come right off if you wanted to do a little racing.

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Do you know which of these was also called the W113?

The Mercedes Benz Pagoda SL was produced from 1963 until 1971. It wasn't just a sports car, but also a long distance cruiser, meant to help you enjoy a nice long road trip if you wanted such a thing. It just happened to look great at the same time.

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This muscle car showed up in 1964 with a convertible option. What is it?

Often considered the first "real" muscle car, the Pontiac GTO came in coupe, hardtop and convertible styles. Something of a legend these days, it was only produced for 10 years, back in the day, with a short resurrection from 2004 to 2006.

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The convertible cabriolet model of which car was first made in 1948?

The Volkswagen Cabriolet came into being when Wilhelm Karmann of the Karmann manufacturing company bought a regular Beetle and converted it into a cabriolet. He presented the model he'd made to Volkswagen in 1948, and they liked it enough to start producing it in 1949.

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Which of these was produced from 1959 to 1966?

The Studebaker Lark was sold under several nameplates, aside from just the standard Lark version. There was also the Lark Daytona, the Lark Commander and the Lark Cruiser. Models ranged from station wagon to coupe to convertible.

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A World War II plane was the inspiration for which of these cars?

The Triumph Spitfire was a convertible roadster, made from 1962 all the way until 1980. The name comes from the Supermarine Spitfire, a Royal Air Force fighter plane that became famous during the Second World War.

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Which of these is the best-selling two-seat sports car ever?

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has sold close to one million units during its lifetime, which is extremely high for a car that only seats two people. You can get one with either a soft top or a power retractable hard top.

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Which of these was produced for over 30 years?

The Chevy Bel Air convertible was made for the 1950 model year and stayed in production all the way until 1981. The convertible models were only manufactured from '50 through the '60s, though — eventually, if you wanted a convertible, you needed to look for an Impala.

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Actor Steve McQueen owned one of these that he called the "Green Rat." What is it?

The Jaguar XKSS was only produced in 1957, as a road-going version of one of their racing cars. The production run was extremely limited — fewer than 20 of them were ever produced. As you can see, it's one of the most gorgeous cars ever made.

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Which of these off-roaders has been around since 1986?

You don't usually think of an offroad capable, four-wheel-drive SUV as a convertible, but the Jeep Wrangler is a convertible nonetheless. The roof portion of Jeeps famously just zips or snaps right off and can be stowed away until needed.

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Do you know which of these cars was supposed to be called the Duetto?

Alfa Romeo ran a contest to name the Spider back in 1966, and the winner was going to get a free car. About 100,000 people entered the contest, and the winning name was "Duetto," meaning "duet" in Italian. Unfortunately, someone had a copyright on that name, so they went with Spider instead. We hope the winner still received their prize.

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"Bugeye" and "Frogeye" were nicknames for which of these cars?

The Austin-Healey Sprite was a two-door roadster that started production in 1958. It earned the nicknames "Bugeye" and "Frogeye" for the very unusual headlight placement on the front of the car that made them look like two little eyes popping up from the hood.

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The non-convertible version of which car can hit 267 miles per hour?

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse may not be as fast as the standard Veyron, but it's still the fastest convertible in the world, with a top speed of just over 254 miles per hour. It can go from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds, too.

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This car was produced for 50 years, across 12 generations. What is it?

From 1952 until 2002, the Cadillac Eldorado was a massive luxury car that stood out in a crowd. The 1950s models were hands down the most memorable, especially the 1959 Eldorado, which started the fourth generation of the car — huge tailfins, jewel grille patterns and chrome everywhere.

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Which car, pictured here, was offered with either a folding cloth top or a removable hard top?

Manufactured from 1964 until 1968, as well as a 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder that was made in 1967, these are some of the most desirable Ferraris ever made. In 2013, someone paid $25 million for a 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder at auction.

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1964 1/2 is often listed as the first model year of which car?

The Ford Mustang is very technically a 1965 car, but they released it four months before what would usually have been the 1965 model year. This led to a number of people calling the first Mustangs the 1964 1/2 model.

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Enzo Ferrari called this British sports car the most beautiful car ever made. What is it?

Based on their racing Jaguar D-Type, the E-Type has enjoyed quite a bit of popularity in the years since it was introduced, thanks to retro TV shows and movies. It was featured on the show "Mad Men," and Austin Powers also drove one emblazoned with the Union Jack.

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Hot rodders favored modifying which of these old-school convertibles for racing?

The Ford T-Bucket roadster is what happens when you heavily modify a Model T into a racing beast of a vehicle. The name comes from the passenger compartment, which sits on the frame a lot like a bucket might.

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Do you know which of these cars was 17.8 feet long in 1961?

They made cars awfully big back in the day, and the Lincoln Continental was no exception. This car is mostly known today for being the model in which John F. Kennedy was riding on that fateful day when he was assassinated.

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The Mazda Miata was inspired by which of these cars?

The Lotus Elan was famed for being a lightweight roadster that hit speeds of up to 120 miles an hour, back in 1962. It earned its place in history for being the first road car to use a fiberglass body with a steel backbone chassis.

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The name of which of these cars is a portmanteau?

Porsche has only been making its Boxster convertible since 1996. The name of the car is a portmanteau, which is to say Porsche took two existing words and mashed them together into a new word. In this case, it's a mix of "boxer," referring to its box engine, and "roadster."

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A Ford engine in an AC body made which of these cars possible?

Famed racer and designer Carroll Shelby came up with the Shelby Cobra, also known as the AC Cobra, by merging the very lightweight AC frame with a powerful Ford V8 engine to create an incredibly fast car.

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The original production run of which of these cars was from 1962 until 1980?

The MG MGB was initially produced by the British Motor Corporation until 1968. After that, it was taken up by British Leyland until 1980. It was resurrected again in 1993 by the Rover Group for a two-year production run.

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What is the only American-designed, mass-produced passenger car with a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine ever made?

The Chevy Corvair was one of the earliest compact cars from the Big Three automakers. It also had the misfortune of being labeled an accident on wheels by Ralph Nader in his 1965 book "Unsafe at Any Speed," which basically ended the Corvair's popularity.

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Do you know which car could manage an impressive 124 horsepower per liter?

Honda developed the S2000 to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The engine in the S2000 had a power output of 124 horsepower per liter, which is exceptionally high and ensured that the S2000 could definitely haul when you needed it to.

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Which car was originally supposed to be named the Fangio F1?

Pagani's Zonda Roadster began production in 1999 and lasted until 2019. It was supposed to be named for race driver Juan Manuel Fangio, but after his untimely death, they decided to name it for the Zonda wind in Argentina instead.

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Britain never really got into the muscle car segment, but they did make which car, styled after Brazil's Brasinca Uirapuru?

Made from 1966 to 1976, the Jensen Interceptor was a grand touring car with a pretty powerful V8 engine. It was available as a convertible, as well as a hatchback or a coupe. Only 267 of the convertibles were produced, mostly sold in the United States.

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Richard Branson crossed the English Channel in which of these?

The very weird Gibbs Aquada is a car that can also function as a boat. It was designed from the ground up to be equally good at each task, rather than as one machine converted for use as the other. It could hit a top speed of 99 miles per hour on land and 27 knots in the water.

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Do you know which of these was sold as a Ford in North America?

The Mercury Capri had three separate production runs, but it was the final one from 1991 to 1994 in which it was released as a convertible roadster. A few earlier model variants were also convertibles, though, like the ASC McLaren, available from 1984 to 1986.

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Which car was made from 1998 until 2014?

The Saab 9-3 was first advertised as being nine to the power of three, or nine cubed, but it was always pronounced "nine three" in any advertising Saab put out. This was distinct from the older Saab 93 "ninety-three" model they produced in the 1950s.

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Laser beam welding delayed the introduction of which of these cars?

Audi debuted the TT back in 1998. It was manufactured with a new laser welding technique that makes a seamless finished project, and delays in perfecting it caused the car to be late. A convertible version of the TT was available as of 2006.

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In its early years, which car was often criticized for looking cross-eyed?

Despite the very retro look, the Morgan Aero 8 was manufactured from 2001 until 2010, and then again in 2015. Unlike many other sports cars, it did not incorporate anti-roll bars. Until 2007, the original design was made fun of for looking cross-eyed — supposedly an intentional choice to make it more aerodynamic.

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The convertible version of which car weighs more than the coupe?

In order to make the DB9 Volante convertible safe for drivers, Aston Martin stiffened the frame. This actually added weight to the overall chassis, making it weigh more than the coupe version, despite not having a roof on the car.

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Do you know which of these cars is assembled in Zeewolde, Netherlands?

Spyker is a Dutch company that manufactures their cars in Zeewolde. The C8 has been in production since 2000. It is available in several body types, aside from the convertible Spyder, including the Laviolette coupe and the Doube 12S, a road version of their Double 12R racer.

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A famous fighting bull lent its name to which of these cars?

The Lamborghini Gallardo was available from 2004 until 2014. The Gallardo Spyder convertible was unveiled in 2006, and the company treated it as a wholly different vehicle with a retractable soft top. A Gallardo is a type of fighting bull.

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In 2015, which of these cars would have cost you $533,000, brand new?

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead coupe was the most expensive Rolls-Royce made by 2015, just before the car's end. It was in production from 2007 until 2016. Part of that cost came from the fact that it was handmade, with many luxury details, including wood veneer, stainless steel and teak interior.

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Which of these cars had swan doors for the convertible and gull-wing for the coupe?

A Pagani Huayra coupe has gull-wing doors that open straight up, but since you can't do that with a convertible, the doors were changed to swan doors. These are very similar to regular car doors, except they open at a slightly upward angle, like a bird spreading its wings.

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Image: Wiki Commons by Spanish Coches

About This Quiz

Though the very first automobiles ever built didn't actually have tops, since they were modeled after horse-drawn carriages, they weren't convertibles either, since there was nothing to convert. No roof at all meant they couldn't be put down. But once cars started being built with actual rooftops and enclosed cabins, it wasn't long before someone wanted to get out in the open again. The first convertibles date back to the 1920s. Peugeot made the first power-retractable hard top for a car in 1934 with the Eclipse, and, by the 1940s, American cars were rolling out with the tops down as well. Of course, few convertibles will ever be as iconic as the Chevy Corvette, but it's just one of the massive numbers rolled out in the 1950s, when nearly every model had to have a convertible option to be competitive in the marketplace. 

The convertible may not be as popular today as it once was, but you can still find plenty of them on the road if you're looking to add that extra touch of adventure to a summer road trip. If your auto passion lies with letting the top down to enjoy the most exciting drive you can, then roll on into this quiz, and see how many you can ID!

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