On Jan. 9, 1998, Ford Motor Company capped the year’s earliest auto shows with 15 awards from the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Top honors included “1998 Los Angeles Car of the Year” and the “Company of the Year” award from African Americans On Wheels.
The magazine’s award is bestowed annually on an auto company for achievements in diversity, employment, marketing, community service, supplier and dealer relations. In Los Angeles, a jury of 13 Los Angeles auto writers, broadcasters, designers and race car drivers selected Ford’s SVT Contour as the car that “best reflects the L.A. lifestyle.”
The SVT Contour was a double winter as its 2.5-liter high-output DOHC V-6 was ranked among the year’s “Ten Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World, which also included the Ford F-150’s 5.4-liter Triton SOHC V-8.
The F-Series was also one of six Ford winners out of nine categories in the annual “Polk Automotive Household Loyalty Awards.” Segment winners included the Mercury Grand Marquis and Villager, the Lincoln Town Car and the Ford Escort, while Ford Division was named best brand by Polk.
The Ford Ranger also won two awards including “Most Athletic” among American Woman Motorscene’s “Most Likely to Succeed Awards.” It was also named “Best Small Pickup” by the Texas Auto Writers Association, which also gave the Lincoln Navigator its “Best Full-size SUV” award.
Trailer Boats Magazine awarded its “1998 Tow Vehicle of the Year” title to the Ford Club Wagon 6.8-liter V-10. And Borg-Warner Automotive Powertrain Systems Corp. presented its $100,000 “Borg-Warner Automotive Cup” to Ford for driver Scott Douglas’ victory in the Short-Course Off-Road Drivers Association (SODA) World Championship Manufacturers’ Challenge race at the wheel of an F-150 in Crandon, Wis.
The Ford Contour SVT was named '1998 Los Angeles Car of the Year'--one of 15 awards bestowed on Ford Motor Company and its products during the year's first two auto shows, the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. SVT stands for Special Vehicle Team, the Ford's in-house performance group that's spawned followers among other U.S. manufacturers.