A couple of weeks back, in that surreal wilderness period between Christmas and New Year, I posed 10 ‘Axon’s Automotive Anorak’ questions to separate the real motoring anoraks from the curious sports blazer enthusiasts.
I admit the my questions were purposely tricky to help revive your brain cells from their Festive lull, and judging by the strong responses we had from intrigued and frustrated GRR readers, the quiz certainly got many of you thinking, and realising that turning to Google for the answers wasn’t really going to help!
So, to finally put you out of your misery, here are the 10 questions I posed on New Years Day, along with the answers, to see how much of an anorak, or otherwise, you might be. Here goes…
Q1: What connects the 1967 Aston Martin DBS, the Bond Bug, Lotus Seven S4 and Carlight Casetta caravan?
A1: All of these vehicles used the same tail lights, taken from the Rootes ‘Arrow’ range (Hillman Hunter, Humber Sceptre, etc.). These rear lamp units could also be found on dozens of other cars, including the early Reliant Scimitar GTEs, the Trident Ventura, TVR Tina, Bolwell Mk 8 Nagari, etc.
Q2: What was the model name of the more up-market and expensive Vauxhall Carlton derivative?
A2: The Vauxhall Viceroy, and not the Senator as many of you suggested. The short-lived Viceroy (1980-82) was the Vauxhall-badged version of the German Opel Commodore C, itself a more prestigious version of the Opel Rekord E.
Q3: Which one of the following car companies is the odd one out, and why? Isuzu, Renault, Ford, Opel, Proton
A3: Renault is the odd one out, as each of the other marques offered Lotus-badged models, with engineering input from the Hethel sports car maker (e.g. Isuzu Piazza and Big Horn ‘Handling by Lotus’, Ford Lotus Cortina, Opel Lotus Omega, Proton Satria GTi).
Q4: What was the Saab 600 better know as in most European markets?
A4: The Lancia Delta. The Saab 600 was briefly offered in some Scandinavian markets as the (ill-advised) replacement for the popular Saab 96 V4.
Q5: What do the BMW 2002, DAF 55, Triumph Stag and Hino Contessa have in common?
A5: They were all designed by the same man; Giovanni Michelotti in Turin.
Q6: Excluding a handful of modern hybrids, what is the full model name of the only post-War twin-engined production car?
A6: The Citroen 2CV Sahara, of which 694 were built between 1958-71. As an aside, AMG also built three examples of its Mercedes-Benz A38 in the 1990s.
Q7: What connects the Innocenti Regent, Lotus Esprit, Elswick Envoy, Ginetta G21 and the four-door Range Rover Classic?
A7: All of these cars used Morris Marina door handles, as did many other specialist vehicles and kit cars.
Q8: Name the make and model of a car that featured both three and five wheels, one regular passenger door, and one gullwing door
A8: The Acoma Comtesse, a strange 49cc ‘voiture sans permis’ French microcar, built between 1972-78. The Comtesse was originally sold as a three-wheeler, but it proved to be so unstable that the French government forced Acoma to fit two extra outrigger stabilising wheels, hence it becoming a five-wheeler.
Q9: Which of the following is the odd one out and why? Renault 9, Austin 1800, Chrysler Horizon, Peugeot 205, Vauxhall Ampera
A9: The Peugeot 205 is the odd one out, as each of the other cars won the prestigious European Car of the Year award post-launch. The successful Peugeot lost out to the equally popular Fiat Uno in 1984.
Q10: Name a car that pre-dated the 1992 McLaren F1 supercar with a mid-engined configuration, three seats and a central steering position
A10: This one was slightly multiple choice, as there are a number of correct answers, including the Hurtan Sarta from Andorra, the amphibious Gibbs Aquada, Ital Design’s 1968 Bizzarrini Manta prototype, Pininfarina’s 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale, 1962 Scootacar, SDR V-Storm, Contera MD1 and so on. The initial car to feature the McLaren F1’s format was the advanced Wimille prototype projects of 1946 to 1948, conceived by French ex-Grand Prix ace Jean-Pierre Wimille. These cars survive today in the which can be seen today at the interesting Automobile Museum in Reims, France.
So, how far did the zip on your anorak go up? If you got three out of ten, well done. Five out of ten; excellent. Seven-eight out of ten; very impressive, but ten out of ten, you are a true automotive anorak who I would be happy to buy a pint and talk cars for a few hours! Congratulations.
Due to the popularity of my first Anorak quiz, I will be posing further challenging questions again later in the year, so watch this space, and in the meantime, getting swatting up on those old car books, magazines and petrol head websites.