Eric, I sent you a message, I think. However, I can't tell for sure. Please let me know whether you received it or not. I am growing increasingly frustrated with this web site. Is there something I need to change in my browser settings? I am using Firefox version 5.0.1.
I was given your name by someone called "Smart Bob" on the Smart Car of America forum.
I need to find a 2011 Smart Car with electric drive for a short term lease (30 days) for a NHTSA study on Quieter Vehicles.
NHTSA will pay $40 per day for the use of the car and will pick it up and return it to you using a rollback tow truck (or hire a transport if it is too far away) to minimize the mileage put on it while it is in NHTSA's posession. The car will be driven in a straight line at low speed (up to approx. 20 mph) over a special flat asphalt test surface for sound measurements.
The car will not be modified or harmed in any way. The car will be driven less than 150 miles and is needed for one month (approx. June 1-30).
Now, I know that this car was just a prototype and that the production model will be released later this year. However, we are obligated by contract to try to find and test one of these prototypes within the next month or so. I have not been able to find one at any of the dealers within 500 miles of our site (NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center at East Liberty, Ohio). I tried contacting Smart USA using their web E-mail form on the company web site a couple of times, but they won't reply. I tried calling the Customer Service number on the web site, but the nice lady who answered the phone told me I would have to contact a Smart dealer (which I already had done).
Our local Smart dealer (Shawn Crace, sales manager at Smart Center Easton) has been as helpful as he can. Shawn is going to provide us with a gas powered Smart car to test, but he said that his district rep told him that the electric Smart cars are just not available anywhere in the country. However, on the outside chance that there is still one that has not yet been sent back to Germany, I am hoping that you can help me find it.
I can E-mail you a copy of NHTSA's standard lease form. However, all of the lease terms, including the daily rate, are negotiable.
Transportation Research Center, Inc.
On assignment to NHTSA, Vehicle Research and Test Center
Great to see your posts on the positive press for the fortwo. Remember, as more 'Latest Activity' posts come in your 'Status Updates' will be gone for viewing, unlike a blog or discussion post. Food for thought.
Eric: Thanks for getting in touch with me. I would be happy to connect with smart and prospective smart owners anywhere. We have been very fortunate to have a very active smart club in the Southern California area. We have been having multiple events for the last few months. You can check out our websight on: www.meetup.com/socalsmarties.
As you can see, I've been a smart advocate since the very beginning back in 2000, and now have the sweetest smart in the country, as voted by the 215 attendees at the first National smart Car Rally in Kansas City back in 2010.
I like to call it "stock, but not!" No lambo doors or body kits. Its all about custom fabrication, imagination, attention to details and lots of love.
itibitismart.com has thousands of pictures, and many, many videos you might enjoy, too!
PS: MB-USA's campus in Montvale, NJ, is so beautiful! I always enjoyed meeting my wife for lunch in the cafeteria.