The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

The TACH Report: Pat Boone Goes Car Racing, Penske Buys Outboard Marine, Rod Millen Sets Pikes Peak Record, NASCAR Fines Andretti Crew Chief 50 G

14 July 1997

You read it correctly, singer Pat Boone--who has been on the hot seat with his friends at the Christian Cable Network for appearing on a talk show dressed as a rocker with fake tattoos, chains and other dumb stuff--has decided to form an IRA racing team with mild mannered Willy T. Ribbs. Willy tried Indy Cars a few years back, ended up failing to qualify for the 500, and claimed "no mas." They are looking for a chassis and engine combination, and hope to make the Vegas race Oct. 11.

Roger Penske's Detroit Diesel company has acquired Outboard Marine for a paltry $500 million. Measley? Paltry? That's what the stock analysts are saying, as it is a steal at that figure. Penske's group will pay $16 per share for the second largest recreational powerboat manufacturer.

Rod Millen, Newport Beach CA, jack of all trades driver blasted up the 12 mile Pikes Peak race course July 4 and set a new "race to the clouds" speed record. It was the 75th running of the Peak event, which has usually been dominated by Unsers. New Zealander Millen made the run in 10:04.25 in a specially prepared Pennzoil Toyota Celica Turbo. At one point the needle hit 130 mph. Rod's son Rhys drove a showroom stock Toyota Supra to win his class in 12:59.41.

John Andretti may have been the happiest man at Daytona last week, winning the Pepsi 400 but his crew chief Tommy Furr couldn't share his jubilation. NASCAR came down on Furr big time with a 50 grand fine for messing with the carburetor mounting. It's not nice to jive NASCAR tech guys.

In ProSportscar, the boss, Andy Evans, is having his problems. First he's firing all his IRL drivers, and now his main IRL sponsor, MiJack has pulled the plug on Andy and driver Alessandro Zampredi over a "disagreement."

F-1 driving ace, Jacques Villenueve, who has been chastised of late by the FIA for blabbing about the 1998 rules and safety and such, has died his hair blond. His sponsors aren't too happy, as he looks like a wimp.

The Dodge Durango SUV is due out this fall and it will be Chrysler's biggest sport ute, as they don't intend to get into a big vs bigger contest with GM and Ford. The Durango has a 119 inch wheelbase and the Chevy Suburban has 131 inches.

Ferrari is celebrating its 50th birthday with parties of all sorts in the U.S., Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Ferrari entered its first race May 11, 1947 with a 125S model at the Caracalla circuit near Rome

The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in Jolly ole England last week was the place to be for vintage race groupies who wanted to see the BIG names of yore. In attendance were: Phil Hill, Jackie Stewart, actor Pierce Brosnan, the Ear of March, King Hussein, and Hans Stuck,Jr.

Land Rover just set a monthly sales record for the Discovery with 2.025 units going out of dealer showrooms.

Formula One fans, harken. On the drawing board is the Grand Prix of Lebanon. If speed costs money they certainly have dough in Lebanon.

Chrysler just recalled 876,200 Jeep Wranglers and Dodge Dakotas for faulty airbags.

Cadillac may come out with a "smart" radio, which will identify graphically the station to which you are tuned, tune it out when it gets weak and find a similar station, interrupt music with traffic and tell the name of the song playing.

NASCAR greats Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnet and Jack Ingram will be inducted into the National Motorsports Hall of Fame on Aug 30 at Darlington.

Korean based Daewoo Motors is in the news again re attempting to make a thrust at the U.S. market. The maker's cars are not U.S. certified, it does not have a U.S. office, it has no distribution plan, and no executives. If you try to call Seoul for info, no one calls back. Otherwise, Daewoo is right on target for their new car intro . . . somewhere way into the future. May be the company should hire Mickey Rooney. He'd say, "hey kids, I have a factory . . . why don't we build (and sell) a car ?"

Bill Maloney -- Strong