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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member on the hunt for a clean/maintained 451 Brabus Cabriolet. I was told beggars can’t be choosers so I am fine with Silver or Black. I am not a Smart expert so I would be open to other colors should those have been made in the later years of the 451. I would highly prefer one in the upper Midwest as location could be a barrier to entry. There is one close by right now but it has been in a rear end accident, is not currently running and in my opinion is over priced. Speaking of price that in some regard could be a barrier to entry. My wife isn’t thrilled with me be hell bent on finding/buying one of these (I know that will change once it is in the family) so since this would be a 3rd vehicle she sees it as completely a self indulgent purchase for myself. Under the right circumstance I would consider a coupe but highly prefer the cabriolet...unless someone can convince me otherwise. I also just missed out on an amazing deal on one of those as well. Again I know I am asking for the world. I would be willing to travel for the right one or hire and inspection company and have it trucked back to WI where I am at. Any help, insight, foresight, etc is appreciated. I am completely new to this scene but am highly obsessed with the notion of this purchase. My alternative is a Fiat 500C Abarth which would check the boxes to some extent but for some reason I love the novelty and uniqueness of the Brabus Smart Cab. Thanks in advance for any info/help/advice you can provide a future new owner.
 

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Fiat 500C Abarth much more car for the money.
More bang for the buck.
More upgrade options available 500madness.com
Compare service options availability.
Check how many Fiat dealers are there compared to smart. That alone should be a no brainer.
 

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Finding a Brabus cab is going to be rare. Nothing like the exhaust note, horsepower, and the handing of a Abarth C. I know!
 

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I have had my '09 Brabus coupe 12 years next month. I actually prefer the looks of the coupe better, but that's just my opinion. Mine is black. In '09 only black or silver was offered on either coupe or cabriolet. In about 2012 they added white to the two other colors.
I have really enjoyed my car over the years and have done several mods to it. I think I tinker with it more than drive it as it only has 5,228 miles. Good luck with your search and take your time, the right car will come along. Keep us posted and we all love photos!
 

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smart cabriolet has one major advantage over the Fiat 500C - it is a TRUE convertible with the full joy of open motoring!

The 500C is like the smart with the side bars left in.

However, if the Fiat was a true convertible, the Abarth vs. Brabus would be no contest IMHO.

-Barry-
 

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smart cabriolet has one major advantage over the Fiat 500C - it is a TRUE convertible with the full joy of open motoring!

The 500C is like the smart with the side bars left in.

However, if the Fiat was a true convertible, the Abarth vs. Brabus would be no contest IMHO.

-Barry-
The difference between the 2. The Fiat didn’t loose its roll over integrity, like that smart car. The structure is still there. The Mini Cooper is a true convertible. The smart still has those B pillars sticking up. Not a true open drop top.

I wish the Brabus was more performance oriented. It’s basically cute cosmetic. Unlike the European Brabus models. The suspension is a little more aggressive. The Abarth is more of a driver enthusiast car. Nothing comes close, on back twisty road fun.

66114
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First thank you to all that have replied and provided insight. It has been very helpful.
I do agree in regard to the service and aftermarket potential being greater with the Abarth. Those things do hold some weight for sure. The aftermarket can be a slippery slope though as have some but not a lot of aftermarket potential does help the wallet out.
While we all agree that the performance of the Abarth doesn’t compare to the Brabus, what about fit/finish. Comparing Fiat Chrysler to what was once Daimler Chrysler are both scary notions (coming form the Toyota/Lexus world which have been my daily’s for 10 years). But with that said in some of the online videos regarding the Abarth, it looks like the wear/tear seems to be higher than average.
I guess what are the thoughts on cost vs depreciation vs future resale? I ask because I just missed out on a Brabus Coupe, 102k miles, well maintained original owner for $4k. This might have been a unicorn as the other Brabus Cab in my area has around 90k but has been in an accident and is not running. They said $5k to trailer it away or if they fix it $6500. Again I am not in the circles to know what the supply vs demand vs pricing is but I would have a hard time spending more than KBB value as that is what the majority of people are going to look at when there is a day for me to sell. When looking at the Abarth it seems as if those are in the $7500-$9k range depending on miles/condition of course. So on the low end we are talking about 40ish% more than a Brabus and on the high end potentially double. Again maybe my limited knowledge/scope is skewing these percentages so I am open to hear the experts opinions. I think the Fiat is an easier sell to my wife in regard to being a big bigger, a bit more modern, a bit newer and some of that could grease the wheels to a certain extent but in the end it is about how much I am spending on a car that I am primarily pushing for.
Also I know at least one of you mentioned being patient and that isn’t in my DNA unfortunately.
 

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The reason I said be patient is this. In 2009, about 1500 Brabus smart cars were made for the US. I have also read figures where only about 1200 total were made. That means only about 300 silver Cabbies were sent to the US. They roughly divided the black and silver into coupes and Cabriolets into fairly equal amounts. A really nice, low mileage car with no issues can be a bit hard to find. Anyway, good luck in your search and please post pics if you get one.
 

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My brother lives in Aurora Illinois. Suburb of Chicago. Lots of salt on the road, there at winter times. I’d take a really good look, at the under carriage of that car. Lots of after market nick naks, on it too. Looks like fake carbon fiber hood wrap. Zoom zoom, Mickey Mouse rear spoiler, alloy wheel all torn up too. Drill holes in the radio surround. Tried old car.

66142
 

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My brother lives in Aurora Illinois. Suburb of Chicago. Lots of salt on the road, there at winter times. I’d take a really good look, at the under carriage of that car. Lots of after market nick naks, on it too. Looks like fake carbon fiber hood wrap. Zoom zoom, Mickey Mouse rear spoiler, alloy wheel all torn up too. Drill holes in the radio surround. Tried old car.

View attachment 66142
Be sure to check out the full operation of the top including removal and reinstalling of the roof bars. Inspect the plastic parts and slide action. Don't overlook a close inspection of the rear window. Parts for the rear window are expensive and hard to come by make sure it seals good. With the top up take a good look at the steel mechanics making sure nothing is bent.
Real or Clone Brabus ? Will the vin show whether it is real or not?
Screenshot_20210423-082601_Chrome.jpg
 

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Can anyone explain what is going on with this one?!?!? I have never seen this interior, wing, badges, etc.

I can tell you some things about the car you posted. It belonged to Tiger Wong who was a long time member here. He also had a black Passion coupe with some mods. He was a service writer or service manager with the local Mercedes/smart dealer.
He put rear (17") wheels on the front with 195/40-17 tires on the front. He kept the stock size wheels and tires on the rear. At one time he had 30mm rear wheel spacers and 10mm front wheel spacers. I believe he also bought some lowering springs from Smart Madness. He and his son used to take both smarts to local car shows and gatherings. I believe he sold the black Passion to a relative in California. He re-did the interior with the red leather and painted some of the dash trim in red. The rear wing and some of the other mods are probably sourced from either Madness or some other smart parts house.
I believe the car was very well taken care of when he had it and I do not know when it was sold or traded in. If you search for member Tiger Wong on this forum, you can see many photos of his cars and some how to's on some of the mods.
If it went from him directly to the used car lot, it is probably a good car still.
I have not seen Tiger on the forum in a while, but you can always send him a PM and he may still answer. Good luck. I hope this answers some of your questions.
 

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Be sure to check out the full operation of the top including removal and reinstalling of the roof bars. Inspect the plastic parts and slide action. Don't overlook a close inspection of the rear window. Parts for the rear window are expensive and hard to come by make sure it seals good. With the top up take a good look at the steel mechanics making sure nothing is bent.
Real or Clone Brabus ? Will the vin show whether it is real or not?
View attachment 66144
Unfortunately, you can not tell by the VIN if a US spec Brabus is factory or a clone. There is no defining number or letter like my old 2004 Corvette Z06. On it the eighth diget was a "S" not a number like regular C5 Corvettes. The car pictured appears to be Tiger Wong's old Brabus and it was not a clone, but a factory car.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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1983JZR3W, great pull on the gray matter!! Tiger Wong, a blast from the past!!!

Danny M. Wong smart center Edison, NJ Sales & Leasing Consultant - Ray Catena M-B

CarFax reports 5ish owners all in the KS, MO, WI & IL region.
 

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1983JZR3W, great pull on the gray matter!! Tiger Wong, a blast from the past!!!

Danny M. Wong smart center Edison, NJ Sales & Leasing Consultant - Ray Carena M-B

CarFax reports 5ish owners all in the KS, MO, WI & IL region.
Our old Aristocrat Motor smart service manager. That is Clint’s old Brabus. I remember him showing me the leather dashboard after he finished it. It use to have front red canards. It was the last 09 Silver Brabus C smart center Merriam had. That’s funny, I thought about buying it new.

66146

66147
 

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Our old Aristocrat Motor smart service manager. That is Clint’s old Brabus. I remember him showing me the leather dashboard after he finished it. It use to have front red canards. It was the last 09 Silver Brabus C smart center Merriam had.
Or as smark suggests Clint WONG of Aristocrat Motors. This would tie better to the CarFax locations listed...
 

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Or as smark suggests Clint WONG of Aristocrat Motors. This would tie better to the CarFax locations listed...
Looks like it had a pretty rough life since the Wong's owned it.
Now it's sitting at a second chance used car lot down buy the river in Aurora, IL
Where the Illinois State Police order so much salt on the roads in winter time you can taste it in your car from the heater vents. A Illinois state trooper once told me that a dry road has less accidents on it than a wet one. That's why they order so much salt to be applied that it dries the road turning it white.
There's a reason used cars are cheaper in the Midwest than the south or southwest.
A little off topic.
If you think about it, all large aircraft storage facilities are in the dry desert southwest.
Lived most of my life in the Midwest.
 
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