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a2jack

Any Michigan Smarties out there?

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I've seen posts from two others only (check the forum under "Type 451" this site). I trust there are a few more of us out here in the land of the "Big 2.85" ,so how about a post or two?The cars are coming here to SE Mich next week and a few of us have recieved our reservation invites for the test drive on July 23rd. Any others? Are there only three of us ;o)...A2jack.

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I am a retired elementary school principal who lives in Adrian, Michigan. I was absolutely shocked when both Ann Arbor dealers and Toledo, Ohio, dealers didn't seem eager to jump on the Smart dealership bandwagon. I thought that since they had lots of university students and limited parking it would be an absolute NATURAL. When my twins went to U of M they were told that if they planned on bringing a car to campus they had better bring a parking space with them due to the limited parking that was available. I also thought that that since so many people in the Ann Arbor area seem to be health/environment concious the little car would sell like hotcakes on a cold winter day.My wife keeps saying that some guy she works with here in my town also has a deposit on a Smart Car. I already have secured the "SMART42" vanity plate in Michigan to put on my little car. I hope to get to know some of the other 'Michigan Smarties" so we can be supportive of each other much like the Canadians are for each other. Let's hope that others step foward and identify themselves. I am looking for a Cabrio but I'd probably buy a Brabus version if it was available, since I tend to want to buy the top of the line models with lots of options when I purchase vehicles. I just hope we like it once we drive it. I've been over to Windsor at least three times to sit in their models at their Smart Dealerships, and while they have been very friendly and understanding, I still have not driven one, just lots of reading and researching it. I'm looking forward to the experience but I think it might make the wait seem that much longer, once I actually drive one and the realization starts setting in.

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But I go to the University of Windsor, so I look at Michigan pretty much every day during school!I've got a black/white pure cabrio and I've been over to Mihcigan a bunch of times! My sister graduated from kettering University in Flint, so I was there quite a few times with the smart over the last 2.5 years!When the car is available in the states we should arrange a meet somewhere! :yahoo:

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First two weeks in Aug. we will be staying at a relative's house on the lake off a fire lane from the Blue Star Hwy just south of South Haven. Got our kayaks and ready to go. Much like harleyduo I too nailed down my vanity plate here in South Carolina. SMRT4 2 - now currently on the back of my Subie. I just recently got a letter from the Smart To Be dealership here in Chas. reminding me to get ready for a Jan. "launch." By next Spring I'll be looking forward to driving (carefully) the 318 curves in 11 miles of the Tail of the Dragon (the graveyard of the Smokies) up in NC.

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I too am riding a smart plate around on another car. Michigan "SMARTIE" on a Ford Festiva. Cait. Yeah Looking across the river counts, but your riverside is nicer than ours :o).Cmdr. Awesome place you are heading to, I know it well. Are you planing a kayak trip on the big lake. Or just paddle around and enjoy? We too are kayak folks, but I still haven't figured out how to carry two on a Smart car.Harley. Wife is on the road and gets into your town about twice a month so say hi if see her. Got to go. More later.a2jack.

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No long trips on Lake Michigan. Just paddle around and enjoy the scenery. My biggest blast is when it gets rough. On goes the skirt and plowing through the waves and popping out on the other side. It gets so rough I have to get back to the beach stern first otherwise I'll broach or pitchpole. Most other times I'll head out 3/4 mile, stop, rest and then parallel the beach. And then Sept. 28. The caravan of Smarts hits Charleston, South Carolina.

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Hi, my husband and I live about an hour from Port Huron/Sarnia and my brother lives in Port Huron while my sister lives further north in Alger. I grew up in the Lapeer area, and I went to Univ. of Michigan. We come over often, and as some will have seen, we are going to brave the crowds at the Art Fair in Ann Arbor this weekend. If there are Smart gatherings in Michigan, by all means, do post a note on the London (and perhaps the Ontario) sections of the forum. We might get a chance to visit. We enjoy the gatherings that we have with those in the London and further afield areas. We don't drive long distances in Dr Map as some do in their Smarts, nor have it out in winter, but it is our everyday car the rest of the year. You'll have fun!Alberta

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Hi Alberta.We read and post on the Ontario forum, so double welcome. :yahoo: Are you coming down with the group? If all, or some of you guys could hang over monday the 23rd ,you could swing by (with horns blowing and lights flashing) the Mich reservation holders test drive in Bloomfield Mi. on telegraph rd. 2:00 to 9:00 pm. Sure would be fun and I understand there will be Smart Corp. people on hand. Their office is nearby. It's being held in the Lowes parking lot.A2jack

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The reservation holders event is being held at Lowes because it is right next to the future home of smart. I was told that there is going to be smart employees around to answer questions and help out the road show staff. I'm very excited to possibly meet some of the smartUSA team and test drive the vehicle if I don’t make it out to Ann Arbor for the stop there.

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Hi A2jack,It would be nice to be able to stay over the weekend till Monday, but can't do it. It appears that it will be a great opportunity for those awaiting the arrival of the Smarts to get to try them out. We'll visit Ann Arbor and get some glimpses there along with all the other activities.Thanks for the suggestion!Alberta

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Well, I braved a visit to the Ann Arbor Art Fair today just to be able to test drive a Smart Car. I have to say, the drive made the trip well worth it. It appeared there were four cars and even though each driver got to drive the car around some side streets in the Campus area, the line moved rather quickly. We got ther about a half hour after the rides had started and there were about five or eight people ahead of us, we did not have to wait too long. It was very hot and humid so the air conditioned trailer that they had us waiting in was a very nice touch. It was sprinkling raindrops on and off during my drive so the intermittent wipers were in operation. I am 6'2" tall and weigh 290 lbs. but I felt I had as much room in the driver's seat as I do in my full size GM pickup truck. I was also impressed with how 'SOLID' and substantial the car felt on the road. It took me a little getting used to the fact that it will roll backwards on hills and such if you don't give it enough gas once you take your foot of the break and get ready to accelerate. I will have to learn to drive it more like a stick shift and not so much like an automatic. I overheard another driver stating that there was no way one could just 'creep' ahead slowly on a hill while being stopped at a light or stop sign, so he must have noticed the same kind of thing. I came away more sure than ever that I am ready for this little car and I also began to like the colors much better after seeing the red and blue in person rather than just on the computer screen. Because I have been reading this website for quite a while, I seemed to know more about the acutal car than my guide did. For instance, he was not familiar that Canada currently had diesel versions of the car being sold. He also could not answer questions about whether it would have a tilt steering wheel or whether the air conditioning would work better on the 2008 cars than it had on previous cars in Canada. I was favorably impressed with how many people in line were so enthusiastically eager to buy one, even though they did not seem to have done all the reading and have as much knowledge about the cars as I seemed to have. I think it will be well received here in the states if my observations are any indication. I still plan on taking my test drive with the appointed dealership on Monday, and will also take my wife for her impressions on that day, since she's not been exposed to the information nearly as much as I have been and may still have some questions in her mind at this point as to the transmission, horsepower, etc.

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Excellent report, thanks!

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Great summary of the Ann Arbor stop. I also was there and had a wonderful time. I came after the rain so there wasn’t a line. There was a small walk to get to the smart to start the test drive but only to get out of the crowds that such a big event brings. I'm very curious to see how the dealer event turns out because it is going to be set up completely different than it was at the art fair. If anyone else went please keep us posted with your thoughts.

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.....It took me a little getting used to the fact that it will roll backwards on hills and such if you don't give it enough gas once you take your foot of the break and get ready to accelerate. I will have to learn to drive it more like a stick shift and not so much like an automatic. I overheard another driver stating that there was no way one could just 'creep' ahead slowly on a hill while being stopped at a light or stop sign, so he must have noticed the same kind of thing..

That's interesting....I wonder if that's because of the "automatic hill start assist" feature? Its not suppose to roll back down a hill, but from what you said I guess you have to hit the gas quickly and sufficiently. I assume that your observation was from with it in the automatic mode? I wonder how it would behave in the manual mode?

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The U.S. model has a hill assist feature as well as a creep function when it is in automatic mode. So when you are in automatic mode it actually acts like an automatic with an idle and everything, but if you switch it to manual it will not engage the creep function. All the hill assist function does is it holds the car for a second before engaging the clutch so it gives you time to move your foot from the brake to the gas without it rolling backwards it doesn’t actually accelerate you up the incline, but still a very useful feature.

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the 2005 and 2006 models have the hill assist too! But I dont think they have the creep thing.... in fact i'm sure mine doesnt! probably because they're .. actually i have no idea why! lol

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The U.S. model has a hill assist feature as well as a creep function when it is in automatic mode.

So I expect a whole lot of premature clutch lining replacements with the 451....the creep function is really slipping the clutch, which is a dreadful idea.

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Just got home after two short drives in the Smart Cars, a silver Passion and a blue Cabreio. Both cars were very comfortable. Even with the top open on the Cab, the air cons blew lots of cold air.Brakes, engine response, quickness of handling and overall High Quality of build makes this car a little jewel.The transmission is another story, as there is a learning curve too steep for this driver (and wife as well) to grasp in just two laps around the block. We both have driven lots of sticks and electronic automatics and this thing is very different. This did not turn us off on the cars. We will learn.Talked to the Director Of Retail Operations for Smart Corp, a Mr. Russell Hill, and covered some areas of interest to us all. Ill go into them on the next post as this one is due to time out.A2jack.

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Mr Hill's answers to our questions.Will the cars be offered in order (date) of reservations ? Yes.Will cars have the engine stop/start feature? No, not for 2008. US car allotment ? Mr. Hill claims there will be enough to fill all orders. Also Michigan will get it's fair share as Mr Russell will be calling the shots.HP on US Smarts will be 71 not 84 as we have read elsewhere. No turbo.No spare tire. So far there seems to be no way to add one in at time of sale.There will be only one dealer in Michigan, that one is now being made ready on Telegraph rd in Bloomfield. It is next door to Lowes, where we drove the cars. More may come in Annarbor and /or Grand Rapids the following year.All service will be done in Bloomfield for now, but subsidiaries will be set up in other areas later.The CDI will not be coming to the US for 2008.Another Smart VP told my wife that there are more reservations in Mich than I expected. but I can't give out the number until Smart releases the public number.All I can say here is, get your reservation in. Mr. Hill says there will be cars enough fo everyone on the Michigan reservation list.A2jack.

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there may be enough to fill all orders, but by what year? :? hmmm, either he is expecting a high attrition rate on the reservations, or US production is going to be higher then 16K units?But good report, none-the-less!

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A2jack I don't think you worded the spare tire issue correctly. From the way you have written it, it seems that you cannot buy one at the time of sale. I know that all the dealerships will have ample amounts of extra wheels and tires for anyone who wants to upgrade or just have an extra set. So in reality if you want to buy a 5th wheel and keep it in your trunk then you can have a spare tire. :)

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T CAP.Prior to the drive I wrote out all the questions with the intention of putting them to a corp Exec, if I could find one.I Met Mr. Hill and we both chuckled when I whipped out my list. I first asked his permission to put his answers on our forum and it was granted. I asked about the tire issue, as our interest was to do it all in one transaction (one price). Mr. Hill said they would not have spares at this dealership now, but perhaps later. This will be a Corp owned dealership and the only one in Michigan.I sure hope you are right, as ordering this from Smart will be a PIA. What I would really like is a compact spare, but I would settle for at least an extra wheel. :dunno: What area are you from? We are in the Ann Arbor area.Best regards.A2Jack

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A2Jack,Thanks for the posts. BTW, I spoke with Russ Hill some time ago and my impression was that he was a straight shooter of a guy. Very nice and down to earth. Since you met him in person, was that your impression too?Regina

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As I approached the future dealership in Bloomfield Hills, the first thing that caught my attention was the tower of Smarts stacked up out near Telegraph Road. For those of you who drive by there, regularly, was that display just set up for the Traveling Road Show or is it still there after the Road Show has moved on to the next city? I've read that it's been deemed too expensive to have those at all the dealerships, but on the other hand, since this will be the city of the USA Headquarters, I was wondering whether it might be an exception, sort of as the 'beacon' to the US announcement.If you drive by there, regularly, please let us know. It was a very impressive sight and I was quite surprised to see it, especially with REAL cars on each platform, in addition to the ones being test driven and shown.

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Hi Regina.Yes, Rus Hill was exactly as you perceived him to be on your phone con. I remember reading your post, and Had I thought of it, I would have mentioned it to him.New subject: I guess you saw the Dow plunge yesterday and today,and along with it the US dollar dropped to $1.47 against the Euro. What do you think will happen to the price of our Smart Car come Jan? I wonder what currency the factory based their pricing on?A2jack

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