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The TACH Report: Electric Ranger to CA, Vegas Speedway Sells NASCAR Race Tix, Sony/GMC Suburban Appears in Nieman Marcus' X-Mas Catalog

26 September 1997

The long awaited Electric Ford Ranger, which debuted at the L.A. Auto Show last January, is now a reality. It will be retailed by select Ford dealers in Southern California, has a 50 mile range, goes from 0 to 50 in 12.5 seconds, and it's expensive.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway put tickets on sale for the March 1, 1998 Winston Cup race and found buyers standing in line at 6 a.m., and the phone lines were jammed all day. Class racing surfaces in Vegas. You could count the attendees at the SportsCar night event last week with your hands and toes.

Nieman Marcus, the hoity-toity upscale department store known for its crazy Christmas catalog offerings--like his and hers helicopters, is offering a special GMC Suburban with Sony equipment. It comes with: 4-wheel drive, custom interior, berber carpeting, heated seats, 255 hp, heated mirrors, and a nine inch video monitor with video cassette player. Costs around $75,000.

The new Riley & Scott Indy/IRL single seater will, be tested at the Vegas Speedway next week by Stan Wattles and Sam Schmidt.

In 1998, CART has scheduled races in Houston and the Motegi Ring in Japan.

The 1999 Chevrolet Silverado full sized pickup will have a 4.8 liter V8 motor, 4-wheel disc brakes, wider bed, a third door, and an optional 300 hp engine.

There's going to be a California Hot Rod reunion at the Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Ca Nov 21-23. Grand Marshall is "Dyno" Don Nicholson.

New crew chief for Kenny Bernstein is Lee Beard. He goes into action this weekend at the Pennzoil Nationals in Memphis.

The Firestone Indy Lights championship goes down to the wire at the California Speedway this weekend. Either Tony Kanaan or Helio Castro-Neves will get it for the Tasman team.

CART driver Dennis Vitolo will be racing to stop smoking: he represents the NicoDerm CQ/Nicorette gum brand.

Former IMSA racing stalwart Price Cobb climbed into a Porsche 911 Turbo for the first time in three years and won the GT-2 class at the ProSportsCar race at Las Vegas last week.

The prices of the 1998 Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid will rise 1% over the 1997 sticker.

Honda has just developed an engine that gets 70 mpg--they may put it in a new car.

So far in 1997, 11 million cars and trucks have been built.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel