Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Great Pick-Up

One of my favorite aspects of Monaco was its truly hilarious cars.

I wanted a picture of me draped over the hood, then I thought about it and realized that I would have to be simultaneously draped over the windshield wipers, cargo fixtures, trunk, and rear bumper. I am not this bendy.

I cannot imagine the point of this car. It would last perhaps a second and a half on I-4 before some tourist in a comparatively looming Volvo crushed it beneath its Yosemite Sam mudflaps.

Why, for instance, lock it? Jim The Small Child Nephew and his stuffed kitty could carry it off. The wide availability of the tires, of course, must be a selling point; all John Deeres are compatible. Where's the engine? Is there an engine? Or do all the clowns it carries about merely squirt their seltzer bottles simultaneously?

Mostly, I like these cars because it is one of the few on Earth that allow me to say, "My Corolla could bury you."

vroom at: mb@blondechampagne.com

22 comments:

mike, owner of a new (used) ford taurus said...

Holy fuel efficiency, Batman. I've ridden in golf carts that could eat that thing alive.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this what the Europeans do . . .
Have you ever seen the original Mini Cooper - they did NOT just make up that name!!!

Doddy said...

Smart cars rule - especially when you have $6/gallon gas. They get like 50-60mpg and they are not even hybrids. You can pull in forwards to a street side parking spot (instead of parrrraallllleeell) and have two Smarts in the same an American boat/house car, great for city parking. You can even get a sporty convertible one (the roadster).

For reference my dad used to drive a Mini (not a Cooper, which is the sporty one) and his knees were either side of the steering wheel, and his head pushed into the roof. For anyone who has seen the new Mini's - they are way bigger than the originals.

Jenib said...

As far as protection from other idiot drivers or the random flying trees, I think it would be the same if I added two wheels to my bicycle and wrapped myself in tinfoil.

I {heart} my big Chevy Avalanche that eats little cars for breakfast...

red pill junkie said...

Laugh it up, but in 20 years we are all probably going to be driving one of those, when gasoline prices hit the roof top. Mark my words, when new devastating storms wreck most of the coastal cities in the world, people who onw Hummers are going to be LINCHED.

There are a lot of those around here in Mexico city. The SMART roadster is a beauty, but the problem is the price. They are insanely expensive compared to other, mostly domestic built models, and there's no incentive given by the government in terms of tax reductions (Mexico is the only government in the world that imposes a tax for the right to OWN your car! You have to pay it every year and it's relative to the car's age and retail price). But in a 20-million-people city like this, where single drivers have to endure 2-hours traffic jams, it really does seem like a good idea. I'm 6-foot-4 and wouldn't mind owning one. I would just get rid of the back seat like Bubba Smith did in Police Academy ;-)

mike, who USED TO own a chevette said...

In 20 years, you still couldn't pay me enough to drive that.

AlaskaMe said...

That thing wouldn't last a second up here first time out on our highway in the winter I would lay money that it would be in the ditch immediately. Not to mention our wildlife is bigger then that car. Can you imagine hitting a moose in that thing DEATH instantaneously. Of course you could probably hit a squirrel with that car and and watch it walk away while you sustain serious bodily injury. Nope I'll stick with my Jeep even if I have to take a loan out every few months to pay for gas.

Ophelia said...

If a Yugo can be blown off the Mackinac Bridge, I can only imagine the flight of this little SmartCar.

They are sharp looking little cars, in my opinion. Too bad it would last all of 2 minutes on some of our local freeways (M-10) before it was consumed by a pothole twice its size.

Why do they call them "Smart Cars?" Now, that new Lexus that will parallel park itself - to me that is a smart car.

HunterHouseMom said...

These little SMART cars are not meant for highway driving. They are just for getting around in the city. We saw lots of them in Paris and Nice last year, but never on the highways between cities. Most European cities were built with narrow roads (our small cars seem big trying to negotiate) and parking is at a premium. These little things (same wheelbase as a motorcycle so you can park perpendicular to the curb) at least keep you dry when it rains and gives you space to carry your groceries.

Jill said...

See, the thing to remember is that these cars are used in places where there is good public transportation around the little countries. For city driving, I'm sure it would be great if you were about the size of a circus midget and your groceries consisted of a Calista Flockhart meal. However, in such a large country as the U.S.A. where most of the highways are big, open roads, a semi-truck hitting a Smart car at 70 miles per hour is the equivalent to stepping on an ant. Squish!

red pill junkie said...

Exactly hunterhousemom & jill, these are city-bound vehicles, for people that normally cover a radius of no more than 20-30 km between home and work. Europe has excellent international land transportation already, why waste time and money renting an SUV or an RV, if you can get a ticket on the TSV train that travels at speeds of more than 300 mph? (remember MI:1?)

alaskame, I get your point, but think of it this way: to get oil for the gas that your jeep needs, the Bush administration decided this year to let the oil companies drill on some of the most important Alaska's wildlife reserves. The polar bears are going extinct (some are crossbreeding with grizzlies, and some are turning into canibals because the ice-shelves they used for hunting seals are melting), so 20 years from now, chances are the biggest wild animals you'll get to see are those squirrels you wrote about.

Sorry guys, but living in a megalopolis like Mexico city gives you a doomsday-type mindframe concerning these issues. It's still raining like crazy around here, even though the raining season supposedly stopped 3 weeks ago...

thebuxomwench said...

Heh :). I used to drive a very similar little red car years ago that was given to me by my best friend's parents when they quite literally upsized. Used to drive it with an immense sense of gratitude towards their generosity AND a great sense of apprehension re taking it through a car wash lest it shrink further and I coming out wearing a red suit of "armour" ;) x.

the buxom wench said...

... "thus making me come out", even ... dang I hate it when I make typos.

(Said "wombat" several times to make self feel better re said typos and you're right ... I do feel better! ;).

Craig said...

Hey RPJ,

Last I checked, we have to pay a tax to own cars here, too. It's called the registration fee.

mike, who always has lots of gas said...

RPJ, please tell me you're not talking about ANWR. Seriously. Please.

wurwolf said...

As someone who has to search for parking every weekday on the streets of Brooklyn, I would luuuuuuuurve a car like that. Adorable, and practical!

Jenib said...

Wurwolf, the bonus is, that if anyone decides to steal your tires-you can always put it under your arm and walk home. :-)

red pill junkie said...

Hey craig.

Do you have to pay it EVERY year, too?

Yes, Mike, it was put by National Geographic this year (can't remember the month).

Anonymous said...

I wanted to take one of them home with me when I was in Europe for zipping around DC. For what its worth, they are going to start selling Smart cars in the US as well in the near future, although I am sure they will be a bit more sturdy to meet our laws (just like the minis).

mike, lord of alliteration said...

Well, RPJ, then National Geographic is misinformed. As yet, ANWR has not been opened for drilling.

Regardless, pinning the plights of the polar bear population on anything that's happened this year is silly logic. Evolutionary problems do not happen overnight.

Josh The Pilot said...

Hey, Anon, where in the DC area do you live? Have you been reading BlondeChampagne long? If so, you know I'm headed to Leesburg, VA in two weeks. How's the traffic in that area?

red pill junkie said...

Hey mike, tell that to the t-rex that was hit on the head by a big-ass rock that fell from the sky 65 mill-years ago ;-)

You're right and I must retract myself. ANWR is not open for drilling... yet. But the Bush Administration has been pushing real hard since around 2004 to have it included in the prospecting areas available for the oil companies.

Melting ice, starving polar bears, all this hasn't happened overnight, but it's the end result of something that began 30-40 years ago. It may very well be that global warming is not entirely our fault (the sun has been acting wacko the last couple of years for example), but we sure are aggravating the process by our stubborn reluctance to stop depending on fossil fuels.

Here in Mexico city, pollution got so bad in the 90's that the government implemented new laws, so now only new or relatively new cars (by 2006, only 2000 models or newer) have the right to circulate the streets every week day. The rest have to rest one day of the week, and everybody has take their cars to be inspected, to confirm the emissions are within permissible rates... which is a major pain in the butt. As a result, on weekends or holidays (when all the cars are free to rol the streets), the traffic jams have increased considerably.

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