this past summer of 2008, the nation’s gas prices
were at an all-time high of over $4.00 per gallon, so
in the spirit of good fuel economy and cost efficiency,
we sought out something a bit off the beaten path for
our next project car. About a week into our search (almost
like clockwork) we received a call from Amber Davis
at Smart Center Dallas telling us that the 2008 Smart
Passion Fortwo Cabriolet we had ordered over a year
earlier had arrived. We had placed a $99.00 web reservation
in early 2007 and had no idea when we would receive
the car, and as time passed, we had totally forgotten
about it. Upon receipt on the news, we immediately rushed
down to Smart Center Dallas to pick up our newfound
project car. Finished in Crystal White with a black
leather interior, black soft top, silver tridion cell,
and optional fog lamps, CD player, and dash gauges,
the car itself in stock form was quite an attention
getter, so we knew we would have a winner on our hands
when the project was completed just 3 short weeks later.
First up to be addressed as usual was the chassis.
The suspension was firmed up with the addition of a
set of Eibach sport springs imported directly from Germany.
These springs lowered the car approx 1” and set
the stance for the rolling stock upgrade. Our long time
friends at HRE were called in to make us a special one-off
set of 3-lug HRE forged 3-piece 543 wheels, with a traditional
step-lip design and a brushed finish with chrome lip.
The wheels, measuring 17x8 front and 17x9 rear, were
mated to Pirelli P Zero Nero rubber, 195/40/17 front
and 215/40/17 rear. While small in comparison to some
of our previous work, this wheel/tire combination filled
up the tiny fender wells of the Smart to the tee, and
with the Eibach springs in place, the chassis was complete.
the rolling stock and suspension were installed, some
additional aero enhancements were in order. After careful
consideration among what was available at the time,
we decided on an S-mann aero package imported from Europe.
This package consisted of a front add-on spoiler, a
pair of side skirts, and a rear diffuser with center-exit
exhaust with dual exit stainless tips. Upon receipt
of the package, we took the car and parts down to our
friends at New Concepts Autoworks in Plano, TX, where
Tom Liu and company got to work paint-matching and installing
the aero package. After 3 short days, the car was ready
to be picked up, and much to our delight, the aero parts
fit perfectly and the paint was a perfect match. A set
of S-mann floor mats put the finishing touch on the
car and rounded out the mods nicely. All that was left
was to bring the crew from Detail Werkz over to apply
the finishing touches with a fresh detail before the
car hit the streets for the first time.
Not long after the finished project hit the streets,
a local North Texas resident made us an offer to purchase
the car. In the interest of always keeping things fresh
in our lineup, we decided to go ahead and sell the car
to the interested party. As a result, we have our next
project vehicle already underway, debuting January 2009,
so stay tuned!