Hey Dave - better yet ... for convenience - here's my post
(by the way - I took pains to brag about you and our meeting in Lynnfield and how we are going to work together for bigger, better events, etc. - note how That never made the paper lol)
MISQUOTES IN THE BOSTON GLOBE
Hello my fellow Smarties.
Well, I feel compelled to make a comment about an article a reporter did in the Boston Globe. I was one of the first Smart owners in the region and founded the first Smart car club in New England and thus got interviewed for the article.
HOWEVER (!) ... I was VERY misquoted by the reporter!
I would give him a piece of information - and he only used a portion of that to twist the facts. I already have a reply to that in to the Boston Globe - but wanted my fellow Smarties to know the truth.
1) Reporter stated I said the car was unstable in winds
NO! He asked if there were any areas that were windy
I SAID: "Well, on I-495, between Franklin and Bellingham, there is somewhat of a 'windtunnel' because of the way the road is cut through the trees. JUST LIKE MY BIG VAN, ... Any car feels the wind there and one has to be careful"
NOTE: I did NOT say the Smart was "unstable" in wind
2) Reporter stated I said I was worried about buying an Edsel
NO! He asked what it was like being one of the first in the area.
I SAID: (and I was laughing by the way) Well, at first I didn't see Any around ... and other people would ask me if I was worried about buying an Edsel. I explained to the reporter that the REASON there were not many around for several months was LOGICAL! There were not many Smart technicians yet, and the cars required dealer prep before being released to the owners. There was a bit of a backlog on this ... thus it took a while before I saw more Smarties. But that was justifiable.
NOTE: I did NOT say the car was an Edsel.
3) He made a comment about a clown car.
NOTE: I told him my husband is 6'4" tall (100's of you have seen him at many, many road rallies, etc.)
The reporter said it must look like he stepped out of a clown car.
I said NO! he had Lots of headroom in the car.
4) The reporter said "she said there is no spare tire"
He didn't finish the sentence I said!
I SAID: there is no spare tire ... because it is a "run flat" type tire already on the car ... AND I even went into great detail about a recent outing where the tech department in Warwick spoke to a group of us about the compressor unit under the passenger foot area and the aerosol can that is hooked into the compressor to aid in driving on that tire, etc.
I took great pains to enthrall the reporter with how Great the Smart car was
I mean - hello - I am a Smartie.
I explained how surprisingly comfortable it is, "I have driven on long trips with this car and the passenger side leg room is amazing ...VERY comfortable. Many Smarties have driven, for example, Florida to New York ... and felt the same"
I even took him for a ride for 20 minutes in it and he agreed.
As far as the reporter alluding to us being attention hogs
I told him some people like blue cars, some yellow ... some like jaunty sports cars, some boxy cars - It is just preference ... think about the world if we all liked the same people, the same food, ... the same cars - How boring a world if we all drove around in the same metal boxes with wheels.
As far as safety
The reporter stated "Travis plunged ahead anyway. "I figured if I get run over by a tractor trailer, it won't matter anyway," she said. "I liked the car's cuteness. To me, safety wasn't the first issue."
NO! OMG NO
I was totally taken out of context!
I spoke to him about the roll-cage and how safe I felt in the car!
I spoke about the great ratings it got last year
He asked me about the new crash tests.
I said I felt the tests were unfair - as ANY car that was hit by a huge vehicle would not have done well. I said "I figure if I get run over by a tractor trailer, it won't matter anyway ... (LEFT OUT PART) if I were in my Dodge Caravan or my Smart car ... "
The reporter wrote: "The Smart Car could also be a passing fad, she muses, notwithstanding its desirable gas mileage"
OMG - no I did not!
I NEVER SAID ANYTHING LIKE THAT
I scratched my head on that one for a while to figure out Where he could have gotten that from
All I can think of is that he asked me if people bought the cars for the mileage
I said - "perhaps ... but I bought mine because I fell in love with the look of it when I was in Europe"
He then asked "do you think the car's popularity will/would drop if the gas prices came down?"
I SAID: "I don't think so, people always want a car with good gas mileage. "
Then we talked about availability of the car. I even went as far as saying I thought the car would become MORE popular soon - as some dealerships are starting to Lease them - and the public will see more of the car, become even more interested.
So trust me - I have no Clue where he got that comment from.
I never gave him information about 41 mpg ... in fact I told him about one of the Smarties with a license plate of 43mpg and said "myself? I get about 49 on the highway" ... so he got that figure somewhere else.
I never gave him information about $12,000 - wasn't me
A few things Were correct. He did tell the funny story about my parking job in Harvard Square (smile)
He left out something big to me.
He asked about the Smart Car Club New England - as I suppose that is how he found me to interview.
I took GREAT PAINS to explain that although we were the first and largest group
That I have recently re-vamped the website to show that I'm aimed more now at doing cooperative events, promoting all the clubs in the region - because, hey it saves Me time over running so much ... and now all the local events will benefit as the folks in Vermont will know what is happening in RI and Cape folks will know to plan to attend CT activities, etc.
In fact I even boasted about Dave and Lucille and Brad's events ... but he didn't put that part in.
So, my fellow Smarties ... please know - I took time from a very busy day to speak to this reporter simply BECAUSE I was excited someone was going to do a story on our beloved vehicle ... I spent 2 hours Boasting about the virtues of the car.
My take is that he was trying to make a balanced article and decided to use comments out of context to make it appear so. I have expressed my disdain to the newspaper about it.
do me a favor ... feel free to send folks the link to my page here with my quotes ... or cut and paste it ... it was my reply back to the comments area of the newspaper and it gives my REAL quotes.
It is almost like he took EVERYTHING out of context.
MANSFIELD - They're 20-somethings and empty nesters, retirees and greenies. They're admittedly quirky, maybe even a touch show-offy, about what they drive and the reaction they get when they pull into a tight parking space.
In bonding over their vehicles, they take a back seat to no one. They've been known to trick out their rides with bunny ears and look down on Mini Cooper owners as being so last year. Of course, looking down on anyone from inside a car sized more like a Matchbox model than a Mercedes takes a little nerve. And they've got that, too.
They are Smart Car owners - or Smarties, as they call themselves - and they're traffic stoppers wherever they go. Modest in number - about 31,000 of the minicompact-size vehicles have been sold in the United States since their introduction 15 months ago, and no more than 1,500 in New England - they happily field the oddball questions (Does it run on AA batteries? Can you drive it on the road?) that inevitably come their way, along with their cars' ecofriendly attributes and gee-whiz factor.
They even have a name for gawkers who ask for a photo-op: Smart-arazzi.
"We get a kick out of hanging out together," said Patrice Travis of Mansfield, one of the first Smart Car owners in the region and founder of the Smart Car Club New England. "Maybe it's a given that if you drive this car, you have a friendly personality."
Like many other Smarties, Travis ordered her vehicle - a tomato-red model sporting an EINSTN license plate - after seeing the cars all over Europe, where the 8 1/2-foot-long vehicles have been around since 1994. She plunked down her $99 deposit in 2007 while pondering questions about passenger space and safety, questions often on the minds of prospective buyers.
Travis's husband is 6 feet 4 inches tall, making him an unlikely fit for a two-seater that inspires circus-clown jokes. The car is extremely lightweight, too, weighing less than a ton and boasting a rear-mounted engine. Without knowing about its reinforced steel passenger cage, one might assume it would not survive a head-on collision with a motor scooter. It is sturdier than that, but safety is an issue. The car received a "good" rating last year in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - but only when colliding with a car of similar size. In a frontal collision with a Mercedes C-Class, the institute reported recently, the car's rating was downgraded to "poor."
Travis plunged ahead anyway. "I figured if I get run over by a tractor trailer, it won't matter anyway," she said. "I liked the car's cuteness. To me, safety wasn't the first issue." Her husband has become a converted Smartie, while her club, which hosts road rallies and meetups at venues like drive-in movie theaters, is at 150 members and counting. Next month they plan to stage a rally from Warwick, R.I., to Lynnfield competing against a fleet of Mini Coopers. Expect plenty of minicompact trash talkTravis admits the car is hardly perfect. For one thing, it tends to be unstable in high winds at highway speeds. For another, there's no spare tire. The Smart Car could also be a passing fad, she muses, notwithstanding its desirable gas mileage (41 miles per gallon on the highway on average) and sticker price (starting around $12,000).
"When I bought mine, I was thinking it could be an Edsel situation," Travis said with a laugh. "It was at least six months before I saw another one."
The original Smart Car, a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Swatch, the Swiss watch manufacturer, hit the market 15 years ago. Sold widely outside the United States - the 37th country to import the car - its most obvious feature, size, has been its biggest selling point. Two of the cars can fit in a normal parking space.
Gil Otero, brand manager at smart center Lynnfield, one of 76 licensed US dealers, said seeing Smart Cars on the road is the major factor driving potential customers to his showroom. "The biggest obstacle is that it's conceptually different," Otero said. "The vehicle is designed not to accordion on impact. But you have to show them how that works."
Sales have fluctuated with gas prices, Otero added, dropping about 10 per month from a previous high of 30 to 35 vehicles. For dealers, the good news is that it's become easier for buyers to find one in stock.
Once they get their hands on the vehicle, however, most owners don't seem to want to let go.
"I already have my second on order," says David Mayall, a retired homebuilder from the Lowell area who is so taken with the car that he has launched a new business, Smart Advertising Partners, built around wrapping Smart Cars in advertising decals.
Ed Messier of Rhode Island bought his bright yellow Smart Car convertible a year ago, choosing the brightest color possible for maximum visibility on the highway. Like Travis, he first saw the car in Europe and could barely wait until they became available in America. "I talk about it with total strangers all the time," Messier says. "I like to tell them I could only afford the front half."
Sometimes the attention the car gets can be off-putting, said George Tessier, who has put 19,000 miles on his year-old model. A cycling enthusiast with a taste for unorthodox design, Tessier raves about the car's ecofeatures - like the fact that 90 percent of the plastic-paneled Smart Car is recyclable - and the sheer fun of tooling around in one. His daughter hates borrowing the car, however, he said, annoyed by all the does-it-run-on-hamster-power questions that follow her around.
Travis said she's surprised there aren't more Smarties around Boston. Her club has only a handful of city-dwellers, said Travis, who squeezed her Smart Car between two other parked vehicles in Harvard Square one day, angling herself perpendicular to the curb. A parking enforcement officer came along and started to write a ticket, she said, but after pausing to admire the parking job told Travis it was "just too creative" and walked away.
Hey Dave, my computer hasn't been letting me online for a couple of weeks, finally got it to work again. How is everything going? We have another smart car owner in town. Blue. He stopped in to ask who owned the white one out back. He has been having trouble with his shifting and guess going into the shop. I have talked with my salesman from Herb Chambers and going to make an appointment to have the up dates put on and grease and oil even though it only has 5000 on it...why wait and make two trips to Boston.
Talked to one lady and we are going to make a trip of our own here...since there is 5 in town now why not right????
I have a couple of idea's for som group runs.
#1 is at Gillette Stadium Mall. Barbara and I was there today and it was a great place with every type of activities.
and also I'm had a idea of puting a show of our cars in the Rhode Island National Guard Air Show On June 27th and or 28th
I got the email from smartusa and the dealership on the 90 day delivery window. The dealership actually gave me an exact date of delivery - June 29th if not sooner. I am very excited!
Thanks for all of your help!
sorry I didn't say good bye!!!!! Made it home just fine with my GPS. First time using it. It was fun driving the car and using the GPS. Amazing instrument!!!! Yes wise guy......I shopped!!!! Wanted the car cover...only have one car garage. When will the two day rally be? I work on Sunday so not always easy to get it off. Need lots of notice. I was wondering about your shopping.....a GPS installed in your car???????? Can't spend that kind of money.....what about a radio. Do you still have that???? Marianne
Hope this note finds you well. Thanks for the invitation on the 18th. I'll do my best to stop by. Thanks for the offer for the Mercedes badge but I think I'll pass. See you soon.