April 16, 2009

Tiny car is attention-grabber

Tiny car is attention-grabber
By CHERYL ODDEN
A new vehicle always seems exciting. Mixed with the excitement are numerous unknowns. How fast will it go? How well will it handle? Will it be versatile? Will it be comfortable? What about mileage? In the long run, will I like it?
When Marv Flaten purchased his new car, he didn’t have the answers. In fact, when he placed an order for a foreign-built Smart Car, he had never even been inside of one.
Marv, vice-president of JM Grain, Garrison, noticed the snappy little cars nearly two years ago when he and his wife, were attending a CICILS (international pulse industry) conference in France. Intrigued, he had a hunch there would be a Smart Car in his future.
Several months later, aboard a flight to Phoenix, Marv saw an advertisement for the car and information on how to be put on a waiting list to have one built. That’s all it took – shortly after arrival, he used his computer to place an order for a Smart Car convertible. Later, he amended his order to a hard top with a sunroof.
In late February, after a 14-month wait, Marv’s car arrived and was ready to be claimed. Bev, Marv’s wife, traveled to Minneapolis to pick it up and drive it back to Garrison.
Over the past several weeks, the car has certainly drawn attention. Lots of people seem curious about the two-passenger “electric car.”
The car, however, isn’t powered by electricity; it has a three-cylinder gasoline engine.
 


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