Brilliant car facts you need to know

andrew frankel 2cv
andrew frankel 2cv

Few have as detailed a knowledge about car-related arcana as our motoring trivia expert, Andrew Frankel. Join us as he stages his annual clear-out of random facts and stats for your enjoyment.

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Handling conditions explained

19 car makers beginning with C

Scandinavian World Rally champions by nation

Drivers classfied in multiple positions for the 1955 Argentina GP

The word for tyre in 14 languages

10 names of cars on film and TV

7 facts about Enzo Ferrari

- Finished second in the 1920 Targa Florio.

- Always wrote with a purple-tip pen.


- Described the F40 as "so fast you'll sh*t yourself".

- Pretended not to be able to speak English.

- Called his first car Auto Avio Costruzione (in 1940) because his contract with former employer Alfa Romeo forbade from putting his own name on a car.

- Regarded Tazio Nuvolari and Gilles Villeneuve as the greatest drivers he ever employed.

- Attended just one more race after his son Dino died in 1956. It was the 1957 Moden Grand Prix, where the V6 engine that Dino had worked on and which bore his name made its race debut.

3 handling conditions explained

Understeer - Car leaves the road head first.

Oversteer  - Car leaves the road backwards.

Four-wheel drift - Front and rear of car leave the road at the same time.

19 car makers beginning with C

- Calthorpe

- Caparo

- Cartercar

- Champion

- Chenard et Walcker

- Chiribiri

- Cizeta-Moroder

- Clan

- Climber

- Colonial

- Comet

- Condor

- Corbin

- Cottin-Desgouttes

- Croesus

- Crow-Elkhart

- Croxton-Keeton

- Cunningham

- Cupra

Scandinavian World Rally champions by nation

Drivers classified in multiple positions in the 1955 Argentine GP

The race was held in such hot weather there were multiple retirements and drivers sharing cars, having taken breaks in the pits to recover.

1) Giuseppe Farina (2nd and 3rd)

2) Maurice Trintignant (2nd and 3rd)

3) Karl Kling (4th and retired)

4) Stirling Moss (6th and retired)

5) Harry Schell (6th, 7th and retired)

6) Jean Behra (6th, retired and retired)

7) Luigi Musso (7th and retired)

8) Sergio Mantovani (7th and retired)

9) Carlos Menditeguy (retired and retired)

The word tyre in 14 different languages

Tairi Swahili

Opona - Polish

Rengas - Finnish

Teannadh - Scottish Gaelic

Yourulmak - Turkish

Pneuo - Esperanto

Dekk Icelandic

Neumatio - Spanish

Teiar - Welsh

Reifen - German

Pneumatico - Italian

Pneu - French

Tire - Latin

Tire - American

10 names of cars in film and on tv


VW Beetle, The Love Bug 1968

General Lee

Dodge Charger, The Dukes of Hazzard, 1978

Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.)

Knight Rider, 1982


Plymouth Fury, Christine, 1983


Darracq 12HP, Genevieve, 1953


Cadillac Miller-Meteor Sentinel, Ghostbusters, 1984


Dodge Monaco, The Blues Brothers, 1980


AMC Pacer, Wayne's World, 1992

Greased Lightnin'

Ford De Luxe, Grease, 1978


Ford Mustang, Gone in 60 Seconds, 1974