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World Car Wire.
A record 900,000 cars will be sold by Pontiac in 1977, according to
Alex C. Mair, motor division general manager. If his prediction
proves accurate, this would eclipse Pontiac's existing model year
record of 866,826 cars, set in 1968. The forecast includes record
years for the Grand Prix, Sunbird, Firebird and Astre.
A 5.9% increase in prices of General Motors cars will boost
average cost of the ... models by about $344.GM chairman
Thomas A.Murphy left the door open for further increases, saying
that the initial increases "are subject to review as the cost of
materials and labor clarify in the months ahead. A voidance of a
second boost depends on a "reasonable labor settlement without a
work stoppage," Murphy added.
Sale of the assets of Jensen Motors, Ltd., began last week in
London. San Franciscan Kjell Qvale, who bought the firm in 1970,
said that he did well for three years before labor troubles began
cropping up. "All plants in England have union activity from dawn
to dusk of every day," Qvale complained. The threat of gasoline
rationing and safety and emissions regulations also hurt the
Jensen, Qva1e said.
Japanese exports of passenger cars are confidently expected to
total well over 3: million units. The total number of units exported
during the first half of this year is 1;831,215.
Truck manufacturers in this country have scheduled a record
268,000 units for construction during the month of September. This
follows a record August, during which 245,000 trucks were built.
Expansion of the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. plant in
Fayetteville, N.C., will cost $10 million dollars. When completed in
1977, the plant will produce radial car tires exclusively.
A tentative agreement between Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and
the United Rubber Workers union includes a wage increase of
$1.438 per hour over three years and a cost of living guarantee
which would equal 69 cents per hour if the inflation rate holds at 60/0
through the expiration of the settlement, to be in effect until April,
Toyota Motor Co. reported earnings of $344.6 million on sales of
$6.91 billion during the year ended June 30. For the year ending
June 30, 1977, Toyota forecasts flat earnings on a 50/0 sales rise.
European and Japanese exotic show cars and prototypes will be
displayed at Auto Expo/New York Apr. 2 through Apr. 10, 1977,
direct from the Geneva International Motor Show.
Made in U.S.A. ®
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New From BMW
Expect a hatchback Touring 4-Series
model from BMW before the end of the
year, less formal and more sporty than
the previous Touring model based on the
2002. Britain's Car magazine lifted the lid
off the new model, speculating that it
could use the 3-Series running gear and
be aimed into the 924 Porsche-HPE Lan-
cia arena. There is also a new executive
model BMW on the way based on the latest
3.3-litre coupe and using versions of the
Racing Art Forger
Motor racing art comes of age! At the
Old Bailey in London recently, one Peter
Quayle was given a 12 month suspended
sentence for forging five paintings by the
celebrated Autocar artist, F. Gordon
Crosby. Recognized as the doyen of motor
racing artists, Crosby captured the flavor
of pre-World War II motor sport. Quayle
sold his forgeries for between £100 and
£300 each, even though they were said to
be rather poor copies of Crosby's work,
which is valued for its attention to
Launched on a promise to follow the
racing glories of the Jaguar works wins
at Le Mans, the 5.3-liter XJ12 coupes have
slept through four debuts, the latest
being the 24-hour Group Two race at Spa.
With few races left in the European
championship there are suggestions that
Leyland will fold the project.
MGB V8 Pre-defunct
Any hopes there may have been that
Leyland planned to up-date the MGB V8,
giving it the new Corporate five-speed
gearbox as used in the Rover 3500, and
revising such poorer aspects of the car as
the ventilation arid driving position, are
dashed. It has been confirmed that the
MGB V8 is going out of production. The
MGB with the faithful old 1798cc four-
cylinder engine . continues strongly in
production, and now has survived the
second attempt to interest buyers in a
more powerful version. The first was the
even shorter-lived MGC, which had a 3-
liter six-cylinder engine.
The MGB V8 never handled quite as
well as the ordinary B, but it made up for
this with its far superior performance. Its
refinement and quietness as far as the
engine was concerned tended to accentu-
ate the rather high noise level of the rest
of the car. However, the main reasons for
the decision are that the Rover V8 engine
has not yet passed American emission
tests, and that the production capacity is
needed for the sta.ndard B and the Midget.
Both these models are in strong demand
in the United States.
The gap in the Leyland line-up is
expected to be filled to some extent when
the new Lynx model emerges. This is
essentially a four-seater coupe version of
the Triumph TR7. It is believed that the
project now is under way, but no an-
nouncement is expected. before late 1977.
At home, Leyland has extended its
estate car range by making-the 1.3-liter
engine available for the Morris Marina
estate. Previously this was offered only
with the 1798cc engine. From its initial
introduction, the Marina always has been
available only with one of two engines,
and the 1275 version for the estate is a
logical move. It is equipped with a heated
rear window, reversing lamps, door
mirror, a brake servo, and radial ply tires.
Alfa Markets Diesel Giulia
Following agreement with the Perkins
group of Peterborough, Alfa Romeo is
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offering its Giulia model in Italy
equipped with the 1760cc Perkins diesel
engine. This engine is designed for car
use, and is fitted as a conversion to a
number of taxis and high-mileage cars in
Britain. By diesel standards, it is quite a
high-revving unit, and develops 55bhp at
4000rpm. This is the first offer of the unit
by a manufacturer as initial equipment.
As well as the promise of much better
fuel economy, the Alfa diesel offers
longer engine life; but its main selling
point is the enormous difference between
fuel costs for gasoline and diesel in Italy.
A top speed of 85mph is claimed for the
new Alfa diesel. So far, there are no plans
to export the new Giulia.
Motorcycling is something of a secret
vice enjoyed by most of the Formula One
brigade, even though team managers
frown on their drivers becoming too
involved on two-wheelers, Steyr-Puch
provided each driver at the Austrian GP
with one of its sporty 50cc mopeds to cope
with the crowd that never really
eventuated, but out on the race track
British stunt rider Dave Taylor had
everyone enthralled. Sponsored by
Champion with machinery supplied by
Yamaha, Taylor specializes in lapping
the track on the back wheel of a 400cc trail
bike and then switching to a 650cc bike
and virtually steering it with his feet,
stretched way forward over the
handlebars and operating the gearshift
and throttle by remote control. He
appears at events all over Europe and
between times does demonstrations at
schools as part of a "machine
appreciation" course. He said he fell off
innumerable times when he was
perfecting his acts, but-touch wood-he
has never fallen off while performing
before the public. Ian Norris, PR man for
Champion, says Taylor has been timed at
94mph doing a wheely through a quarter
mile, and 96mph stretched out over the
front of the bigger bike!
Gordon Coppuck, designer of the
Marlboro-McLarens, was an ace trials
rider before settling into the relative
respectability of being a racing car
designer, and he discussed style at some
length with Taylor. The night before the
Grand Prix, Gordon borrowed Dave's
spare 250cc trials bike and it was back to
the old days again as he rode it clear up to
the top of the mountain that looms behind
the circuit. "I found a rocky stream up
there and rode up and down for a
while .. . real six-day-trial stuff it was." He
laughed at the recollection of all the
mountain air and motorcycling. ''I'm like
a kid again every time I get on a bike ... "
Survival In Fl
Survival seems to be the name of the
game in Formula One these days. Jody
Scheckter was giving Ken Tyrrell a
graphic description of his Austrian
accident at dinner the night after the race
and demonstrating how he had braced
himself, head low in the cockpit, after its
suspension failure and committed to
what was obviously going to be a rather
major accident. The car turned sharp
right into the guard rail and then bounced
across the track into the guard rail on the
other side. "I stayed braced in the cockpit
with my head tucked well down until all
the banging and crashing had stopped
and everything was quiet. And then I
stayed there a bit longer." But why did he
stay huddled down in the cockpit when
the accident was apparently over? "The
quiet bit at the end can be a bit tricky,"
explained Jody. "It could mean that
you're flying through the air ... "
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mileage and performance, on all 71-75 Chevys,
Buicks. Cadillacs. Olds, Pontiacs. Order book
# 8343. $6.95 inc. shippinq. Free 64 page cat-
alog. CARBOOKS. INC .. Dept. A 58 181 Glen
Ave .. Sea Cliff. NY 11579.
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