mkt

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Posts posted by mkt


  1. As some of you may know,

    I've been looking at importing a Smart ForTwo to Florida, since A- I live there, B- I live in the Orlando tourist corridor, with some of the highest fuel prices in Florida, and C- the DMV here on more than on occasion has let a Smart slip by and get registered.

    So I have been doing my homework now...

    Insurance isn't a problem. I have quotes from Progressive and State Farm, and am in the process of searching through other Insurance companies that specialize in Exotic and Classic cars.

    Parts and Service won't be a problem either. I've spoken with two local independent Mercedes specialists as well as the shop foreman and they keep a minimal supply of Smart parts in stock for both visiting Canadian tourists and grey market Euro Smarts, and they're willing to do regular maintenance.

    Now for the pain in the ass part.... G & K automotive conversion, the people whom Zap contracted to federalize the Smart....

    I was hoping to get a Canadian spec CDI and have them federalize it. I was under the impression that since Florida requires no vehicle inspections, the car would only require the DOT work done to be legal and not the EPA work... which is not the case. So G&K refuses to even look at a CDI. To further complicate matters, they will only work on 2005+ model year Gas powered Smarts...

    which means I am going to get even more headaches than I originally intended.

    Does anyone know if the Gas powered Smarts are available in European Territories and possessions in the Caribbean/North Atlantic?

    Sorry for the rant... just a bit peeved.


  2. the xA and xB are both based on the echo (same drivetrain and chassis), and the two of them have almost identical option packages.

    The tC has every imaginable influence... BMW Headlights, Volve Grille/Nose, Hyundai Tiburon/Pontiac G6 Taillights, etc. I personally feel its a superior car to the Acura RSX... it's better equipped at a lower price, and has more interior room IMO.


  3. I've rented the entire Scion lineup at one time or another, and while the xB is really versatile and looks unique, my favorite one from a drivers perspective is the xA. The only reason I got my Nissan Sentra over an xA was money.... the Orlando dealers can't keep them in stock, so when one becomes available, a $3-4k markup is the norm. I was hoping to buy a used one from a Car Rental agency, but even those are scooped up fast. Those are the ones that usually end up getting imported to Canada from what my friends at the auto auction tell me. The tC's are cool, and apparently will end up replacing the Celica, or becoming the next-gen Celica across the world.


  4. hmm.... I should fly out there and meet up with you guys. I've been planning a trip to Disneyland for December to do the Haunted Mansion Holiday and maybe dine at Club 33. I gotta phone my Club 33 contact and see if I can get a reservation for the 24th... if that works, then I might go and see the smarties in Disneyland.


  5. A regular XB retails for US$14,395. However, like Smarts in Canada, all Scions, including the xA and the tC, are usually sold by the time they're at the dealership. You have to order them in advance most of the time.

    For reference, here's a pics of the xA and tC

    xA:

    Posted ImagePosted Image

    tC:

    Posted ImagePosted Image


  6. Transport Canada says it's importable. I'm sure you could find one here for rather cheap... and parts/maintenance shouldn't be an issue. It shares it's chassis and drivetrain with the Echo.

    I actually pondered getting the Hot Lava limited edition, but the dealers were putting USD$8k markups on them.... not worth it. They do rent them in Orlando though... I rented one earlier this year as a moving van. All of the practicality of a small u-haul van, at a fifth of the cost.

    Posted Image


  7. Here's the Smart in the Magic Kingdom Parking lot here in Orlando. It had Quebec plates, but you could tell the car had been in the US for quite some time doing the tourist thing due to the multiple parking permits from all over the US on the Smarts dash.

    post-361-1128837873.jpg

    post-1-1128837873_thumb.jpg


  8. That's the same in Florida... a lot of airport Limo companies are using them to transport people from the Orlando Airport to Disney and the other attractions.

    The other oddity down here are the Scion xB's... it seems that every pizza and flower shop is using them as a delivery van.


  9. My other options are possibly a grey market second hand model from a caribbean island or a grey market new or used canadian import. I've already found 2 garages in Orlando that already service smarts and are willing to assist me with parts/maintenance. MB of Orlando and Eurotech. MB South Orlando is outright refusing to touch one... even if it's a Canadian on vacation and the car were to break down.


  10. here's one from Miami I saw in August of 2004. I know of a few in the town of Celebration (South of Orlando), and a pharmacist in the town of Winter Park (North of Orlando) that uses one to make deliveries.

    One odd thing... if anyone has been to San Francisco, were my eyes playing trick on me, but when I was there last year, I swear I saw a Fleet of Mercedes A-Classes driving around under the City Car Share program.

    post-361-1128534314.jpg


  11. lol... KM/H isn't much of an issue to me. Although I was born in the US, I grew up in the Caribbean and in Spain, so I learned how to drive an MPH only car (they do exist) in a kilometer zone and Kilometer only cars in Mile zones. A friend of mine in the UK imported his car from Japan, and all he did to comply with the MPH requirements was put appropriate Mile stickers on the speedo.

    I actually might be in Montreal in November to visit some friends and I am going to try to either rent a Smart or go to a dealer and ask for a test drive.

    random comment:

    Cait, you're from Windsor? I lived very briefly just across the river in GP Woods (Detroit suburbs). We always had fun going to Windsor for the day.


  12. I could more than likely purchase one in Canada (I have relatives in Winnipeg, MB and London, ON) register it under their names, and drive it in Florida until the registration expires, at which point I'll simply go to the DMV with the title and register it in Florida... which given some of the cars I've seen on the road here, should be pretty simple (something about a Right Hand Drive Audi Diesel with Florida plates driven by a Brazilian immigrant gives me a good feeling about this).

    I mean, I see Smarts regularly when I drive down to Miami, and I've seen more and more of them lately in Orlando, where I live. I don't see much of a reason that I wouldn't be able to buy one in Canada and register it in Florida.


  13. ok...

    I know they aren't US compliant, but living in this state, I know I've seen MANY Smarts on the road here. I know to expect the usual Canadian and Mexican tourists with Smarts, however I've seen quite a few with Florida tags on the back (and the oddball one with German plates in North Orlando)

    What gives? I want a Smart. Where are people getting them?


  14. Hello all,

    My name's Rob, and I'm a crazy american. I've been looking at Smarts for a while since they began to be sold in Canada, and living in Florida it's rather easy to register a non-US Compliant vehicle.

    I've seen various Smarts on the roads here, with various Canadian and Florida plates on the back... and I look forward to joining your ranks soon.

    :beerchug: