Jubilee quiz: test your knowledge of the Queen’s 70-year reign in motoring

Parades have hardly changed but much else has over the past 70 years (Picture iStock/Carnegie42)

You might have noticed that there’s a jubilee to celebrate this year. It’s now seven decades since the Queen came to the throne. A lot’s happened and cars in particular are almost unrecognisable compared to what they looked like in 1952.

Our cunning Jubilee quiz has 10 motoring teasers taking in knowledge from the last 70 years as well as some Royal-specific questions. You might not know all the answers but hopefully you’ll have fun guessing.


Good knowledge of royal cars and motoring over the past seven decades!

Bad luck. To be fair to you, some of the questions were quite tricky, unless you are the Queen’s age – and driving in the 1950s!

#1. How much did a gallon of petrol cost in 1952?

A gallon of petrol in 1952 cost a mere 23p. Allowing for inflation that’s 46p in today’s money. To put that into perspective, a gallon of petrol today costs £7.80!

#2. What is the registration number of the Queen’s main State Car?

The car the Queen uses for State occasions such as the opening of Parliament doesn’t have a registration number.

#3. The Ford Cortina was Britain’s best-selling car for the 1977 Silver Jubilee. Roughly how much did it cost?

The Mark IV version of the Cortina went on sale in 1976. In ’77 it cost £2,523. That’s the equivalent of £11,970 today. Prices for the modern successor to the Cortina, the Mondeo, start at £27,155.

#4. Name the two car makers that currently hold a Royal Warrant

The brands of car that currently hold the Royal Warrant are Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley Jaguar Land Rover and Vauxhall. Surprisingly, the Queen has owned a series of Vauxhall estate cars since 1961. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Rolls-Royce doesn’t currently hold a Royal Warrant.

#5. The UK was the world’s largest exporter of cars in 1952

The US was the world’s largest producer of cars in 1952. But most of those were made for the domestic market. Around two thirds of the 448,000 cars built in the UK went abroad in 1952 making us the world’s largest exporter.

#6. What type of car was given to the Queen to mark her Golden Jubilee?

The Queen was given the first of her Bentley State Limousines in 2002 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee by a consortium of British businesses. The only Rolls-Royces she has in her fleet are old Phantom IVs from the 1950s.

#7. How much did the MOT test cost in 1952?

When the Queen came to the throne, there was no such thing as an annual roadworthiness test. It didn’t come into being until 1960 when cars older than 10 years had to have an annual inspection.

#8. What car did the Queen learn to drive in?

The Queen’s first car was a Daimler DB18. It was given to her on her 18th birthday by her father, King George VI.

#9. Name the British car you can still buy new whose design has barely changed since 1952

The first Seven (then a Lotus) was made in 1957 and the Defender has been updated a number of times since its 1948 launch. The answer is the Morgan which went into production in 1950 and apart from the engine has hardly changed.

#10. The Queen has used just two makes for State Cars. What are they?

Although the royal garage comprises many makes of cars including Daimlers and Jaguars, the models the Queen has used for State Cars over the past 70 years are limited to Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.


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