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Greetings Smart Folk,

I Just took my first drive. All week I've been seeing a swarm of Smart cars in the neighborhood--all kinds and colors--and today at lunch I followed one back to the hive. Turns out a Penske dealer service center has been prepping them for a marketing program where they get to go home with someone for a week (the program is closed, sorry!). I took some pictures, but I'm an OG and can't get them off my phone. I'll do it at home and post later in the proper forum.

But I had to post to unbridle my enthusiasm. Penske is building his dealership in nearby Santa Clara and I'll be near the front of the line when they open the showroom (yes, I have my deposit in). Actually, what was interesting was what Stephan, my Daimler-Benz engineer and host said to me. He said that they had so many deposits there was some concern if they'd have all the production to meet demand.

There was a good review last week in the San Jose Mercury News (I'm a newbie, can't post the link, but you can google "Smart Car" and the newspaper name) and I concur with almost everything this reporter said. Granted I didn't spend a day, only a little over 15 minutes. But it was a blast!

What it reminded me most was of my (former) 1969 VW Beetle--albeit handling much better, more like a Toyota Matrix--until I looked over my shoulder to back up. Then it was, "Woah!" My guide said everyone says that the first time. View out the windshield looks relatively normal; view out the back is like that out of a regular-cab pickup--without the bed!

The car was a FourTwo Passion, blue/silver with black/fabric interior. I got to inspect (but not drive) a Cabrio and watch the roof go all the way up/down. I also got to peek at the engine. (I know all this stuff must sound horribly mundane to you Smart owners, but it was a charge for me!) and under the front...what would you call it? "Maintenance cover"? Cool!

This experience put me a step closer to buying one. Probably won't be a cabrio as the removable side spar to the cage means that it must be slightly less sturdy than the coupe. Where I live and drive, safety has to be very high on the list. Do like that sunroof though! With the screen open I had headroom (I'm 6'3"), not quite enough with my gelled-up hair if it was closed. I didn't look/ask about seat height adjustment.
 

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There is no seat height adjustment for this year. I predict that it will come later on. They were concentrating on the tall drivers but neglected the short ones like myself.

:(
 

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Greetings Smart Folk,

I Just took my first drive. All week I've been seeing a swarm of Smart cars in the neighborhood--all kinds and colors--and today at lunch I followed one back to the hive. Turns out a Penske dealer service center has been prepping them for a marketing program where they get to go home with someone for a week (the program is closed, sorry!).
How about a bit more information on exactly where the "hive" is located? I'd love to be able to eyeball one of the cars!

Alan Hepburn
Proud to be a Blue Star Family
 

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Welcome Pusher.................
My first drive will be my drive home from some far away dealer.
It should be summer fun. Maybe spring............lol
 

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Yes, you're very welcome, pushermotor. Great user name for a smartian! Please do endeavor to get us some pics when you can. We all seem to have this smart photo jones!
 

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I use to have a small pickup truck and I know exactly what you are saying on the backing up. Nobody understood when I said I could back up the pickup much easier than a car.
 
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