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Everything posted by MikeT

  1. Wow, sales had better pick up.....if this special edition is to see the light of day.
  2. I have two more to add: 6802804, Coupé Injection 1968, scrapped for parts, BOUC BEL AIR FRANCE 4670320, Coupé Carburateur 1967, Bleu Clair Métallisé 1158, Simili Noir 3000, Sunroof, 7500 Euros including a new front fender and some other minor parts, AACHEN GERMANY Total: 2139 !
  3. Well now that I've cut my teeth for nearly five years (!) on a smart VIN registry, I thought it'd be time to reach back in time 39-49 years and try the same thing with my greatest love in cars (yes, smart included, I'm sorry to admit that here), the Peugeot 404 Coupé and Cabriolet (404 C). This poses some challenges: the serial numbers of these cars are not visible through the windshield even if they were, there are only about three or four of these cars near me and they rarely appear on the road so "spotting" à la smart is out nearly a half century has passed since these puppies were made On the other hand, the VINs were dead simple back then, being only a sequential 7 digit serial number. Peugeot assigned number ranges to the 404 C, quite different ones depending upon whether the car had fuel injection or a carburetor. Coupés and Cabriolets are not identifiable from the serial number. So the methodology is very different than the smart spotting: I get into contact with a 404 C owner and ask them to send me their VIN. You might think I'd get no response, but so far I have had people share over 50 of these numbers with me. When cars get to this age, I guess the owners are somehow closer....? I wonder if I did that with all club members here I'd be banned for spamming Best not to think of that, Finding the owners is interesting. In pre-Internet days, it was nearly impossible. If you saw one at a car show I guess you could ask to see the engine and then have a peek at the serial number. Now with the Internet, a lot of owners find it easy to share information and that includes the VINs. So......17,223 of these cars were assembled in Italy and then finished in France back in the day (1961-1968). With 55 in my records so far, the raw percentage is pretty poor, .03%. But I would hope that perhaps as many as 15 or 20% of these cars still exist, so my percentages are getting better, maybe 2% have been spotted already! Anyhow, I thought I would share my latest obsession and maybe also put out the word to all that if you know anyone with a 404 C (yeah, right), please let them know about my list! Cars found so far Carbureted: 4495784 4496096 4497320 4498184 4498203 4498223 4498412 4498457 4498736 4498738 4498879 4499232 4499371 4499847 4499883 4499956 4670032 4670938 4671036 Fuel Injected: 4590120 4590175 4590219 4590936 4591027 4593113 4595579 4596027 4598544 4598557 4598609 4598615 4598700 4598867 4599100 4599167 4599493 4599598 4599740 6800274 6800519 6800984 6801278 6801658 6801663 6801894 6801986 6802060 6802283 6802292 6802340 6802594 6803095 6803319 6803410 6803412 Mine is in the latter grouping, somewhere Cheers
  4. It's not that bad! haha Gonna tell you anyway.... We bought this car in Toronto at Midtown in February and the condition was that the car comes with new steel rims and new winter tires. It was delivered on used rims with used winter tires (I later got a $500 refund for the mistake). So I brought the car in 2010 to Three Point Motors in Victoria for its out of province inspection and the black BRABUS wheels had not yet arrived from Toronto. So the dealer saw the peeling rims and put 4 new steel rims on the car, free of charge, without me asking. Problem is, one of the rear rims was a 451 rim. I pointed this out to the service guy and he apologized and had it immediately changed to a new rear 450 rim.
  5. The rears are really different (ask me how I know)...
  6. The only Canada 1 that is white (No. 2) will hit 120,000 km tomorrow!
  7. Good choice, one of the nicer versions!
  8. Wow.
  9. Haha, so true! I think He lives in Nelson BC. BTW, I miss the "Find the Pope in a Pizza Contest"!
  10. mlab seems to be looking for advice on used EDs though.... so your advice is to wait and get a 453 ED in a few years?
  11. I think that buying an electric smart or i-Miev used won't make sense unless they're super cheap and you can walk away comfortably if something bonks a year or two in. These cars (smarts) are not the most reliable on the road so the presumption that there will be no repairs may not hold. The dream that some have about retrofitted high density batteries in smarts and other old generation cars seem to me to be misguided. An old electric car will be as popular as an iPhone 4S is today, in fact I should think that the smart ED and i-Miev are the most vulnerable because of their low range to begin with. So think about what range you will need, and choose a used EV that can achieve that at 50% of its nominal range, and go from there.
  12. No IMS bearing issues?
  13. The weather is the same as NL on Vancouver Island. Here I am in the middle of my 2005 road test in Villiers-sur-Marne. The car handled the corners very well, but so did the 1959 Austin Healey Sprite that I drove one summer in 1980.... So yes there would be no dealer support for service here in Canada, since that engine was unknown here. A car for the 2 or 3 hardcore Canadian smart nuts, who have a STAR system at home and are really wanting a roadster. Years ago there was speculation that 15 year old crossblades would be coming in around this time too. So far: nothing....
  14. Your English is fine, Theo! If you can believe it, Canada is crawling with right hand drive (RHD) Japanese Domestic Market 15+ year old cars. I would fail to see the attraction of driving a RHD car in this country, but many don't. Having just returned myself from Japan, there are plenty of left hand drive cars there too, because left hand drive is considered by some to be a point of prestige in that country. So it's quite easy to find good left hand drive/right hand traffic cars there. Goo-net is just one source and I have seen mint LHD roadsters with under 50K km for sale over there for about 2 million yen or less (~$20K CAD). All you have to do is change the headlights.... But the bottom line is that smarts are not reliable cars in a general sense so importing these will not be a lucrative business. Very, very few would be interested, and those who are will likely know where to buy the one they want in Japan or possibly Europe. Most people won't pay real money for a tiny vehicle that performs like a 1950s sports car, has no local dealer support, and when - yes - excellent alternatives like the Miata and many others exist, which are faster, cheaper and do have dealer support. So only the super hardcore smart fan may be interested. smart is on its way out as a brand from North America; the petrol models have all been discontinued last year and they are now selling a derisory number of electric drive models each month, under 30 an sometimes closer to 20. This is your potential market, minus those who don't want an old car.
  15. .ru for me is a red flag (no pun intended)
  16. I certainly would not buy a roadster at any price....they're fun to drive, but I already have a much more valuable and fun to drive hobby car. If I HAD to have one, it would be a BRABUS though. As for the systematic importation of roadsters to Canada, I would be surprised if more than 3 or 5 people in the entire country might be willing to pay more than $5000 for one, even though they're worth two to four times that in Europe and Japan. If someone brought 5-10 in on speculation, I think that person would lose his shirt!
  17. http://www.goo-net-exchange.com/usedcars/MCC_SMART/SMART_ROADSTER/700957020930171218001/index.html There's a decent roadster from Japan with 40K km, however it is RHD. LHD ones show up from time to time. Shipment to Canada would be under $2000 CAD, perhaps as much as half of that. So this is what you would be competing against, to consider in your business case.
  18. Vehicles that were first registered at least 15 years ago are eligible for import to Canada. On the western coast, it's very inexpensive to get LHD 15 year old cars from Japan, where used car values are very low. Are the cars you sell properly waterproofed? I test drove a new roadster in Villiers-sur-Marne in 2005 and even that brand new car had a problem with the retractable soft top! If I import a non-conforming car eventually, it will be a Peugeot RCZ, in several years' time.
  19. 75 might get closer to 100 because December figures for the ED have not been released yet. But it's still a crazy-bad failure of product and marketing.
  20. 468 smarts were sold in Canada in all of 2017.
  21. December 2017: Canada: 24 USA: 166
  22. It's the Malahat, which is like a zit on the Coast Mountains, but snow tires are mandatory!
  23. The white Canada 1 has been pressed into service since our son returned home from a year in Japan and needs the Mercedes and its snow tires to commute to UVIC. So she'll be getting a good dose of winter road crap, which I regret, but there is no choice.