Here is a picture of the Smart Car, compared to a Suburban like we used to have.

Now wouldn’t you know it, just when I have ordered a new Smart Car, other car makers have come out with competing models!

The Smorvette!

The Smaudi A3 AWD!

The Smamborghini!

The Smorsche!

The Smorsche Targa!

And last, but not least,

The Smerrari!

Category: Bailouts, Humor

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

69 Responses to “How to Save Detroit”

  1. karen says:

    i like the smorche the best! (where’s the smaserati?)

  2. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    And I would like to see the VW Smeetle. Would it be any different?

  3. pmorrisonfl says:

    My smaserati does 18.5.
    I lost my license, now I don’t drive

  4. jason says:

    I thought you had a book deadline is someone procrastinating?


    BR: Done!

  5. blackbox says:

    Only one of those is made in Detroit unfortunately…

  6. jason says:

    On a side note, any news spurring the late rally or just a bounce off 860? I still cannot believe how well the market is holding up in light of all the bad news. I know, I know it is forward looking, but all I see in the future is dire straits. And Madoff – I was expecting a bigger hit.

  7. pm,

    isn’t that the best song~


    re: those cars, when the G-15 types are in those things as a matter of course, or fiat, I’ll order one.

    til’ then, I hope you know what kind sick joke that **** is..

  8. And Madoff – I was expecting a bigger hit

    or, differently, it was Grade A ProleFeed, Schadenfreude-estilio. Pastuerized via ‘Dark Pool’ assimilation.

    past that, I really think everything is being done to prevent S. Claus from taking any more arrows..

    BK Retailers are one thing, but there’s a big diff. between 25 and 40 cents on the ‘dollar’ ..

  9. VennData says:

    You want what from Detroit? Look for the Smedsel.

  10. You know Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize will be endorsing the Smordoba.

  11. jason says:

    “past that, I really think everything is being done to prevent S. Claus from taking any more arrows..”

    - this is something I have consider since Thanksgiving but who and how…don’t tell me I know, it is Mr. Big.

  12. Stuart says:

    Awesome!!! absolutely awesome stuff. Love it…. I want a Smaudi.. So when you buy your Smaudis do you buy the red ones last, do you crunch them…

  13. E says:

    Where’s the Smummer and the Smeep for the off-roaders?

  14. Winston Munn says:

    Ford and GM only build Smickup trucks and SMUVs.

  15. wunsacon says:

    @ Douglas: Does it come with Corinthian leather???!! Can I get Corinthian leather with that???!!

  16. Byno says:


    The Big Three truly is full of schmucks

    /here all week
    //try the veal

  17. R. Timm says:

    If we all drove Smaudis we wouldnt’ have to give our $ to the Saudis!

  18. DP says:

    Just saw this on another board, may be old, but too damn funny:

    A Modern Parable

    A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

    On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

    The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

    Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

    Feeling a deeper study was in order, the American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

    They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

    Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

    They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the ‘Rowing Team Quality First Program’ with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

    The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

    Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was out-sourced to India.

    Sadly, The End.

  19. Winston Munn says:

    Ode To a Book Deadline:

    All work and no Smarts makes Jack a dull boy.
    All work and no Smarts makes Jack a dull boy.

  20. Simon says:

    If only I could take a picture of the car I want reduced and print it to my required scale and drive it away.
    Come to think of it I may not want it reduced….

  21. wally says:

    The car, that is.

  22. Unsympathetic says:

    One problem, BR.

    If a soccer mom on a cell phone driving a Yukon blows through a red light, you die. In the Suburban, you get a new paint job.

  23. L-vis says:

    Untuck your shirt ’cause you look like a dork.

  24. jonpublic says:

    I dunno the fascination with the Smart car, it only gets like 40 mpg.

    Give me a Ford Fiesta any day of the week over the Smart. Check out the review on Top Gear. Hilarious. It tests all the real world situations Borne would be in.

  25. leftback says:

    From the Department of Not Facing Reality, UK edition:

    I am waiting for the squeals in Manhattan very soon, about people “talking down the housing market”. We will open the windows early this spring at Schadenfreude Asset Managament, just so we can hear the squawking.

    Naked Shorts has some great stuff today about the post-Madoff bleating by lazy ass fund managers who invested in Madoff Asset Management. Enjoy..

  26. AlexInNC says:

    Lived in Germany for a few years back in the early 2000′s and these were very common. I have never understood why it’s taken so long for them to arrive here (yeah, low gas prices made them unnecessary to many until the last few years, I know). If I recall correctly, their crash ratings weren’t bad at all.

    One problem with this argument:

    “If a soccer mom on a cell phone driving a Yukon blows through a red light, you die. In the Suburban, you get a new paint job.”

    - following it to its logical conclusion means we should all drive Suburbans and carry sidearms, because, see, if someone tries to rob you with a gun and all you have is a Grande Latte in your hand, you’re out of luck. Am I wrong there?

    I am personally (jokingly) in favor of everyone driving Hummer’s. I figure, if we can get the oil to run out fast enough, we’ll have a quicker steepening of the supply curve downwards which will force us to finally (no, seriously, finally) create viable alternative energy/transportation solutions. With the price of oil dropping and people switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles, we seem to only be dragging out the inevitable (read: Chinese and Indians driving more and more and more).

  27. jmborchers says:

    Looks like it’s time to repave the driveway.

  28. mhm says:

    This one tells the whole story about the US car industry:

  29. Whammer says:

    @wunsacon, I think the Smordoba comes with fine Smorinthian leather……….

    Meanwhile, I’d like a Smeemer. Definitely not a Smadillac. No Smemlins or Smavericks or Smegas or Smintos. And absolutely no to a SMAMC Smacer.

    Smega — now there’s a word that sounds dirty but isn’t ;-)

  30. (read: Chinese and Indians driving more and more and more).

    good ol’ HeadlineNews, always an effect, never a cause..

    IOW, those now OOW, and rioting, Chinese are lined up, in their off-hours, 3 deep at the Chevy dealer–plunking down cold, hard renminbi, as, as, as If..


    Reading may be Fundamental, Reading “All the news that’s fit to Print”, not so much..

    as an aside, ever hear of the Honda Civic GX?

    Further, everyone thinks it’s hip to rip Detroit, and, largely, they’re correct–Detroit has F’d-up more than once. But, way too few even understand the Regulatory burden that is placed on Detroit, and All ‘vehicles’ in the former u. S. of A., by the USGov’t.

    here’s two clues: how odometers do you think are on your cars?
    how did your EEM (Electronic Engine Management) app get turned into an ‘eyewitness’ that you paid for, but do not own?

  31. DL says:

    Article entitled “Why Toyota wants GM to be saved”:

    Some people have argued that the Senators from Alabama and Tennessee want GM to fail. This article throws cold water on that idea.

  32. AGG says:

    “If a soccer mom on a cell phone driving a Yukon blows through a red light, you die. In the Suburban, you get a new paint job.”
    Yes, you are right. However, a large and very light foam bumper can be desighned around the car. It would improve the airflow pattern, offer increased sound insulation and might even replace airbags. Foam is amazing at decellerating large objects. Most people think of foam as insulaton but the reason industry uses it to protect things being shipped is that it is light and very protective. In a car you would, of course, have a sheet metal or plastic shell over the foam.

  33. AGG says:

    One thing I can never accept from car manufacturers is the tendency to have smaller wheels on smaller cars UNLESS it’s a big ticket sports car. Larger wheels are THE place where the rubber meets the road and safety increased. Have you ever seen a formula I with go kart tires? Large wheels also have gyroscopic stability which aids in road hugging during tight cornering. Gyroscopic stability is the only true anti-gravity and ant-inertia force that can been engineered. It certainly saved my rear on a motorcycle a couple of times. Large tires and computer controlled airfoils not just for spoilers but for lift should be built into cars of the future.
    So do I think a smart car with 20 inch wheels, a foam shell and computer contolled airfoils (you could even put solar panels on the airfoils) is a winning combination? Yep.

  34. patfla says:

    First saw a SmartCar in London in 2004. Was walking home to my hotel in the West End in the evening. Something caught my eye. “is that one of those (Smart Cars)?” Looked it over and committed as many details to mind as possible. Then the next day at the office asked a colleague if SmartCars were on offer in the UK. Yes they were (yes I know – the SmartCar program goes much further back than that).

    Have now seen a handful on roads and in parking lots here in the Bay Area (since they first went on sale here in the US this year).

    The most recent one I saw was parked in front of someone’s house with a For Sale sign (on the car).

    Heh – someone had already voted with their feet. (had to have been bought within the last yr and was on sale already).

    One thing – surprising to me – about the vast majority of these new small cars. Most don’t get mileage as good (34 mpg) as my Camry Hybrid and the Hybrid is way heavier (and much more comfortable) than the small cars. The city numbers for the small cars (e.g. min Cooper or Toyota Matrix) seem to be in the 20s and highway in the 30s. Given that many of these cars are being used for commutes and local driving, I’d guess that overall they don’t break 30 mpg.

    In addition ( the small cars are generally not as good on GHGs (aka pollution) either. After all, the most popular ones all have traditional ICE (internal combustion) engines, so I guess you shouldn’t expect radical improvements in emissions. Only as commensurate with somewhat better fuel efficiency.

    As regards the Smart Car’s safety – yes, it does 0-60 in such a fashion that Edmunds I believe, suggested that you need to do a “Hail Mary” as you try to merge into highway traffic.

    Another safety point. My Camry Hybrid came with something new to me: Electronic Stability Control. As I read around it was claimed that this was the greatest contribution to safety in the last several decades second only to airbags.

    Then what I learned is that ESC was developed expressly for the Smart Car. Because one of its (many) early problems is that it tipped over. A lot. And by a lot I think it was implied considerably more than even SUVs.

    The Smart Car’s original design called for a hybrid motor, but that was one of the ideas canned when Mercedes bought out the joint venture from Swatch and made it into an actual commercially viable product.

  35. Tom K says:

    Smart car, huh?

    It doesn’t matter if it is fuel efficient so long as it LOOKS fuel efficient.

  36. AGG,

    do you really think the ‘foam’ isn’t currently being utilized for impact absorbtion?

    same, with undercar ‘foils’ for improved air direction/flow?

    and, if you like ‘foam’, you’ll love aerogel..

    and from the down-trodden TQM peeps in Detroit:


  37. Tom K,

    w/ this: “It doesn’t matter if it is fuel efficient so long as it LOOKS fuel efficient.”

    now you know why the Prius outsells all other ‘hybrids’, combined

  38. patfla says:

    > Mark > Tom.

    I went looking for a new car and a hybrid in 2006 (the 2007 Camry Hybrids had already come out).

    I tried a Prius and was somewhat surprised to find that my 6’3″ 220 lb. frame didn’t have problems with the interior of the car.

    One of the reasons though I went with the Camry was that it was much less self-conscious (self righteous). “hey everybody, look at eco cool I am”. I mean: a lot of cars (for a lot of people that is) are about identity right?

    It didn’t hurt of course that I could afford the Camry Hybrid. The mpgs and emissions are great. On a relatively cold Bay Area morning (high 30s) I at the start of my commute (all 15 miles) and still in my neighborhood watching the plumes of smoke streaming from the tailpipes of my neighbor’s cars. Hey wait a minute! Pulled over; got out; and walked around back (with the car still running). A thin trail of vapor that probably wouldn’t be visible at 10 ft.

    OK – now I’m being self righteous.

    Anyway, the Prisuses (they’ve since gotten remodeled and my impression is that they stand out less) seemed to do way too much social preaching on the highway (in 2006).

    As they become more common (now quite common in the Bay Area) my perception is that the self righteous factor is that it’s declining.

  39. patfla says:

    … the Camry was because the _Prius_ was much too …

    Hah! Hoisted by my own petard.

    (petard, in this French usage, is ‘lance’ or something like that).

  40. patfla says:

    No I was right the first time.

    Too quick to pull the trigger.

  41. Chuck Ponzi says:


    Don’t they have small wheels because the engines don’t have the torque to move the unsprung weight?

    I think that’s the reason that cars with small motors do not have large wheels. That problem is somewhat solved with electric cars, since the torque to motor weight is much more favorable, especially with regenerative braking.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of mistakes, it’s a matter of physics. I could be wrong, too. I’m no engineer.

    Chuck Ponzi

  42. Dude… Motorcycle…

    Get something that does 45-50mpg and 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, a Japanese 650 UJM…

    (Personally, I like BMW motorrads, paid for in cash of course… ;)

    But if your better half refuses the bike, I’m thinking the Honda Fit would be a better choice than the Smart, unless those few inches of parking space are really necessary.. The Fit has a better transmission, more pep, far more room, and comparable mileage… And it’s much easier to find someone capable of fixing Hondas than Smarts..

  43. randomletters says:

    I am unfortunately reminded of a true story, circa late 70s. I was taking auto shop (I may have been the only kid taking A.P. classes and auto shop), and as a learning tool, we started with an Oldsmobile Delta 88 – one of the longest and biggest sedans.

    We stripped it to the frame, and cut it down to the length of a Beetle. And rebuilt from there, with a new body cage, body and shortened frame.

    Being kids (and it being just before the first big oil shortage), we took that large V-8, blueprinted it, overbored it, and stuck a 3-carb manifold on it. It probably produced 450 horsepower.

    Couldn’t drive the car. The slightest blip of the throttle, and the front wheels left the pavement. Eventually we de-tuned the engine. Then it was one fun rocket…

    And it looked like a Smorshe. :-)

  44. ottnott says:

    Way to go, Barry. A Smart Car offers tremendous improvement in efficiency versus the Suburban (be careful about who handles your money, though, as the Smart Car is pretty awful if you have to use it for housing.).

    That said, I have to agree with the posters above who say that there are much better choices that offer similar or better mileage than the Smart Car does.

    Or did you select it for ease of parking?

  45. @ Douglas: Does it come with Corinthian leather???!! Can I get Corinthian leather with that???!!

    Sorry, Wunsacon.

    Upon review of your credit record, all you can get is De Plain.

    De Plane !!!

  46. “Or did you select it for ease of parking?”

    that, my friend, is a hilarious Q:.


    The Camry was, then, an extra 5? Now, they’re even closer! ever try the payback calc. on a Prius v. Corolla? at least, with the Camry v. Camry h it’s conscionable.. but, then again, I don’t care to have opposed-interlocking C’s on my loafers, either..
    for further sussing of the delta..
    funny, though, now, we see AutoShop among the first, w/ Art, Music,Choir.., to be ‘cut’–in light of ‘budget constraints’–while there’s, always, still room for 150K ‘superintendents’, and gaggles more admin. ‘support staff’, to make our ‘Public School’ Bureaucrat-to-Teacher ratio ever higher..

    LSS: we should GTFOOD..

  47. molten_tofu says:

    MEH, I like the Civic, but have you seen:

  48. molten_tofu says:

    I’ve been getting a few miles over 30 mpg on my 97 accord highway, and a few under 30 on the streets… Have to say it’s probably clogged injectors, but until I clean them out (never), looks like I’m “good” for the environment!

  49. Pat G. says:

    The Big3 have been selling very small, very fuel efficient cars all over the rest of the world for years now that Americans are completely unaware of. Why not here? Because until gas went to $4.50 a gallon our countrymen have preferred large gas guzzling vehicles. It’s all about supply and demand. Bring ‘em on! I’ve been driving fuel efficient vehicles since the 70′s.

  50. Jojo99 says:

    Those Smart cars are damm ugly! I was riding next to one of them the other day that had 2 people in it. They looked like packed sardines (minus the oil) and none to comfortable. But I like the Smamborghini. :)

    As to “If a soccer mom on a cell phone driving a Yukon blows through a red light, you die. In the Suburban, you get a new paint job.”

    If Formula1 drivers can crash at 200 mph and walk away, they can make these little sardine cans pretty safe if they want.

  51. molten_

    the FCX is Crazy(Cool), but you have to picked, rather than able to pick it..

    sadly, may be the new new trend (not the car, or tech, the method)

    Pat G.

    that’s not the whole strory, there are radically different regulatory regimes in place in various sectors of el Globo, as well, the maddening swings anomgst the various sgades of Monopoly ‘Money’ makes trans-shipment of those goods, a high-risk endeavor..

    see: Merkur XR4Ti / Scorpio, for starters, and, currently Ford Mondeo..

  52. I woke up this a.m. to a GM commercial on the radio promising me that the Chevy Volt is here — next year !!!

    And I said to the radio (scaring the cats), Next Year is, by definition, not Here !!!

    The rest of the day went swimmingly in comparison.


  53. DavidB says:

    How are people going to live out of those things?

    And where is the smolls smoyce?

  54. krbecarson says:

    don’t Smart Cars only offer 31mpg??? Don’t sounds so smart to me.

  55. Katie says:

    In Rome the smart sells really well. The historical center with the very narrow roads and the lack of parking space make it the the perfect car. But soon the city will be filled with Smerraries convertibles.

  56. debreuil says:

    Wow Barry lives in a house and has a driveway. Not sure why I find that weird.

    Car insurance should be based on how much damage and injury your car causes in an accident, not how much it sustains. The roads would be way safer that way I think. At least it would require people to pay for the right to kill and maim strangers (we have a big ‘guzzler’ and small older vehicle, and the small one costs way more to put on the road).

  57. ottovbvs says:

    A relation of mine London has a smart and has had one for years. They were introduced in Britain back in the mid 90′s I think. Great little town car but not really the solution for America outside of major cities. To start with they don’t take account of American body fat. No the US solution needs to look a bit like the solution…gasp….shhock…..horror…… that they have in…….old Europe. Fewer cars per capita because of a well developed and integrated public transport system (we’re never going to do as well as them because of US geography but at least it needs to be better than the present abysmal situation), and the cars them selves need to be smaller and a mixture of highly efficient hybrid gas and diesel models. None of this is rocket science but apparently our exceptionalism (for which read addiction to national myths and the power of lobbies) has prevented us from moving in a sensible direction.

  58. Jeff L says:

    SMART actually made a roadster version for a few years in Europe that wasn’t all that different from the Smorvette. One of their big selling points is that in the small narrow street of Europe, instead of parallel parking, SMART’s can just pull in…they are as long as a normal car is wide. The Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, Toyoto Aygo (I believe they are all related) are another group of small cars available in Europe that are pretty cool. I think they get about 47mpg. And someone up there said something about a Toyota Matrix being small….they aren’t what I would call small, as Toyota has at least 2 models smaller. -jeffl

  59. hswalj says:

    You can’t be serious . . . might buy one if NO one else is on the road. Do you have children? Would you put them in this thing? On the other hand if I got suicidal . . . well, you get the picture!

  60. batmando says:

    @ Dr. Kenneth Noisewater Says:

    “Dude… Motorcycle…
    “Get something that does 45-50mpg and 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, a Japanese 650 UJM…”

    so right! as in, I favor my ’72 Norton Combat Commando for the 20 mile round-trip commute @ 52 mpg (non-disclosure: @ unstated ?? mph) though the GHGs prolly aren’t so eco-friendly

    - batmando -

  61. patfla says:


    > patfla,
    > The Camry was, then, an extra 5?

    That was if you got it kitted out with the full package. Basically, you pay an extra 3 or 4K for the Nav system, ‘moon’ roof’, and power-assisted passenger side door.

    I decided I didn’t need these (although in retrospect it would be nice to have the Nav system).

    So I got the ‘basic’ and the premium I paid (over an ICE XLE) was, I think, something like 3K. Even with the ‘basic’ you get ESC and such nice perks as an easily accessible audio out for my iPod. Bluetooth too of course- and since CA passed a no-talking-directly-on-your-cell-phone-while-driving law, this has proven not just useful but helps me to comply with the law. I think the basic package has pretty much everything (with exceptions above) that the XLE has.

    Imagine my chagrin however when, contrary to what our tax acct had told us (after a too cursory look at things), AMT rendered me unable to claim the tax credit – which would have brought the premium to under 1K.

    Duh. Poor due diligence.

    Still, I’m happy with the purchase. And every time when gas goes to over $4/gl (as will happen again), the speed with which my amortization time shrinks speeds up noticeably.

    Moreover, the car has a 14.5 gal gas tank (actually 17.5 but that’s part of a little secret regarding hybrids). Whatever the case, I got about 500 miles on a tank of gas. The infrequency of gas station visits that that allows is just another green check mark under the Yes column.

  62. so right! as in, I favor my ‘72 Norton Combat Commando for the 20 mile round-trip commute @ 52 mpg (non-disclosure: @ unstated ?? mph) though the GHGs prolly aren’t so eco-friendly

    Nice… I’m a bit of a spoiled brat on my GS (heated handgrips, GPS, ABS, etc) but anything on 2 wheels is fine by me…

    (it’s all fun and games until your final drive bearings fail, it seizes, and catches fire :/)

  63. patfla,

    I hear ya, the TCH, is, to me, the best hybrid avail. at this time..

    though, with this: The Camry was, then, an extra 5? , is was referring to the TCH v. Prius..

    past that, you’re point about ‘fewer stops at the gas station’ is very valid..It’s funny that one never sees that in the ‘popular’ MPG/Cost payback calcs..afterall, we, all, only have 10 080 a week..

    (it’s all fun and games until your final drive bearings fail, it seizes, and catches fire :/)


    ya gotta know to hate when That happens.. : )

  64. philipat says:


    The opposite Photoshop picture would also be fun. That is the stretched Smart?

  65. ButtoMcFarty says:

    The MO State Troopers convinced me to trade off my beloved Kaw ZZR1200 for a new VStrom1ooo. Kinda like going from Secretariat to a small draft horse. Strictly utilitarian motorcycle…..but still beats all hell out of any cage.

    Of course not much riding right now….
    winter sucks like that.

  66. patfla says:

    Sorry Mark – misunderstood. I was comparing the TCH with a Camry XLE. Your comparison is vs. a Prius. Yes it could well have been 5K. I’ll look things up and do the math later. But as the link you provided supports:

    most posters find it very difficult (read: impossible) to directly compare the TCH vs. a Prius.

    Some posters advise: “buy both”. Heh (should look again for the dates on those posts). Wonder how many people are “buying both” in the present state of our economy?

    That smacks of the ’4 cars/vehicles in every garage’ thinking. Which is native to California where I live now, but not to Boston where (and when) I grew up.

  67. patfla,

    yeah, it’s amazing, here it be: you really can’t go wrong and if still undecided just buy both!!

    Last edited by LThompson; 11-29-2006 at 11:48 AM.

    just a short 24 1/2 months ago..

    those ‘hybrid’ boards are amusing, especially early on, a lot of those peep thought ICE/Electric Motor technology was novel, regenerative braking was some sort of breakthrough..sadly, they’ve been around longer than 90% of the purchasers..

    but, worse, for as, self-proclaimed, ‘green world’ as they claim to be, 90% don’t even know the Civic GX exists, or have contemplated why CNG is the fuel that will rebuild the Economy..Plug-ins and Smart Grids are a misdirection/canard..

  68. Urkel says:

    where’s the Smolvo?