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Cars 'n' Stars: Tim Allen/Smokey Robinson at CART Awards Banquet, New Fords are Sporty, Fed Crash Tests Accelerate

13 August 1997

The PPG C.A.R.T. 1997 awards banquet, once held right after the last race on the calendar in Monterey, CA, will now be conducted in Los Angeles October 25. Some teams are miffed because that's an expensive trip to take AFTER the season is concluded. Featured entertainers at the dress up affair will be TV star Tim Allen who dabbles in sedan racing and is the star of Home Improvement. He will be the MC and popular country music star Smokey Robinson, fresh from making his new album "Double Good Everything," will perform. If the banquet were held today points leader Alex Zanardi would receive a $1million check from series sponsor PPG Industries. Changes in the Ford lineup for 1998 include:
Explorer:		Restyled tailgate and front end facelift
F-Series trucks:	Facelift
Aerostar:		Gone
Windstar:		Overgrown drivers side door
Mercury Villager:	Sliding door on the drivers side
Crown Victoria:		Front and rear styling updated
New Federal crash tests have revealed that several 1997 models have what it takes to earn a five star rating (the highest). They include:
Ford Mustang convertible
Mercury Cougar
Mazda Millenia
Pontiac Firebird
Volvo 850
Mercury Mystique
Ford Crown Vic
Pontiac Bonneville
Ford Expedition
Jeep Wrangler
Chevrolet Pickup
Ford F-150
Chrysler Town/Country
Ford Windstar
Plymouth Voyager

Price of the Suzuki Swift for 1998 has been set at $9,099 and the four door Sidekick lists at $17,549.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel