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Trivia Tuesday, April 21, 2015


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1.) What's the deal with this vehicle on the right?

2.) True or false; Benz invented the automobile.

3.) Name two non-American brands to use Ford V8s and two non-American brands to use Chrysler V8s.

4.) How much wider was Pontiac's first year 'Wide Tracks' than it's GM siblings?

5.) Last one is a trick question, because I don't know the answer. Maybe one of you does. What year/make/model is this emblem off of?


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Well the first one is a VW prototype to replace the original Beetle.  Didn't work out.

Second one, I always think of Cugnot as the true inventor of the automobile.

Number three for Chrysler, was it Jensen and Facel Vega?

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1: Ocnblu is right on the money. That is a Volkswagen prototype to replace the Beetle. What made it unique aside from using a water-cooled engine was that it was mid-engine.


3: Facel Vega used a HEMI. Jensen used Chrysler V8s, but I don't think any were HEMIs. I think the other was Monteverdi in a sports car from the 70's.

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ocnblu :: correct on #1. Engineered by Porsche, reputedly 'mid-engined', reputedly came very close to becoming the Beetle replacement until it was squashed & all records/ prototypes were destroyed by VW. 


DD :: Correct on #2. There were numerous, self-propelled, 4-wheel vehicles built before 1886. Here's one, still in existence, the 1868 Hill automobile :


Unfortunately for anyone with an active brainstem, popular slop internet 'fact' is commonly stating that Benz "invented" the automobile. Patently false.


HoLottaBuicks :: Correct on #5, and HoLottaThanks! ;)


- - - - -

Going to let the discussion simmer longer on #3 & #4...

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but.. but... but... .when i was at the Benz Museum in Stuttgart, they said they invented the automobile.... and they were the first with airbag restraint too.... and that they were the first with traction control.... and that they were the first with ABS!

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4. not at all

I am shocked.. SHOCKED I say, at this answer.



I don't see why.   Here's why I thought that (I have since looked it up, but won't reveal the answer).  When Pontiac brought back Wide-Track in the late 90's on the Grand Prix, they made a big deal about it in most of their ads.  The problem? They weren't really any wider than the competition. (in 1998 for example, at 61.7" in the front and 61.1" in the back, it has about the same track as the Taurus's 61.5ish and it is narrower than the Intrepid's 62.4"/62")  And it was also narrower than some of it's platform mates.... the Intrigue had a wider track than the "Wide Track" Grand Prix and was less than half an inch wider than Impala/Lumina.. a difference that can be made by simply specing slightly different wheel offsets.

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Here's the remaining 2 questions & their answers: 


3.) Name two non-American brands to use Ford V8s and two non-American brands to use Chrysler V8s.

Sunbeam Tiger & DeTomaso Mangusta are 2 Euro brand make/models that ran Ford V8s. These 2 were mentioned above.
Facel Vega and the Jensen Interceptor (2nd gen) were 2 Euro brands to run Chrysler V8s. William got these correct.


4.) How much wider was Pontiac's first year 'Wide Tracks' than it's GM siblings?

The first year for Pontiac's Wide Track (as correctly stated above) was 1959. That year, here are the track measurements for the GM Divisions:

Chevy : 60" / 60"

Olds : 61" / 61"

Cadillac : 61" / 61"

Buick : 63" / 60"


Pontiac : 63" / 64"


Obviously, it was a factual claim and not merely advertising fluff. 


Unfortunately, after roughly 1968, finding either these specs in factory brochures OR magazine road tests of full-size American models is like hen's teeth.
I am almost quite certain that Pontiac retained a circa 63/64 track into the early '70s, but I cannot verify where the other Divisions's F/S cars were. 

Edited by balthazar
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Well, with me; you've got to assume there's a vintage angle; yes.

Frankly, I am unaware of the above vehicle...


Well that's why I was taking issue with your wording. 


After the Fiat-Chrysler merger, Lancia started selling a rebadged version of 300C as the Lancia Thema in Europe.  It was better than our 300 in a single way.... it could come with the same 3.0 Diesel that is currently available in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Other than that, it was basically identical to our Chrysler 300.. including the 5.7 liter Hemi V8. 

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