Tiny car makes big splash

Humboldt Coorespondent

Register/Vada Aikins
Marilyn Davis of Humboldt shows off her Smart Fortwo car, which can get as much as 41 miles with one gallon of gasoline.

HUMBOLDT — Marilyn Davis admits heads turn as she drives her Smart Fortwo car around the area.
“I get lots of questions, such as, is it electric or what kind of mileage do you get,” Davis said.
The car averages 33 miles in the city and 41 miles on the highway.
Davis first read about and saw the Smart cars when visiting her former school mate in Amsterdam a few years ago.
“I read about the car when I picked up a magazine in a doctor’s office and they said the cars should be in the United States sometime in 2000, but it was 2008 before they arrived,” she said.
Davis said she liked the Smart because it is little and unique.
“At one time I owned a Pinto; I just like little cars,” she said.
The Smart car is made in France by Mercedes-Benz. It comes equipped with a 70 hp, 3-cylinder, 1 liter gasoline engine and has a very unique 5-speed automated manual transmission that can be driven in automatic or manual mode.
“If you shift to one side it is automatic or the other side is 5-speed,” Davis said. “To shift gears in manual, the controls are on the steering wheel.”
The car, at only 8.8 feet long and 5.1 feet wide, is amazingly roomy. Davis’s husband Ivor, who is 6 foot 3 inches tall, has plenty of room to ride along.
The engine is in the back and all fluids are in front. The battery is under the driver’s seat. The car is equipped with front and side air bags and is made from reinforced steel, similar to a racecar roll cage.
Davis ordered the car last November on the internet and was told it would be nine months before it would be delivered.
“They called and said they had this one in the back log in Baltimore Port because people are not taking delivery because of the economy. It is the color I wanted but has a few extras that I had not ordered.”
Nonetheless, Davis bought the car.