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The TACH Report: Mercedes Recalls European A-Class Cars, Newport Beach Kruse Auction has a Dozen Vettes, Courages Wins Jarama, Spain Race

19 November 1997

Mercedes Benz Never has egg on its face. The company is the epitome of Tuetonic thoroughness. Nonetheless, an auto enthusiast magazine in Finland tested MBs new little A-class bug last week, and the thing was prone to flip over . . . a lot. When other mags heard this, they too agreed that this had occured in their tests, so Daimler Benz stopped production of the car and recalled those that had found homes in Europe. The Company said it would study the car's suspension geometry, and at a cost of $175 million, it would get it right. The update on all this is that the Goodyear tires are at fault and everyone involved at MB and Goodyear are "huddling" to find a solution.

Dan Kruse of the famous Kruse Auction family (Dan is in Texas and the rest of the clan is in Indiana) is putting on his second Newport Beach, CA Collector Car Auction on November 22-23. Featured are a dozen Corvettes of varying flavors. Also to be sold: a Ferrari 365GT, a Rolls Royce Silver Spur, a 1955 Packard Convertible, and 260 more cars.

The ISRS race in Jarama, Spain, contested by LeMans type race cars, was won by the Courage C41/Porsche driven by Diddier Cottaz and Jerome Pollicand. Second spot was taken by an Alfa Romeo Centenari, followed by a Kremer Porsche. Two Ferrari 333SPs were DNF.

Ferrari sales amounted to 1 trillion lire for 1997 ($588 million). The company says it can race because Ferrari doesn't need to advertise. True. The company will, however, put some ad dollars behind Maseratti.

Here's what's new from Mazda: The 626 is the company's key model, sales-wise, and its wheelbase has been lenghthened 2.3 inches, it has more horsepower, larger brakes, traction control, and has less cabin noise. A new Miata will debut in the spring with six-speed gearbox.

Now that the North American Touring Car Series is history, what happens to the cars and drivers? The Pac West team may enter the Craftsman NASCAR Truck series.

Wayne Taylor, winning Pro SportsCar pilot, has ordered a $1 million Ferrari 333SP but doesn't know where he will race it, "'cause there may not be a Pro SportsCar next year."

Things are quiet at Suzuki with the 1998 model virtually unchanged. The company is awaiting a new 1999 Sidekick with 2.5 liter V6 power.

Bob Thomas recently resigned as CEO of Nissan, and in a matter of weeks resurfaced as an executive of Wayne Huizenga's Republic Industries, the outfit that wants to own every new car dealership in the U.S. Republic just bought Denver Q.B. John Elway's dealerships for $82 million. Put that with Elway's $7 million football salary, and he's gotta be one rich dude.

This weekend in Stuttgart, Germany, Mercedes Benz will greet a crowd of 30,000 people as they celebrate one of the finest racing years in it's history. 18 wins in 45 major races. The race cars will be there, as well as the race stars.

Super star, CART champion, Alex Zanardi will appear on David Letterman on Nov 27, the day after thanksgiving.

New 1998 Reynard race cars have been delivered to Patrick Racing and Team Rahal.

FLASH!!!! The Chrysler Classic Speed Festival is ON at Coronado (San Diego) California Naval Air Base for November 22-23.

Bill Maloney The Auto Channel