Dealers rounding up new Mustangs

DEFENSE & AUTOS

December 11, 1993|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,Staff Writer

Close the corral gate -- the Mustangs are in.

It's no stampede, but at least a few specimens of Ford Motor Co.'s redesigned 1994 pony car are making their way into dealership showrooms.

"They are not in great quantities," said one Ford salesman, "but every dealer should have at least one or two in stock at this time." They should be more plentiful in two or three weeks.

Ford has spent about $700 million to pump new life into the 30-year-old auto nameplate, which may stir more passion among its owners than any other car on the road.

Ford had considered dropping the Mustang a few years back, but when the word got out, it was bombarded with letters of protests from enthusiasts.

Mustang officially went on sale Wednesday, and Motor Trend magazine added to the festivities of the day by naming the Mustang its car of the year.

"The new Mustang line makes a powerful statement," the magazine editors said. "Model for model, the '94 Ford Mustang is once again a car to be coveted."

'The Car Book 1994' hits bookstores

Another new auto-related arrival is showing up at bookstores. It's "The Car Book 1994" (HarperPerennial, $11), the latest edition of one of the most trusted consumer guides to buying a new car.

The book was started by Jack Gillis in 1981 while he was with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When the federal government dropped the project, Mr. Gillis developed it independently.

The 224-page book offers its opinion of the overall best and worst 1994 car and minivan models based on government tests and private independent data. It's packed with information on crash tests, maintenance costs, complaint and insurance ratings, and fuel economy.

There is a section on showroom strategies to get the best price on a new car and another on buying tires. There's a sister publication, "The Truck, Van and 4X4 Book 1994," at the same price.

Auto dealer buys Woodlawn operation

Ferninand H. Onnen Jr. went on an automotive spending spree that didn't end with the purchase of a $27,000 Nissan Maxima and a sporty 240 SX -- he bought the whole dealership.

Mr. Onnen is president and owner of Towson Ford, and his latest acquisition is Security Nissan in Woodlawn, formerly called Imperial Nissan.

He has big plans for the Security Boulevard dealership, which opened in 1977. With hopes of making Security one of the top Nissan outlets in the mid-Atlantic region, Mr. Onnen plans to hire about 35 sales, service and administrative employees over the next few months.

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