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STATUS SYMBOL: In the '80s, BMW emerged as a badge of success among yuppies. This '90s spot showing its "defensive driving school" carries the successful "ultimate driving machine" positioning.

STAYIN' ALIVE: Volvo of America's return to its safety theme with the compelling "Survivors" TV campaign won Best of Show in Advertising Age's 1994 Best Advertising Awards.

HAVE YOU? Many Americans have "driven a Ford lately," propelling Taurus to the No. 1-selling model in 1992, the year this ad appeared. The advertising helped Taurus overtake the Honda Accord for the honor; the marque continues its momentum with a redesign and themes such as "Making our dreams come true."

NOT SO DREAMY: "Live the dream" was the theme for John Z. DeLorean's ill-fated DeLorean car, which left agency Avrett, Free & Ginsburg a $500,000 nightmare in unpaid bills in 1982. The ads focused on the distinctive gull-wing design. A variation of the car was featured in the 1985 hit movie, "Back to the Future."

HI, BOB: Nissan charmed viewers with a commercial illustrating how its Sentra personalizes the driving experience. The world is tailor-made for the fictional protagonist and Sentra driver Bob, including a parking spot for him alone.

BUT DOES IT COME WITH MUSTARD? This Acura Integra spot was a real eyecatcher for Generation Xers, showing the car driving alongside that American icon, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

BRIGHT LIGHTS: "Big City," a '96-model spot for Mercedes-Benz' C-Class, follows the car negotiating through rain-slicked roads and other hazards of urban driving.

THE NEXT 100 YEARS: Jeep won the '94 Cannes Grand Prix for its "Snow-covered" spot (above) from Bozell. The Chrysler Corp. sport-utility star is now accelerating through the Internet with this home page (l.) as a new age of auto advertising dawns.

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