Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Smart Car memory

A stubby but endearing Smart Car
I have a problem with the Smart Car. The first time I saw one, I stood on a busy street corner entranced. Blue with a white stripe, the car looked like a stubby athletic shoe on wheels. Within moments more of the brightly colored athletic shoes zipped in and out of the heavy traffic in front of me. My problem is that I cannot remember where that memorable encounter occurred.

My best guess is Rome during a three-city trip to Italy in 2006. Husband Walter thinks Florence. But we could both be wrong. Unfortunately we couldn’t locate any photos from those trips that jogged our memory.

We saw the little red number pictured above two days ago in a parking lot near a favorite coffee shop in our hometown. Several days earlier another red one was parked at the front entry of the retirement community where my mother resides in Hattiesburg. I asked the owner if he was happy with it.

“Oh yes, it is the second one I’ve bought,” he said. “My wife started driving the first one and took it. I had to buy me another one.”

I can remember when sightings of a Volkswagen beetle were unusual in my hometown, probably around 1959 or 1960. One of my many cousins was a high-school cheerleader and five years my senior. I was so impressed when she added ownership of a VW beetle to her list of characteristics that I admired. I find myself extending that same admiration to the unknown (to me) owners of the occasional Smart Cars that I spot, probably because my own comfort zone is a van high above the street and useful for camping. The novelty factor of Smart Cars may fade for me, but right now they make me smile.

Update: Husband Walter just found the car photo below that he took in Florence. It is not a Smart Car; it is even smaller. The best I can tell from the photo is that it is a Pasquall. My brief Google attempt was not enlightening.
Not a toy!
I can't tell which is bigger, the mini-car or the popular motorcycles and scooters. I like Walter's  photo below. 
Motorcycles in Florence, Italy


  1. These cars are just a wee bit small for my taste! No quite enough space between me and the outside world...LOL I drive a PT Cruiser which isn't very big, but has lots of room inside of it.

  2. Me too! Tiny doesn't make me feel safe.