Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tiny "Smart Car" Spotted In Oakland Rockridge BART Parking Lot

I was walking from my car to Olivetto's in Market Hall last night to meet a friend for dinner when I spotted a really small car in the Oakland Rockridge BART Parking Lot, where I parked. I mean this car was tiny and at the rear had one word on it: "Smart." So, I removed my handy Flip Video Camera from my suit pocket and made this video blog about it.

As I filmed and talked I was totally both taken and scared by the sheer size of the vehicle (tiny), so I did some research. According to various online sources and this rather disjointed Wikipedia page, the Smart Car was the creation of the same person who came up with the Swatch Watch. That device -- a simple, monotoned plastic-looking timepiece -- was a hit with Valley Girls in the 80s. And that discovery explains why the car looks like, well, a

The car in the video is called a Smart Fortwo, or "for two" as in two people. It's created by Mercedez Benz to this day, even though the Wikipedia seems to imply otherwise. The Smart Fortwo was brought to America over a year ago.

Still, I would not be caught driving one -- it's too small. I can't see surviving an accident in this thing at all. How small does a car need to be? And how much gas does it use? According to this site, it's 33 in the city and 41 on the highway. That's terrible considering its size and what a Prius can do. But the good news is unlike that hybrid car, the price is about $12,000. Still, I think it should be about $7,000 -- I'd pay for that just to drive it on the golf course!