Home » If Money Can’t Buy Happiness Then Someone Explain This Rowdy Smart Fortwo

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness Then Someone Explain This Rowdy Smart Fortwo

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Turning heads in the automotive enthusiast community can be tough, but this 2006 Smart Fortwo would almost certainly be an easy way to be the belle of your next cars and coffee outing. One of the few examples to be federally legalized in the USA before the brand came to the USA in 2008, this Fortwo boasts a lift kit, knobby tires, and a go-anywhere attitude. It might just be the perfect way to buy a little (and literally small) slice of happiness.

Technically, this Smart Fortwo up for sale on Cars&Bids shouldn’t even be here in the USA. It wasn’t sold here by Smart, and in most cases, it would need to be 25 years old before one could own it and drive it here. In this case, the folks at G&K Automotive made the necessary changes to the car so that it met federal standards.

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It’s lived a life in Missouri and Florida and racked up about 68,900 km (42,900 miles) in the process. Cars and coffee crowds go nuts for stuff that’s rare, so this Smart is already ticking the right boxes. Most who see it won’t be enticed by its rarity though. No, they’ll wonder what the heck it is and why it looks the wild way it does.

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Considering just how spartan some Smart cars can be, this one is very well-optioned. But let’s talk about modifications first. A 3.5-inch suspension lift, 15-inch steel wheels, all-terrain Yokohama Geolander tires, and a skid plate make this build what it is.

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The wide fender flares and steel bumpers only add to the aesthetic. They give this Smart Fortwo the appearance of a prerunner that’s missing its truck bed.

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The custom vinyl wrap helps this build stand out a bit from other lifted Smart cars. Road noise from the aggressive tires may even be the loudest part of the driving experience, as the engine is a diminutive 0.7-liter three-cylinder with what appears to be the stock exhaust.

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Even with the aid of a turbocharger, it’s rated at just 60 horsepower and 70 lb-ft of torque. Still, the recipe for fun is there as it sends that power to the rear wheels only via a six-speed automated manual transmission.

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In addition, this Smart has some notable standard options that the next buyer can enjoy like a glass roof, power windows, and air conditioning. It’s also sporting an aftermarket head unit from Sony and tinted windows. [Ed note: and an all-time great dashboard “face.” Just look at that mug!]

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By no means is this a perfect car though. The seller notes that it’s got minor paint scratches, sagging interior door trim, stains on the headliner, and corrosion on the passenger seat rails.

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Those flaws could be well worth it for the price by the time the bidding ends. As of this writing, it’s only bid up to $7,200. Assuming it trades hands somewhere around that figure it’ll likely be a source of joy for the new owner for years to come. Who wouldn’t smile every time they hopped into this little bucket of fun?

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[Mercedes’ Note: If you’re curious, some of the touches that made this car legal on U.S. roads are still visible. G&K added those goofy side marker lights as well as those custom-looking headlight housings. Inside, you’ll find padding added to the Tridion Cell and a converted speedometer with a G&K inscription and an “ANR” sticker in the gear indicator, which really doesn’t serve any practical purpose. It looks like the padding in this car is a bit droopy and stained, but they’re just stuck on there with double-sided adhesive, so it doesn’t take much to remove them. Also, that engine is cool, but are known for requiring rebuilds past the 100,000-mile mark, so be careful.

This car should get you just about anywhere a 2WD pickup can go off-road, but the larger tires will make it a tad slower to accelerate, and these already take 16 seconds to reach 60 mph.]

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EricTheViking
EricTheViking
1 month ago

In Germany, some snow removal service providers use smart cars to plough the snow through the narrow streets and alleys.

Harmon20
Harmon20
1 month ago

They almost had something, but they stopped too soon. They bolted a spoiler onto the spoiler but they should have pressed on with a spoiler on that spoiler. If they graduated the widths just right they might could have gotten another spoiler on that spoiler that’s on the spoiler that’s bolted to the spoiler, but it’s a fine line to walk. ‘Cheeky’ is one thing, but ‘ridiculous’ is quite another.

Last edited 1 month ago by Harmon20
Drew
Drew
1 month ago

I saw this was a Smart and then the byline didn’t say it was Mercedes Streeter. So I looked again to be sure I knew what the car was. (No shade, Rivers, it’s a good write-up; I just so closely associate these with her that my brain broke for a second.)

Now the real question is whether she’s bidding on it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Drew
Cayde-6
Cayde-6
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

The newer people have been muscling in on the OG writers’ various turfs. Recently there have been taillight articles that are about as Torch-free as a room full of gunpowder, posts about rust without even a trace of Tracy, and now this!

Last edited 1 month ago by Cayde-6
Bill
Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

I prefer to see it as proof that the original crew are training disciples in the ways of The Autopian which is absolutely not a cult based around tail lights, rust and Smart cars.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Admittedly, at least three people sent this car to my email, but I passed up on it because it didn’t do anything for me. Putting lift kits and tires on Smarts has become so common that I don’t go a day without seeing one online. 🙂 These first-generation cars are already really slow, so lifting one up and putting on bigger tires isn’t going to help that. I would have been interested if the engine was tuned to match.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

That’s fair. You’ve seen a lot more interesting Smarts than most people, and the point about the engine is a very good one. This could really use a bit more power to go with the lift.

Admittedly, I do not know enough about Smarts to recognize a good one. I just associate them with one of my favorite automotive writers.

Buzz
Buzz
1 month ago

I thought the Smarts had 3 lug nuts. Do you have to swap the hubs for aftermarket 4-bolt wheels?

Matthew C
Matthew C
1 month ago

Quick question

How do you feel about the electric Smart ? I thought about one for just a local runabout

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew C

Former electric smart owner here! I loved that car, had it for about four years, just sold it in January. I previously owned a 2009 gas model, and the electric one basically ironed out all of the things that sucked about the car. It was a blast to drive, plenty quick for the city, fine for short highway jaunts… but that’s the biggest downside. I only got ~70km range in the winter in a 50/50 street/hwy mix. More like 100km in the summer but that wasn’t enough to get me across Toronto and back so I reluctantly gave it up. If you have charging at your destination and can wait for the Level 2 juice-up, OR you can accept that return trips >25km away are a stretch… the electric ForTwo is brilliant.

Matthew C
Matthew C
1 month ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

Thank you for the reply. I appreciate that from a former owner

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

‘Tis a good writeup!

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Same, I was shook

Frederick Tanujaya
Frederick Tanujaya
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Same here!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Okay how do you stain the headliner? Man bun with brillcream? I don’t have anything against this golf cart but how about fitting older people and getting in and out?

Cayde-6
Cayde-6
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Leaks through the roof, most likely.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

Doh totally missed that.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 month ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

My 2005 Fortwo has stains on its headliner but no leaks to speak of. Same deal with some of the Volkswagens I’ve bought that didn’t even have a sunroof. I have no idea how people manage to stain headliners. lol

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Off roading with a hot dog & mustard. Lewin’s recently discovered toilet brush hack should clean it up.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

While I love the look, I can only imagine how quickly the transmission will die with those oversized tires. I put 14” Peugeot wheels with largish tires on my old Subaru GL for just an afternoon once, so have an idea of how challenged this poor car is.
Needs portal axles!

Theresatimetocomment
Theresatimetocomment
1 month ago

Is this the misguided USA market Jimny?

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago

I have always thought that taking a Smart ForTwo and putting it on a side-by-side chassis/engine might be a really fun little project. You’d end up road legal if you did it right.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 month ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

The ultimate was the Smart for Fun that had a shortened Unimog chassis.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

OMG… I would LOVE an article about that one.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 month ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Takes notes

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

That does look pretty cool, although I think a Miata is higher on my priorities than a Smart.

Hope the next owner has fun with it.

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