As smart owners you see the stares, you feel the stares, they are there constantly. Some stare out of disbelief, some out of curiosity, some to mock, and some are angry (how dare you drive that on the Highway). It’s a way of life for now. I say now because as gas prices start creeping up and eventually top the $5 mark (Obama wants it at least at $5) then people will be staring for other reasons.
What I hear most is; how cute. Like this is not a serious mode of transportation for them, but a fashion statement. My cadet I sponsor calls it the clown car—you remember the very small car in the circus that comes out at the end and 40 clowns pile out of it. They stare, laugh, but I know deep down they are saying, when no one is around, can I take it for a spin? You can see it in their stare.
The stares I hate the most (and I don't hate them all) are the ones from the double cab, F10million Ford Truck that is 2 stories high. Their stares are not flattering at all. It’s almost suggestive of how quickly they could crush you like a bad speed bump. I am not sure why there are so many of those trucks. They aren't hauling anything; they are usually immaculate indicating they never hauled anything nor will ever in their life span. They usually have one passenger, and the back window either has the number of their favorite Nascar driver or a white cutout of the bad boy or bad girl's club. I get them back, at the pump, when I stop hardly long enough to swipe my card, and they are there most of the day. I stare back. Sometime I say, your front tire is bigger than my car (baiting them), they laugh, then I say, My car gets better gas mileage than your lawn mower, thats a conversation killer. Try it, it works! What I really want to say is My Smart car is smarter than your Middle School Honor student, but I usually want to live to see another day.
Here is another phenomenon; everyone wants to be in front of me, resulting in another phenomenon; my smarti makes others speed. I usually go the speed limit or slightly above. People have a tendency to want to be in front of a smart car, to do that they usually exceed the 5 MPH over the speed limit cushion that COPs usually ignore—they are now at risk. I smile, COPS smile, they get their quota, I get to stare as I drive by. Everyone wants to pass a smart car. Why? Some want to stare (see above) some can’t stand the fact that I can keep up with the big boys. Some see that F10Million behind them and want to make sure they pass me so as not to look bad to Mr. “ my Nascar sticker is bigger than your car.”
Stare away, this is the future. I am waiting for the parking slots that say smarti’s only, or the vertical parking garages that stack Smarties, or my most wonderful dream: a real drive in theater where you drive inside the theater . Dream on! Stare away!

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Comment by Howdy1LC on February 27, 2009 at 5:40pm
I just got Jack, (three days) and boy just as you say. I had my picture taken by lunatics going 85MPH to catch up and take pics with their cells. My teenage son loves te attention but it scares me. I almost did witness two and accident already because of stares. I had people wait for me at work, to seat in the car and to look at it.

I did get one hater look, but is the only one so far and I just smiled. I am so happy with my Jack I could care less. I do have an SUV that we use for the family and Jack doubles it's mileage and my hubby is selling his Ford F350 which only get 7MPG. Tha truck was killing our budget last summer. We now pay less than half the amount we used to for gas and even if it goes up this statement will still be correct. Sweet!
Comment by FakersInc on February 23, 2009 at 12:21am
Wow I have no idea where you live, but here in Texas where 8 cars outta 10 are big trucks, I get treated with nothing but kindness and respect on the road... most I get are smiles and the occasional laugh. I also get questions by all kinds of people, and every once and a while a Mustang will try to race me thinking the smart might be quicker than it actually is.

Jealousy is not commonplace here because the kind of people who own trucks genuinely need them to work, and the simple fact of the matter is that smart cars are not suitable for every person. Hell, mine is damn near useless for hauling anything bigger than a few bags of groceries. I used to have a short bed F-150 and used it quite often but always kept it sparkling clean... that's not an indicator on how much it's being used, in other words. Trust me... those truck drivers dont care about paying much money for gas because the fact of the matter is that they dont have a choice. When it comes down to it, there's a job for every car and a price to pay with both.
Comment by Steven C. on February 22, 2009 at 6:04am
Hey Richard, those "security guards" really had no right to hold you up at the gate. I think it is rude of them to get in the car and go touching and prodding, as if they have a "power trip" on the delay of you getting to work. Your time is just as important as theirs, maybe more.

We get alot of looks also, and ALMOST saw one of those rear-end wrecks too.
Even though we drive ours all over the place, it pretty funny when you see someone on their cell phone look and turn their heads and not move the hand with the phone, and have that 'deer-in-the-headlights' stare.

Also, in parking lots, people will be walking, and stop dead in their tracks just to watch us go by. Some smile, some have no expression or a confused look. But the ones that really seem to get me are the ones that are looking, but are trying not to make it look like they are looking.
Comment by SandraK on February 21, 2009 at 10:51pm
When I get the smiles and thumbs up, I smile back and call back "Half the car and twice the mileage!" My favorite curious interaction was when a sheriff asked if he could look at the car...(see my "Pulled Over" blurb)

I've had my baby for a year now, and I still get smiles and comments. Enjoy!
Comment by Ryan on February 21, 2009 at 9:19pm
i can't wait to get my smart. maybe i kinda like the attention that a nice/different car can get you? Usually would get the "nice car" comments in my slightly lifted, slightly oversized tires '87 Jeep Wrangler (which is soon to be with a 304 V8).... or if i drive my parents '01 Trans-Am with the WS6 performance package (Ram-Air and all that).

Richard: sad to hear about the guy getting rear-ended.... but i think stuff like that is common in this day and age... no matter what the cause. lol
Comment by Wally Gullang on February 21, 2009 at 9:03pm
At the golf course park where the golf carts park for the 19th hole and let me know what happens
Comment by Richard Caldwell on February 21, 2009 at 7:41pm
Well I knew it would happen. A car stopped in an intersection to gaze at this unbeliveable car, and wham! He got rear ended. I feel sorry for him, but in a way its a good chance to get a new car--a smart car (What Else?). Nancy they should have smart car courses. I am all for parking spaces for smart cars only.

People are curious. The other day coming into my work building the security guard stopped me and ask that I stay put for a second. I thought I was in trouble, violated some rule they never told me about. He brought out two other people and they got their coats on--on no, they are going to haul me off. Really, it was only one song I downloaded and I didn't even like it--honost! They asked that I step outside and when I did they asked to see "the car". Seems they have been recording me on the security system and these guys asked when that guy comes in get us. They both sat in it, touched. They are now both on the notorious list. I told them they could probably get an orphan now up in Denver.

Still I often come up to the car after running an errand and sometimes there are people around (yet to be named car) looking. I am thinking of putting a sign in the windshild saying "Objects in veiw are actually smaller than they appear".

You know there is a certian type of person that drives a smart car. So far the people I know, have talked to have corresponded with that own smarties seem to be people that like to do things they think are right and hate being told what to do. People out infront of the paradigm, making the new paradigm. I got a scooter last summer to tide me over, now I am known as the "going green" guy.
Comment by Nancy on February 21, 2009 at 7:25pm
I loved the time when, while visiting a friend in her not-so-busy strip mall, it was the only car parked in it's row, and during my visit, my friend and I watched not one, not two, but THREE other cars cruise by, then come back by and actually circle it in the lot!

It recently snowed while I was at an event, and coming out, I was able to discern more than one set of footprints of others walking past it and then walking around it to see it!

And Richard - I live near a golf course, and am very tempted to see if they will object to me driving it on the green .
Comment by Richard Caldwell on February 21, 2009 at 2:04pm
These are really remarkable cars. Very deceptive; they hold a lot, they run fast, fun to drive. Got a lot of stares at the Colorado Springs World arena when I dropped my son off for Hockey. You can fit a Hockey bag and stick in the car with 2 people very nicely thank you. Hockey bags are huge. You have to fit in all the pads, the helmut, skates, hockey gear I won't discuss here, and two porters from India that help you carry the bag. It all fits. The sticks fit in between the seats. My son thinks we can fit two golf bags in the back. I think we could and will try that soon as soon as the glaciers melt off of the golf course. If they do fit I don't plan on stopping at the proshop to sign up I already have my golf cart.
Comment by Richard Caldwell on February 21, 2009 at 11:13am
Not everyone has a bad stare, I enjoy them. And I hold nothing against big Ford Truck drivers, I used to drive one, I hauled things. Only problem is when you own one everyone thinks you are avaialble every weekend for the rest of your life to move their things around. The kid stares are the best. I can hear them say; Mom can we get one too?

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