16 thoughts on “DTW Festive Teaser – Odd Car Out”

  1. I’m guessing, the theme is US cars sold abroad in Switzerland or Finland….and the Infiniti QX4 is out? (Since Infiniti was US only until like 2006 ish I think)

    1. A fair try, but the answer is not quite so obscure. The only hint I’ll give is that it doesn’t relate to engineering matters.

  2. Good fun.

    Take 1: Only the Ford has whitewall tyres.
    Take 2: Only the Infiniti has alloys, the rest have tin, er, stamped steel wheels.
    Take three: Only the Ford had crossply tyres, E70-14.
    Take four: Only the Ford had no drive to the front wheels, being rear drive only. QX4 meant four wheel drive, to include AWD, no drive to the front to save fuel, and overall high and low ratios – your choice, you driver you.
    Take five: All but the Ford had front disc brakes – discs were optional at extra cost in 1968 but the target market couldn’t have cared less, even on this fire-breather with a standard 302 V8 and perhaps 150 bhp net. On a 390 0r 428 engine, whoa!
    Take six: This Ford is missing the front wiper arms, which in those days were a satin finish silver and rather obvious. Who nicked them?
    Take seven: All but the Infiniti are named after the company that built them – Infiniti is a construct with Nissan nowhere to be found, while Suzuki, Dodge and Ford are actual manufacturing car company names.
    Take eight: Only the Ford has a chromed driver-side mirror. But all the cars have door-mounted mirrors, the old British and Japanese wing-mount mirrors did not feature.
    Take nine: Only the Ford is a pillarless hardtop. The others all have doors incorporating part of the A-pillar styling.
    Take 10: The only car to not feature an overhead cam engine was the Ford.
    Take 11: Optionally the Dodge had a 3.0 litre Mitsubishi V6 (I drove one extensively for work), the Infiniti was a V6, the Ford a V8, leaving only the Suzuki to have an inline engine of 3 or 4 cylinders.
    Take 12: Only the Suzuki weighed well under a short ton, a long ton, or a tonne.
    Take 13: All cars have either a solid live rear axle (Infiniti and Ford) or a dead beam rear axle –
    not a torsion beam, for Suzuki and Dodge. Except for the first year or two when it had a leaf-sprung beam, the Sukuki had coils at the rear like the Dodge and the Infiniti. The Ford was leaf-sprung heaven all the way.
    Take 14: Only the Ford had no aluminum in the engine except for the carburetor (US spelling but it was a US car) – at least the Dodge had an alloy cylinder head, and the Japanese pair had aluminum blocks, but Ford was cast iron glory.
    Take 15: The Ford had decorative bumpers only, the others had bumpers that could take a bit of a hit at least, although this Suzuki’s rear one is hanging on by a thread.
    Take 16: None had a diesel engine available. The Prado doesn’t count as an FX4.
    Take 17: Only the Ford had round dual sealed-beam headlights not hidden behind a cover or styled.
    Take 18: Only the Ford had no secondary lights of any kind in the front bumper.
    Take 19: Only the Ford had no computer of any kind on board.
    Take 20: All had unitized bodies, no separate chassis’ featured in this lot.
    Take 21: None has quarter pane windows in the front doors, the Ford Fairlane/Torino being one of the first to ditch them – its big brother, the 1968 “full-size’ Ford with a separate chassis, still had quarter lights along with a coil-sprung rear solid axle instead of on leafs like the Torino GT. And no, that Torino vinyl roof shown was extra cost, quite often dealer-installed. But all had door mounted mirrors, no wing mirrors even on the Suzuki.
    Take 22: All the cars had sister vehicles: Infiniti QX4- Nissan Pathfinder, Suzuki Cultus about 20 different names like Geo Metro depending on market and without that car, pizza and takeaway food deliveries would have stalled worldwide, Ford Torino – Mercury Cyclone, Dodge Spirit -Plymouth Acclaim.
    Take 23: All but the Infiniti had ties to the US car industry, Suzuki with GM – why, the Cultus was even made by GM Canada as the aforementioned Geo Metro.
    Take 24: The Ford in 1968 came standard with a four-on-the-floor manual or the Cruise-O-Matic, while the Infiniti had a 5 speed manual available, but 99% crawled out the dealer’s door with an automatic. The Spirit and Suzuki had manuals standard, so all were available with one.
    Take 25: Only the Dodge could optionally have a front bench seat (seats 6!), although it was a “split” front bench. The ’68 Torino GT was buckets all the way, although rumour has it that you could get a bench seat in ’69. Must have been auto only.
    Take 26: All but the Ford have “pull” door handles.
    Take 27: All but the Suzuki have 5 lug wheels.
    Take 28: All the cars except the Ford had an obvious U-shaped crease line stamped in the side of doors, either raised or sunken.
    Take 29: There is no take 29.
    Take 30: All the cars except the Ford had front seat headrests at minimum.
    Take 31: I have driven or been driven in variations of all four cars. I know, over the top boasting. Sorry. But unlike many cars featured on DTW, all were available in North America.
    Take 32: Only the Suzuki has a front number plate – could be the others were publicity stills, but if they are, then minus two points for the missing wipers on the Torino.
    Take 33: The only LHD car here is the Suzuki.

    Depending on how you view a misfit, these are the broad brushstrokes:
    The Dodge Spirit is the only 6 passenger vehicle. And then only if someone lost the lottery and was willing to undergo torture by riding in the front centre spot, so not many emerged from the factory that way except for rental specials.
    The Infiniti QX-4 is the only vehicle with all wheels powered, a manufactured marque name, no tie-in with Detroit, and the only one made exclusively in Japan.
    The Ford has old-style door handles, no radial tyres and a cast-iron engine with no sign of overhead cam, fuel injection or on-board microprocessors because they hadn’t been invented, cross-ply tires, drum brakes and old-style A-pillars and no B-pillars, while the FoMoCo logo is missing, instead spelled out as FORD on the hood, with the grille badge something to do with Torino in someone’s tortured mind.
    The Suzuki had an odd number of cylinders in many configurations, 3, and along with the Ford was made by a company still headed by a member of the founding family, plus its badge is on the bonnet/hood rather than the grille like the others.
    The Infiniti had only one engine option, the others had at least two (in some markets for the Suzuki where a giant 1300cc four cylinder was optionally available in some upper trims).
    No diesel engine was featured in any of them. All had door mounted mirrors. All were what the Brits call monocoque chassis’ in everyday parlance. All had a beam rear axle, live or not.

    A Happy New Year to one and all! If applicable in your jurisdiction and religion.

    PS – just saw that engineering matters are not involved in the answer as I accessed the DTW page today. Darn. Oh well, too late!

  3. Does the answer relate to the treatment of the door frame and A-pillar? The Suzuki, Dodge and Infiniti all have a straight, vertical shut-line between the door and front wing and an A-pillar that is concealed by the door frame. Hence, the Ford is the odd one out.

  4. Having now read throught Bill’s very comprehensive(!) multiple-choice reply above, I notice that his “Take 9” suggestion alludes to the A-pillar treatment so, if that’s the correct answer, Bill got there first!

    1. Barry – it’s a good answer, but not the right one.

      At one point in his 1204 word treatise, Bill comes tantalisingly close, but he’s still an ocean’s width away from the actual link.

  5. The Torino was on the only one that was not built in a spanish speaking country (if you exclude California).

  6. The link is a belief in higher powers.
    The Suzuki Cult(us)
    The Dodge Spirit
    The Ford Torino.
    The first two are kind of self explanatory. When it comes to the Ford I have to stretch it a bit. Torino is Italian for the city of Turin. In Turin they have “The Shroud of Turin” in which Jesus, by some, is believed to have been wrapped after the crucifixion.
    That also gives us some connection to the Christmas holidays (not the crucifixion part, but you get my point).

    The Infiniti is out due to its pure technical model name at the other end of the spirituality scale.

  7. I’m amazed that this has baffled the finest minds at DTW.

    I fully expected it to be solved within five minutes – it doesn’t require recondite knowledge of automotive history, nor recourse to information which is not readily accessible.

    The answer will be published at 11:59AM on Monday 31st – unless we have a winner before.

    1. Charles – shame on you for not reading Bill’s treatise in more detail. He mentions this matter in Take 25, although he comes to a different conclusion.

      As a penance, and for your own improvement, I suggest that you re-read Bill’s Gantseh Megillah in its full detail.

      Max – a fair try, but the link narrows the field far more.

  8. An ocean’s width away you say? How about this one then:

    All cars were sold in Europe under a different brand and/or name plate: Infiniti QX4 as Nissan Pathfinder, Dodge Spirit as Chrysler Saratoga and Suzuki Cultus as Suzuki Swift. Except the Ford Torino, which was not available in Europe and is hence the odd one out.

  9. Bill was so very nearly there, but nobody else noticed and made the connection.

    It’s a simple – I thought – matter of names, but it goes a bit further.

    All four cars had rebadged or closely related versions which, in turn, had names shared with products of the constituent companies of BMC / British Leyland / Austin Rover Group.

    1968 Ford Torino (Mercury Montego)
    1985 Suzuki Cultus (Geo Metro)
    1989 Dodge Spirit (Plymouth Acclaim)
    1997 Infiniti QX4 (Nissan Pathfinder)

    The Suzuki scores a double hit. As well as the Geo Metro it was also sold as the Pontiac Firefly in Canada. Alvis produced a Firefly from 1932-34, a light 1.5 litre four pitched downmarket of their usual offerings, but still well above its mass-produced equivalents.

    The Ford Torino is the odd one out as its Mercury doppelganger used the ‘Montego’ name 26 years before Austin Rover did. All the others usurped the titles some time after the British companies first used them.

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