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MikeT

Introduction to Club smart Car

55 posts in this topic

I am Mike, mainly a French car enthusiast from WAY back. Luckily the smart is made in France :D

In 2002 I learned that smart -might- be coming to Canada, so I test drove a European 2002 gasoline cabriolet in Victoria (July 2002) and a few days later a bay grey metallic EU gas coupe in Nanaimo. Impressed, we put $500 down on the off chance that the car might be actually arriving in Canada in 6 months to a year.

Then we waited and waited...updates trickled in...there are problems with the fuel system....more waiting....

At the begining of January 2004 we pulled the plug and seriously considered a Toyota Corolla. Then (saved by the bell) the formal announcement that the cdi was coming was made in February 2004! So we waited until April 17th, when we test drove a cdi cabrio. Impressed, we re-deposited our $500 and got in line again.

I thought we might be getting our car as soon as October, but that was not to be. Official prices were released in August and we made our choices. We finally got the car in January 2005, more than 900 days since the initial deposit was made. The wait is worth it!

Congratulations and kudos to Mercedes-Benz Canada for deciding to import this car!

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And, IIRC, the delays from Oct. 2004 - Jan. 2005 were getting you in the dumpers, but the perserverance paid off. Another happy ending!

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So Mike are you the one that was keeping track of VIN's on the "Other" forum, if so are you going to start a thread for that here?

Bud

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If anyone has a VIN (all I need is the last 6 numbers, and preferably the colours + options if you have the time), send it to me and I'll enter it in the registry I have. I'll think about a VIN thread this evening.

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Hello Mike.I figure if you reply to this, it could be your 10 000th post (or maybe only 9 999).A few changes in 2 1/2 years.MG

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Remember, I threatened to stop posting at 10,241 (as if that is a "threat", LOL), which equals the number of 450 cars in Canada!Once the 451s start arriving, all bets are off, though ;)

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I have just noticed that I've now owned my smart for some weeks longer than I waited for it.I waited 908 days, after making a $500 deposit, for the delivery of my car.As of today I have owned it for 982 days.....the 908 day threshold was passed in June this year.And yes, the wait was worth it, in the hindsight of nearly three years!

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Well in a few hours it will be the third anniversary of buying the bubble car, as a late colleague used to call it. "How's the bubble car" he would say, without malice...It's been great overall and I'd do it again. Had I been "sensible" and bought a Corolla or Matrix, it'd probably have lunched its 5 speed transaxle bearings already, and I'd be comatose from the driving experience.87,600 km and counting....3.89 L/100 km, no oil consumption. One set of pads 2 weeks ago, due to corrosion. Some free stuff under warranty.About buying a smart: sometimes "common sense" needs to be cast off, in order to better enjoy the human experience. Driving the car in the sun with the top down is unbeatable. The fuel economy is remarkable, considering I only really tried hard to get good FE in the 2005 Fuel Derby. Plus we've met a whole group of great people in the smart club, which reinforces the idea that sometimes the "sensible" choice of car, isn't.

Edited by Mike T

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Hello Mike. I figure if you reply to this, it could be your 10 000th post (or maybe only 9 999). A few changes in 2 1/2 years. MG

That's funny, my system shows Mike's total posts at 12,105 for all his posts in this thread????

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Happy anniversary!!! :spots: It's been a pleasure getting to know you the past 3 years!

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That's funny, my system shows Mike's total posts at 12,105 for all his posts in this thread????

the 9999 post was dated June 19/07 .. Mike has got some busy fingers. :D

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Crap, I got another chip in the windshield today - a huge rock bounced off the lower passenger side and left a half moon chip. Eventually I will have to get this puppy changed but not until it cracks! I'm too cheap ;)There were rocks all over the road today. Glad I wasn't in the B200; it might have hit the hood.

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It's bloody maddening that when it snows they're now using large damaging rocks with the salt instead of sand on our Island highways!

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In about two days the car should be at 100,000 km.Today it was time to wash, vacuum and polish it. I shampooed the seats last weekend and it turned out perfectly! The chocolate coloured water coming out of them was evidence enough that they needed it. But the blue uphostery is very forgiving, much moreso than the virtually white ("alpaca grey") cloth in the B 200! When the blue is dirty it doesn't really look bad. I also cleaned the soft top off with the brush and cleaner and then masked the rest of the car up in preparation for the "impregnating spray" treatment.....only to discover that I had run out of this stuff, my can was virtually empty! D'oh! Got to get it done before fall sets in.I've driven this car 58,000 km on the wide strikeline wheels with 175s on the front and 195s on the rear. The front tires have about 70% of their tread left; the rears maybe 40%. So in late 2009 or early 2010 I'll probably be looking for a set of new summer tires, assuming I (finally) get winter tires this year, as I have been promising myself. And now the dealers will be selling 195/50-15 tires (for 451 accessory wheels). That should make getting them pretty simple. The prospect of going back to skinnies for winter is unpleasant but they would be better in the frost and cool weather....at least I have some decent alloys to put them on. The wide tires and wheels add so much to my enjoyment of the car. It handles better, looks better and feels better-planted.The latest upgrade to my car is ridiculously insignificant: just a navy blue spare tire bag, which is probably being made about now. I was tired of the green garbage bag - tacky!It's been better owning this car than I thought it might be back in 2002 when we put a deposit on one. Back then I thought it'd be a cool novelty item, but I was uncertain about the reliability of the gasoline engine (with good reason, the 599 cc engine was weak). This diesel seems to be pretty robust so far.In value for money among the upgrades I've made to the car, the OEM cruise control is the best. It came out at under $400 (I got my own stalk and Eddy had a special on a year ago), and it is literally used every day. It is simply brilliant. The second best value-for-money thing was the strikeline wheels and tires, at $1600. The best improvement to looks was returning the front and rear fenders to European spec. That was pretty cheap too, at the time - total cost of 280 Euros for all 4, in original green plastic. The worst value was adding OEM EU front fog lights - they have a poor beam pattern and the reflectors melt slightly and lose silvering when used regularly (I had been using them as DRL).The only other thing I would like to be able to do with this car is get a decently cheap BRABUS front spoiler, painted dark grey to match the original one's colour. Aside from that, I am totally satisfied.So with 100,000 km gone in 44 months of ownership, we might see 200,000 in 2012 or so, long after Duck (he must be there by now)! I expect to still own this car in 2020.Edit: typical spelling blunder, unnoticed during proof!

Edited by Mike T

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Hi Mike,Thanks for the informative post. I really liked the part about what you have added and the value of each. I was surprised by the cruise control being the msot valuable addition. It was also interesting to read about tires and tire size as this is one things I am trying to decide about.Geraldine

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Mike TSimple thank you for your passion for the smart, your patience and countless nurturing posts to newbies, and your fascination with things mechanical.One of the pillars of this club to be sure.Raises glass of single malt, please do the same when you roll the 100K, well.... when you get home that is. Cheers :victory:

Edited by B Tisshaw

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Thanks folks, there's about 100 km to go for the big 100K, may happen Tuesday! My son Sean drove it on his L license for about 300 km today, top down in the sun, what a great drive.

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101K km and counting. I am celebrating by buying a set of Hankook snowies for the skinny alloys. This should make the strikelines last longer in the salt they spray around here in the winter! You would think it was Montreal, given how salty it gets at times.....they spray it at 4 degrees C!

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Cheers Mike and here's to another couple hundred thousand km's :) And like the others have said thanks for sticking around here thorugh thick and thin and keeping us informed!-Iain

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I came across the photo of the first smart cabrio we ever sat in, from the summer of 2002. I drove this car in Victoria in July 2002 and that's when we decided that we just HAD to get a smart cabrio.In the (lousy) photo: me behind the wheel and Jenn T (then age 13) in the passenger seat. The photo was taken at Richmond Auto Mall, M-B showroom (which was undergoing renovations at that time).

post-5-1223878398_thumb.jpg

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