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OC Show Sets Course for New Millennium

October 01, 1998|PAUL DEAN

The California International Auto Show--a 3-year-old stripling that is maturing rapidly on the West Coast automotive scene--will bring all that's new and desirable on wheels to the Anaheim Convention Center on Oct. 14-18.

First-time exhibitors among the 35 global manufacturers representing eight countries include Audi of Germany, Saab of Sweden, Jaguar of Britain and Suzuki of Japan.

The show will offer first glimpses of several dozen 1999 models not seen outside the pages of automotive periodicals. And planning of next year's event, organizers say, is already underway, with 33% more floor space to better accommodate the millennium model year.

The 1999 California Show mirrors buying trends, with a noticeable bias toward trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

Cadillac will show off the Escalade, the luxury car maker's first SUV, a V-8-powered $45,000 off-roader based on the General Motors Tahoe-Yukon-Denali family. The all-new Chevy Tracker, in four-door and convertible models, will be among the debutantes. So will the longer, larger 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz ML430 with V-8 power.

New on the truck front is the Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup, with the V-6-powered Volkswagen EuroVan carrying the banner for new vans.

Among car builders, Acura's pride is its 3.2TL sedan, which is so loaded that the only option is a global positioning satellite navigation system. Not to be outdone, Volvo will be showing the S80, a luxury sedan that only went public last month in Sweden. Among the car's high-tech features is a side air bag that is the world's first floor-to-roof-line inflatable curtain.

The four-day event--sponsored by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Assn., the Southland Motor Car Dealers Assn. and The Times--is open from noon to 10 p.m. Oct. 14-16; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 17; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 18. Admission is $8 for adults 16 and older, $4 for youngsters 7 and older, with free entry for children 6 and younger.

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