Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week

Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week

At the week’s end during Jalopnik Virtual Car Trivia Night, Jason and I ask 40 borderline-impossible questions, readers try to answer them, and the team that scores the most points gets literally nothing. Here are the absurdly obscure questions from last week, and here’s how much readers struggled.

What a great trivia night last Friday. We had a gentleman Zoom-ing in from Brazil, last week’s MVP from Indonesia made an appearance once again, we had guest-host Andrew Collins asking tough questions about SUVs, and we even had an entire team made up of Nissan engineers (for whom Jason dedicated an entire “Stump the Nissan Team” round).

As is tradition, we began with my technical questions:

Round 1: Technical Questions (22 pts)

  1. a) What is the primary anti-corrosion coating found on most modern automobiles? Here’s the description from a Toyota R&D engineer: “The whole metal body gets submerged into a giant tank of opaque liquid… The tank has some anodes along the side, pumping electricity through the liquid, and the car body acts like the cathode, causing the [what’s in the liquid] to coat the body. Then [the car] comes out, gets rinsed, and goes into a giant oven to bake. The oven makes the wet coating cross-link and ends up just like paint…It behaves like paint, but works better because of the way it’s applied — it gets all over every part of the metal, and so can protect it.” b) The answer to this question is typically considered the second “layer” on top of a vehicle’s metal body. Name the first, third, fourth, and fifth.

  2. On most modern high-volume passenger cars, if a brake line leading to one of the callipers/wheel cylinders is compromised—i.e. It’s broken or rusted through—which brakes will still work? What is this style of brake system called?

  3. Introduced in the 2001 GMC Terradyne Concept, this feature debuted for production on the 2002 GMC Sierra Denali, and promised to reduce the turning diameter by 21 per cent, bringing it to 11.4 metres—just nine centimetres shy of that of a much smaller Saturn SC2 Coupe. Give GM’s marketing name for the feature. Which automobile supplier worked with GM to develop this system? What was the maximum rear steering angle and what two factors dictated the angle under any given condition? Under what conditions did the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction as the fronts, and under what conditions did they steer in the same direction as the fronts?

  4. What is the name of the popular test used in the off-road industry to measure a vehicle’s suspension/chassis articulation? The test usually involves driving up a ~20 degree incline until one tire lifts into the air, measuring the distance travelled up that incline (from the base of the incline up to the centre of the contact patch, measured along the incline), dividing that number by the wheelbase and multiplying by 1,000.

  5. How many control arms are found on a conventional MacPherson strut suspension design (I’m referring to a single corner of the car)?

  6. If two axle shafts are connected by a single u-joint (or cardan joint), and the shaft that’s splined to the gearbox (we’ll call this shaft the input shaft) rotates at a constant angular velocity, describe the angular velocity of the second, connected shaft (we’ll call it the output shaft) if the u-joint angle is steep. What is a CV joint (name the acronym) and how does it change the behaviour of the second shaft relative to the first?

  7. On a manual disc brake system, the driver steps on a pedal 25.4 linear centimetres away from the pedal arm’s pivot point. Five linear centimetres away from the brake arm pivot is the pushrod that enters the master cylinder (assume the foot and pushrod exert forces on the pivot arm perpendicular to the arm’s axis). The master cylinder’s front brake piston is 1” in diameter while the single pistons in the front brake callipers have 3” diameters. If the driver imparts 50 pounds of force on the brake pedal, what is the maximum theoretical clamping force that the front callipers are imparting onto the pads and rotors?

  8. What do you call the “angle between a rolling wheel’s actual direction of travel and the direction towards which it is pointing.” What happens to lateral tire grip/cornering force during the first few degrees of this?

[Answers to round 1]

Then we went on to Jason’s “Stump The Nissan Guys” round:

Round 2: Stump The Nissan Guys with Nissan Questions (13 pts)

  1. What is the origin of the name Datsun?

  2. What animal was associated with the 1935 Datsun 14? 

  3. Rank the four Pike factory cars in order of number produced, from greatest to least.

  4. Which Nissan was the only model to have the option of wipers on the side/wing mirrors, the Cedric, Cima, or Skyline?

  5. What were the names of the two swappable hatch options for the Nissan Pulsar NX?

  6. What marque were the first Nissan-associated electric vehicles sold as?

  7. What British marque did Nissan build under licence in the 1950s?

  8. What Volkswagen did Nissan build and how did it differ from Volkswagen-built ones?

[Answers to round 2]

Then Andrew took over for a round, asking about strange SUVs:

Round 3: Strange Sport Utilities (8 pts)

  1. The International Scout was rebodied by Italian design outfit Carrozzeria Fissore and rebadged as a Swiss luxury SUV called what?

  2. What Toyota 4×4 that is not a Land Cruiser variant had a fold-down windshield?

  3. The Kia Borrego was a body-on-frame 4×4 you could get with a V8. But did it have a true low-range?

  4. The LaForza is often called “the Ferrari of SUVs” or the “Italian Range Rover.” The V8 engine was sourced from Ford, but the platform was based on a military vehicle made by what Italian heavy truck company?

  5. All Nissan Xterras have an asymmetrical tailgate design with a protruding bump. What is stored in this bump?

  6. The BMW-powered Daihatsu 4×4 from the early ’90s was not sold as a BMW or a Daihatsu. What was this vehicle called?

  7. A well-known Japanese automaker rebadged the Land Rover Discovery 1 and sold it in Japan in the 1990s. What was this vehicle called?

  8. Before the Range Rover Sport came out in the mid 2000s, Land Rover made a concept two-door Range Rover. What did they call it?

[Answers to round 3]

Jason then broke out some of his toy cars, and Andrew and I joined in, to see if readers could identify the makes and models:

Round 4: Know This Toy Car (8 pts)


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week


Try Answering These Car Trivia Questions That Stumped 65 Car Enthusiasts Last Week

[Answers to round 4]

Finally, Jason finished the night off with eight questions on weird and fun car names:

Round 5: Car Names! (14 pts)

  1. Which one of these food-related car names is not real? Nissan Cherry, Daihatsu Cheddar, Alldays & Onions Midget, American Chocolate, Mitsubishi Pistachio

  2. What British car named for a planet used a horizontally-opposed engine?

  3. What was the poet’s name who came up with the suggestion to call what would end up being the Ford Edsel the “Utopian Turtletop?”

  4. What name is shared by both a Mazda and a pre-Simpsons’ Matt Groening cartoon character?

  5. Name a Nissan and Toyota truck that share their names with types of beer.

  6. What was the official name of the original Volkswagen Beetle?

  7. Name two cars named after words that mean “friend.”

  8. Name five names (out of six) various versions of the Volkswagen Jetta are sold as around the world.

[Answers to round 5]


Last week, a team managed to get 76 per cent of our trivia questions correct, and the average was a 63. These numbers, Jason and I concluded, were simply too high. Worried that we’d gone soft, Torch and I (and Andrew) came up with the 40 questions above to make things just a little bit harder.

And it looks like we accomplished our mission, because the high score this week was a 73 per cent, and the average was a 52 per cent. Here are the rankings from week three of Jalopnik Virtual Car Trivia. (And a reminder: Teams score themselves—there is literally no accountability, here):

  1. Team 7: 47.5 points

  2. Team 13: 38 points

  3. Team 8: 37.5 points

  4. Team 9: 37.5

  5. Team 2: 37 points

  6. Team 11: 36 points

  7. Team 4: 35.5 points

  8. Team 12: 33.5 points

  9. Team 3: 32 points

  10. Team 5: 31.5 points

  11. Team 6: 30 points

  12. Team 1: 26.5 points

  13. Team 14: 14 points

The winning team, team seven, had members Alex, Mohammad, Anugra, David, and Jaron. Nicely done!

Jalopnik Virtual Car Trivia Night will happen again this Friday at 8:30pm. Email me at if you’re interested. I’ll put another reminder on the site tomorrow.

NB: For Australians, wanting to join in that’s Saturday, March 25 at 10.30am AEST.