Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy' clues about cars?

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December 3, 2020
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Can you solve these real 'Jeopardy' clues about cars?

The automotive industry's history is fueled by costly competition, with one manufacturer always trying to outride another. Vehicular capitalism has created some of the most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly cars available since the first automobile was made in 1886 by Carl Benz. Almost a century and half later, hundreds of car makes and models have come and gone, with some companies dying out and others lasting long enough to show how their wares age through several body types.

From cartoon characters like Wile E. Coyote to Latin animal names like Cabriolet, some vehicle make and models from these "Jeopardy!" car clues stir up automotive nostalgia. Of course, other makes and models by American and European automotive producers, from Ford and General Motors to BMW and Volkswagen, also have unique names and features that set them apart in the list of clever clues.

Stacker scoured the J! Archive, an online database of more than 407,000 "Jeopardy!" clues, to find 25 clues about cars to test even the most enthusiastic car lover. The database is current as of November 2020. Along with each clue slide, its value, category, and the date of the episode in which it was given are included. The following slide will reveal the answer, along with a few interesting facts about the answer.

Questions range in difficulty from $100 car queries to $2,000 stumpers sure to put even the biggest car enthusiast's knowledge to the test. You may know which country is the world's largest car producer or what BMW stands for, but do you know which car company was once the world's largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles?

So, whether you'd gauge your car knowledge as an amber gambler who puts the pedal to the metal or you’re just out for a Sunday drive, keep reading to see if you can solve these real "Jeopardy!" clues about cars. Remember to put your answer in the form of a question.

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Clue #1

- Clue: This toy company builds more cars than Ford, GM, & Chrysler combined
- Category: AUTOMOBILES
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, September 12, 1984

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Answer #1: What is Mattel?

Since purchasing the Matchbox brand from Lesney Toys, Mattel manufacturers more diecast toy cars than actual automotive producers. The simple flagship Mattel model, a humble road roller, was later replaced with the toy company’s Hot Wheel brand in 1968. Since Hot Wheels raced on the scene in the late 1960s, the toy company manufactured more than 800 models, with up to 11,000 variations available.

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Clue #2

- Clue: While "not particularly" a bad car, this Ford model "tended to erupt in flame in rear-end collisions"
- Category: TIME’S 50 WORST CARS OF ALL TIME
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Friday, July 12, 2013

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Answer #2: What is the Pinto?

Notorious for rear-end explosions, the Ford Pinto, commissioned by auto leader Lee Iacocca, turned out to be the car manufacturer's worst ride. Competing with Japan and Tokyo, Iacocca made a rush to judgment producing North America's first subcompact in the 1970s. As many as 180 fatal Pinto deaths were linked to the defective fuel tank design, which was continuously recalled and upgraded to no avail.

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Clue #3

- Clue: 85% of the cars sold in the U.S. in 1968 had this type of large engine
- Category: 1968
- Value: $300
- Date episode aired: Monday, December 18, 1989

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Answer #3: What is a V8?

Initially invented to transport small aircraft and powerboats, the V8 engine, made by Frenchman Leon Levavassuer at the turn of the 20th century, was the meat in muscle cars manufactured in the 1960s. This type of machine, designed with eight cylinders, balances a vehicle's vibration and ride appropriately with the automobile size, making the model a popular type of motor.

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Clue #4

- Clue: In 1987 this Italian company's Countach sold for about $125,000
- Category: THE CARS
- Value: $500
- Date episode aired: Tuesday, November 30, 1993

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Answer #4: What is Lamborghini

The luxury Italian sports car body type was born in Sant’Agata Bolognese in 1963 by Francesso Lamborghini. Competition-driven, the wealthy Northern Italy businessman built the car in order to beat Ferrari in speed and style. Major U.S. automotive manufacturer Chrysler purchased the Italian brand in 1987.

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Clue #5

- Clue: A collision between cars that causes only minor damage
- Category: RHYME TIME
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, December 3, 1997

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Answer #5: What is a fender bender?

Called a “fender bender,” the minor collision between two vehicles driving at slow speeds can cause thousands of dollars of damage and a long repair time. The fender bender eyesores, including damaged bumper, broken head or tail lights, and minimal body damage, require a lengthy reparation process. A simple fender bender results in a complicated process of contacting the police immediately, informing the insurance company, and being without a car while the vehicle is repaired.

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Clue #6

- Clue: A Plymouth named for this Warner Bros. cartoon character even had the horn sound to match
- Category: MUSCLE CARS
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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Answer #6: What is the Road Runner

The economical muscle car, the Plymouth Roadrunner, was light and robust, allowing the average American to ride the U.S. highways as fast as Wile E. Coyote. The manufacturer of the mid-size performance car trimmed down the price by producing the car without carpet and making it a four-speed rather than the standard three-speed manual. The Plymouth Roadrunner, manufactured between 1968 and 1980, mimicked the cartoon character with a “meep, meep” horn.

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Clue #7

- Clue: Powered by both a gasoline engine and an electric motor, this company's Insight was the first hybrid car sold in the U.S.
- Category: COOL CARS
- Value: $1000
- Date episode aired: Monday, March 3, 2008

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Answer #7: What is Honda

Introducing the first mass-produced gasoline and electric power charged Insight to the U.S. boosted Honda among the top manufacturers of green vehicles. Honda's first-generation hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) was a two-door and passenger hatchback model that matured into a four-door model a decade after first being introduced in 1999. Honda continues to produce HEV vehicles with dual gas and electric engines, now available in a sedan version.

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Clue #8

- Clue: With its GT and GTS versions, this model from Mitsubishi blocked out a lot of the competition
- Category: VEHICLES
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: Tuesday, July 5, 2005

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Answer #8: What is Eclipse?

From 1989 to 2011, the “iconic super coupe,” Eclipse, put Mitsubishi on the map with Generation X. The fun drive, complete with pop-up headlights, went through more than a few generations of style. After a two-decade ride, Mitsubishi ended production of the affordable and fast model, including the most-famous GT and GTS, in 2011, which went down in car history as really cool car.

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Clue #9

- Clue: This South Bend, Indiana automaker was once the world's largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles
- Category: ON THE GO
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: Thursday, April 28, 2005

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Answer #9: Who is Studebaker

Long before V8 engines, blacksmith brothers Henry and Clement Studebaker’s 1852 horse-drawn vehicle model ruled the road. The classic car, used by the U.S. Army in the Civil Ware, dominated the domestic automobile industry for decades, but put on its brakes when the company went bankrupt during the Great Depression.

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Clue #10

- Clue: In 2006 this country surpassed the U.S. to become No. 1 in motor vehicle production
- Category: TRANSPO-POURRI
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Friday, November 23, 2007

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Answer #10: What is Japan

2006 was not a good year for the American automobile industry, officially becoming second in production to Japan, with the Wall Street Journal reporting the foreign victory before it happened. In April of 2006, the notable periodical informed readers that Japan had manufactured more than 10 million cars in 2005, remaining dominant, specifically beating out the U.S.

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Clue #11

- Clue: We salute you if you know that this was the name of Bo & Luke's car on "The Dukes of Hazzard"
- Category: FILM & TV VEHICLES
- Value: $2,000
- Date episode aired: Friday, June 5, 2015

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Answer #11: What is General Lee?

Along with being the most notable American Confederate General, Robert E. Lee’s name also branded the orange 1969 Dodge Charger featured in the ’80s pop culture television series. Between 1979 and 1985, the muscle car featured a Confederate flag and welded-shut doors, making Bo and Duke jump in the ride, which kicked up dirt in hundreds of high-speed police chases.

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Clue #12

- Clue: This German company makes the A3 sedan
- Category: AUTOMAKER FOR THE PEOPLE
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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Answer #12: What is Audi?

Famous for a brand of inserted rings, which represent the original four German companies that merged to found Audi, the manufacturer’s A3 sedan model has six generations of style, beginning in 1996. The three-door compact hatchback was manufactured in competition with sister car, the Volkswagen Golf, and has reportedly produced 4 million models since the flagship ’90s model.

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Clue #13

- Clue: In 2008 Chevy offered a special 50th anniversary edition of this classic sedan
- Category: PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES
- Value: $1,200
- Date episode aired: Thursday, March 25, 2010

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Answer #13: What is the Impala?

General Motors' signature model, the 1958 Chevrolet Impala, has a long detailed history, including being the first vehicle with dual headlamps and triple tail lights. From lengthy bat-wing tail models to a compact four-door sedan, the Impala saw many styles throughout more than six decades before the final type was produced in 2019, ending a 61-year run on America's highways.

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Clue #14

- Clue: No bull, for much of the '90s, this Ford sedan was the best selling car in America
- Category: “T” MOBILE
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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Answer #14: What is a Taurus?

Reportedly Ford’s flagship vehicle for its soaring sales record, the Taurus, also the Zodiac sign for a bull, dominated the ’90s automotive industry. Manufactured to replace the Ford Grenada in the ’90s, the Taurus was the first NASCAR-approved competition car, racing in the 1998 Winston Cup, 12 years after the first model's production in 1986.

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Clue #15

- Clue: What BMW stands for
- Category: CARS
- Value: $300
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, December 12, 1984

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Answer #15: What is Bavarian Motor Works

Bayerische Motoren Werke, aka BMW, made its entrance into the automotive industry in 1917, becoming one of the most notable global luxury cars to date. Because of a famous German motorcycle manufacturer's moniker, "Beezer," BMW got branded with the nickname "Beamer" in Great Britain during the '60s, a tag that remains popular.

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Clue #16

- Clue: This top-of-the-line Caddie convertible was designed for the company's 1952 "golden" anniversary
- Category: CADILLACS
- Value: $1,000
- Date episode aired: Monday, January 13, 2014

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Answer #16: What is the El Dorado?

The V8 luxury coupe has seen a dozen generations of owners, classically changing its model style with the times since it got its name "El Dorado" from an in-house naming competition won by company secretary Mary Ann Marini. Fifty years after the manufacturer produced one of the most luxurious automobiles in 1952, Cadillac ended production of the vehicle.

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Clue #17

- Clue: With the GT version named one of Car & Driver's 10 Best for 2012, this is the only Ford to receive that honor 7 times
- Category: FAST CARS
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Thursday, May 21, 2012

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Answer #17: What is a Mustang?

First introduced at the 1964 World’s Fair, the Ford Mustang added a couple of letters in 1987, making the GT version the quintessential American-built aerodynamic V8. Its low body-skirts and louvered headlights were all the roar in the late ’80s pop-culture, especially for Italian Stallion drivers.

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Clue #18

- Clue: In December 1989 this Swedish automaker, not Volvo, agreed to sell GM 50% of its carmaking operations
- Category: $800
- Value: Thursday, June 28, 1990
- Date episode aired:

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Answer #18: What is Saab?

The L.A. Times reported in December of 1989 that Swedish carmaker Saab struck a deal with American manufacturer General Motors (GM), with the foreign automaker selling 50% of its car unit to the domestic automotive leader for $600 million. The European and U.S. deal between Saab and the world’s largest car manufacturer GM was notable in 1989, specifically since GM’s domestic operations were declining.

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Clue #19

- Clue: This sporty Triumph convertible that debuted in 1962 shares its name with a classic British fighter plane
- Category: THE 2-DOORS
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Friday, March 7, 2014

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Answer #19: What is a Spitfire

With the same name as the famous mass-produced World War II fighter aircraft, the British-made Triumph Spitfire had an 18-year production period. Unlike the single-seat fighter plane, the two-seat sports car saw several model changes, branded the Spitfire, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, MkIV, and 1500. The last model produced was in 1981.

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Clue #20

- Clue: In 2004, just in time for spring break, Chrysler introduced a convertible version of this cruise mobile
- Category: YOU AUTO KNOW THIS
- Value: $1,600
- Date episode aired: Friday, June 18, 2004

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Answer #20: What is the P.T. Cruiser?

Produced between 2001 and 2009, the retro-style PT Cruiser would take its top down in 2004, adding some sun and wind to the already-fun ride. Up to 1.35 million PT Cruisers, designed by Bryan Nesbitt, sold in the eight-year manufacturing period after being featured at the 1999 North American International Auto Show.

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Clue #21

- Clue: From Latin for "wild goat," this VW convertible replaced the Rabbit convertible in '85
- Category: AUTOMOBILES
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Friday, December 30, 1988

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Answer #21: What is Cabriolet?

Volkswagen’s Cabriolet is the second car the manufacturer named after an animal. Replacing the Rabbit Convertible, the Cabriolet, modeled after the Golf, another popular mid-sized four-seater, was less expensive. The five-speed manual transmission was fuel-efficient, giving the driver up to 330 miles per tank.

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Clue #22

- Clue: Sting rides around in the back of an S-type sedan in TV commercials for this car
- Category: FAST CARS
- Value: $200
- Date episode aired: Tuesday, February 27, 2001

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Answer #22: What is Jaguar?

Riding through the Nevada Desert in a Jaguar S-type car commercial gave English songwriter and lead singer Sting from the ’80s new wave band the Police a new look. Playing “Desert Rose,” a 1999 Sting track, the commercial raised environmental concerns for the singer, who is keen on keeping it green, even planting up to 50,000 trees before shooting the Jaguar advertisement.

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Clue #23

- Clue: In 2016 this car company said orders for its new Model 3 electric sedan topped $10 billion in 36 hours
- Category: I LIKE BIG BUCKS
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: Thursday, November 23, 2016

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Answer #23: What is Tesla?

Elon Musk’s Tesla remains the talk of the auto industry since it was introduced in 2003, when the solely-electric sedan was branded as a vehicle of the future. The clean-energy car, produced in California and Shanghai, once only affordable for the wealthy, has scaled down in price, to the Model 3 available for just under $40,000, far lower-priced than the $150,000 models.

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Clue #24

- Clue: Its Passat sedan / Fine German engineering / Ah, leatherette seats
- Category: AUTO HAIKU
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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Answer #24: What is Volkswagen?

Originally the German state-owned automobile made under the Adolf Hitler administration in 1937, Volkswagen became among the most famous foreign car brands, specifically after the 1959 Beetle model was introduced. By the 1960s, VW was the best-selling auto import in the U.S., eventually selling more than 21 million units over 70 years, until production ended in 2003.

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Clue #25

- Clue: The 1968 Dart GTS was a muscle car from this maker
- Category: MUSCLE CARS
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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Answer #25: What is Dodge?

While the family-friendly Grand Caravan is Dodge’s best-selling vehicle, the 1968 Dart GTS sold fast among young drivers of the time. With two red rear stripes, the 1968 muscle car had the biggest engine of all four-generation Dart models, with a 6.3-liter V8.

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