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Cars n' Stars: New VW Beetle Ads, NHRA Museum, FIA Investigates Tobacco

12 March 1998

True to its heritage, the new VW Beetle TV commercials will draw on
yesteryear with a whimsical creative concept.  The theme "Less 
flower...more power" is the punch line.  Some of the other creative
approaches are: The engine's in the front, but its heart is in the same
place."  "Comes with a wonderful new feature. Like heat."  "Hug it. Drive it."
The new NHRA museum in Pomona, CA at the Fairplex, where two of the
straight line racing's sanctioning bodies most important speed events
are conducted, is set to open April 3-4.  It is a 28,500 sq ft museum and
will hold 50 vintage racers and racing gear.

The Federation International Automobile, governing body for all
motorsports, is getting nervous re the negative publicity surrounding
any mention of smoking.  The Association may set a self-imposed ban on
F-1 racing by 2002. It would mean a $300 million hit in the pocketbook
for F-1 if this occurs.

The UAW is setting its sights on Mercedes Benz for a round of
salary/benefit discussions.

Kenworth Trucks is thinking about coming out with the biggest sport
ute of them all. The Kenworth Pilgrimage will seat 20, can tow a yacht
and has 10 wheels. Sticker is $200,000.

In CART, Arnd Meier is driving a Lola. You saw his yellow race car
lapped many times at Homestead.

At the Australian GP last week Damon Hill was fined $2500 for pit lane
speeding.  F-1 brass say that the next new dates for GP races will be
China, Malaysia and Korea.  To add some schmaltz to the Trans Am race at
the Toyota Long Beach GP in two weeks, Rocketsports Racing has entered
two "Far out" 1998 Corvettes.

CART's Initial Public Offering (IPO) went on the big board at $16.00 and
hurriedly reached $19.00 per share.

SCCA Spec Racers have set a 1998 schedule of six races starting at
Topeka, May 15 and ending up at Pikes Peak, Sept. 25-27.

The SRO Winston Cup race at the Las Vegas Speedway March 1 was the
highest Nielsen rated program of the weekend as 5.6 million households
tuned in.

David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants is going to
sponsor Tim Moser in Indy Lights this year.  He'll be at Long Beach.

Hyundai won the season opener SCCA Pro Rally. Doo Wops 111 in Olympia,
Washington with Paul Choinere in the drivers seat.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel