The TACH Report: Unsafe Vehicles, Honda's No-Name Minivan, Zanardi Ready for Nazareth, Chevy Cavalier Hybrid.
24 April 1998
According to the D.O.T., the most "aggressive" vehicles on the market--the ones most likely to inflict fatal injuries--are: Dodge B series van Chevy S-10 Blazer Chevy K Blazer Toyota 4Runner Mazda MPV GMC S-15 Jimmy Ford F-series pickup Ford E series van Ford Explorer Honda brought out a new minivan at the recent New York Auto show, but they have not yet named it. Its Code name is MV-99 and it has a 3.5 liter V6 mill and will sticker out at around $25,000. The Chip Ganassi/Target CART racing team is riding high with Alex "Zig-Zag" Zanardi's win at Long Beach a couple of weeks ago. The team is looking forward to a good run at the Nazareth, PA's one mile oval this Sunday. Last year Zanardi started 21st and finished 11th. His teammate Jimmy Vasser started 12th and finished fifth. Chevrolet gets on the alternative fuel vehicle bandwagon by bringing out a Cavalier that runs on compressed natural gas. It will cost $5,800 more than a normal Cavalier, and we think the only sales will come from fleets who want to be friendly with the Chevy division of GM. Alex Trotman, head guy at Ford, made $10 million last year--twice what he made in 1996. Bob Eaton, Prexy of Chrysler took home a $3 million bonus. GM was just ordered to pay a $12 million fine for a defective seat belt buckle which resulted in the paralysis of Tracy Malone, 40, after a crash in Columbia, S.C. Kia, the Korean car maker is still having problems: the Korean feds just appointed a receiver responsible for selling Kia. Another Korean car maker that always seems to be announcing "debuts" was a "no-show" at the New York Auto show last week. Daewoo is fast becoming an automotive joke, as nobody has ever seen a car and/or a spokesman for the company. In NHRA activity Cory McClenathan copped Top Fuel honors at the rain delayed Fram Nationals in Atlanta with a 4.756 et at 304.12 mph over Pat Dakin. Cruz Pedregon took Funny Car with a record 303 mph over John Force at 284 mph. Pro Stock went to Mark Osborne. The favorite to win the CART/Bosch Grand Prix at the Nazareth Speedway is last year's pole sitter and winner Paul Tracy, driving a Reynard Honda. Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr each have 11 starts at Nazareth, but young Christian Fittipaldi has the FedEx/CART points lead. Keep your eye on Hogan racing's J.J. Lehto as the rookie ex-F-1 driver is progressing nicely into the Champ car style. Saab has announced pricing for the 1999 9-3 convertible at $36.500. The SE is 41 grand. In Indy Lights competition, points leader Christiano da Matta comes to Nazareth having won there last year in Lights. These cars will hit 190 mph on the one mile semi banked oval. Look to this series to provide many of the future stars of CART, as Casey and Clint Mears compete with Brian Cunningham, Naoki Hattori, Jorge Goeters, Rudolfo Lavin, and Mike Borkowski. An international field of drivers. The all-new Acura 3.5RL Special edition will be priced at $42,000. Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel