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© Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

June 29, 2017

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June 29, 2017 Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Is it time to get Smart? By Bob McDonnell The Surveyor Cars were big when I was growing up. We are talking the 1950s and early 1960s. These cars had many square feet of exterior sheet metal and seats like a living-room sofa. Everyone drove these gas-guzzling monsters. I do remember a couple of small cars. They were more of a novelty than mainstream transportation. The two I recall are the Henry J and the Crosley. I never knew anyone who owned either. One has to realize this was a time of cheap gasoline. I recall more than once riding around with my buddies, and we all emptied the change from our pockets to fill up the car’s gas tank. The incentive to make a small car for the everyday person was not there. Things are quite different in 2017. In relation to gas prices, the last fill-up of my car was at $2.08 per gallon. I felt good that it was not higher. Due to high gas prices and a concern for the environment, many drivers are turning to small vehicles. One of these is the Smart car. You have probably seen these colorful little gems zipping

around. Just how small is the Smart Fortwo Smart car? It is 106.1 inches long. By comparison, this is three inches shorter than the cute little Mini Cooper. Its height is 61.2 inches. For another comparison, the Subaru Outback is 190 inches long and 66 inches high. There are many pros and cons associated with these Smart cars. First, they take up less space. This is true for parking on the street and in the home garage. In a pinch, four strong guys could probably move a Smart car into a tight space. As mentioned above, the gas mileage is the big

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draw. Mileage listed on is 31 mpg in the city, 39 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg overall. The engines come in 50 and 61 horsepower with three cylinders. Many models are available as an electric car. An obvious downside is these little cars are made for only two people. This might be great for running errands around town but not for getting the family somewhere. The elephant in the room — or the garage — is safety. A bigger car will usually win in a crash. The car does have eight airbags as standard. The Smart car uses an innovative tridion safety cell, a sort of safety cage. This cell is made from reinforced steel with extra steel in places to strengthen points that are under strain in an accident. One trivial bit about the Smart car is its name. Most think the name is because those who drive it are smart to do so because of the above-mentioned fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. Not true. In 1982 Nicolas Havyak, the CEO of SMH — the maker of Swatch watches — had an idea. He believed the auto industry was ignoring potential customers who wanted a small, yet stylish, city-car. Hayek’s company, Hayek Engineering AG, began designing the new car. His version was called the “Swatchmobile.” Volkswagen helped develop the car, and later it was taken over by Daimler-Benz, the company that makes the Mercedes-Benz. When the car was introduced in the United States in 2008, Havyak was still remembered, in a way. The name Smart comes from Swatch Mercedes ART. Is there a Smart car in your future?

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June 29, 2017 Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Convertibles maintain their popularity

Special to the Surveyor For many people, warm weather road trips are most enjoyable when taking to the road in a convertible. Fans of convertibles find few things can compare to the wind blowing in their hair and the sun shining on their faces on a beautiful day. The concept of a convertible is nothing new. In fact, convertibles can be traced to some of the earliest vehicles, which were built without tops and based on the design of horse and carriages. The first closed vehicle was manufactured in 1910, and the first retractable hardtop vehicle system was unveiled in 1922. Peugeot claims to be the first manufacturer of power-operated retractable hardtops, which appeared in 1934. Many other auto manufacturers soon followed suit. Plus, cloth tops were introduced in addition to the hard top varieties. People are attracted to convertibles for many reasons. Appearance and the feeling of connection to the outdoors are two of the most popular reasons for driving convertibles. However, the same attributes that draw some people to convertibles may deter others. Many assumptions and criticisms about convertible cars are exagger-

ated and could incorrectly paint these vehicles in a negative light. Functionality is one common knock on convertibles. Convertibles certainly are at their best dur-

ing warm weather, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be driven in different seasons. Many modern convertibles feature cabins that are well insulated. With the top up, a person can feel just as comfort-

able as in other vehicles. Safety is another concern with regard to convertibles, but modern technology has done much to make convertibles safer. While there is the rare possibility in a rollover incident that convertibles could land on the open top, maintaining the speed limit and driving defensively can reduce the risk of accident. Many modern convertibles are modeled on coupes or hatchbacks that would ordinarily have a static roof. To compensate for the roof removal, reinforcements to the pillars and the chassis, as well as rollover bars or other safety features in handling and stability to drastically reduce rolling risk, are included. Convertibles can be enjoyed regardless of where drivers live. According to Forbes magazine, although 23 percent of convertibles are owned by those in California or Florida, the top five markets in the United States also include colder cities like New York and Chicago. Convertibles have been featured in movies and helped to shape the history of automobiles. And contrary to popular belief, convertibles are not exclusive to drivers in warm climates.

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Did you know?

According to, which ranked the most expensive recently made road-legal cars in the world, the most expensive car in the world is the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, which will set buyers back roughly $4.8 million. In ranking the cars, ignored classic cars sold at auction and limited the list to one entrant per nameplate to prevent redundancies. The Swedish-made CCXR Trevita was developed with a new exterior manufacturers refer to as the Koenigsegg Proprietary Diamond Weave. That process involves coating carbon fibers with a diamond-dust impregnated resin, making the car one that only extremely wealthy auto enthusiasts can afford to call their own. Only three of the vehicles were ever made, which should help lawmakers rest easy, as the 1,004 horsepower dual-supercharged V8 engine no doubt tempts drivers to push the pedal to the metal. For those who fall just short of the CCXR Trevita price tag, the Lamborghini Veneno checks in as the second most expensive car in the world. The Veneno and its 6.5-liter V12 engine can reach 60 miles per hour in under three seconds, all for the low price of just $4.5 million

Courtesy photo Virginia Huppe’s 1939 Jaguar Roadster won Best of Show in the Lions Club Car show on June 17 in Berthoud.

Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita

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June 29, 2017 Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Safe driving tips for teen drivers

Special to the Surveyor Earning a driver’s license is a milestone in a young person’s life. Teenagers typically take to the open road without adults riding shotgun between the ages of 16 and 18, depending on where kids live. Although this can be an exciting time for them, it’s also a time that can change the family dynamic. Parents may have mixed feelings about their children getting their drivers’ licenses. Although many parents recognize the convenience of having another licensed driver in the house, it’s understandable if moms and dads are weary about inexperienced children behind the wheel. Such fears are not unfounded, as vehicular fatalities remain the leading cause of death for many teenagers. In the United States, teens are three times more likely to crash per mile driven than adults, according to data from Allstate. The Canadian Automobile Association states that drivers in Canada between the ages 16 and 19 years have a fatality rate that is more than four times as high as that of drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 and nine times as high as that of drivers between the ages 45 and 54. To help reduce the propensity for crashes, injury and death, families can work together to focus on safe driving tips.

• Take a safe-driving course. Any licensed driver can benefit from a safe-driving course. Check with the department of motor vehicles to find an approved list of driving courses available. In addition

to providing valuable safety tips, enrollment in these courses may entitle people to discounts on auto insurance. • Stay off of the phone. Texting and making phone calls reduces alertness on the road. That loss of focus, even if only for a few seconds, can result in

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drivers driving the equivalent of an entire football field without having their eyes on the road. Avoid mobile devices while driving. Pull over to make a call if there is an emergency; otherwise, leave the phone out of reach in a backseat. • Use the headlights. Many cars now feature daytime running lights. For those that don’t, engage the headlights when driving. Using headlights increases visibility and helps other drivers see approaching vehicles, even during the daytime. • Leave plenty of time. Rushing around to make it to class or other appointments can lead to speeding and other dangerous driving habits. By leaving extra time, drivers will not feel stressed or rushed. • Limit distractions behind the wheel. Novice drivers may become easily distracted by the radio or even other passengers. Until they gain ample experience, teen drivers should keep passengers and noises to a minimum. • Stick to easy parking for now. New drivers can opt to park in spaces that have plenty of room or allow for pulling out (rather than backing out). This can improve visibility and reduce the risk of hitting other vehicles. Driving is exciting for newly licensed teens. but parents must emphasize the importance of defensive driving to their young drivers.

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Grace Place hosts free Car Care Clinic

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

Grace Place church will be hosting a free Car Care Clinic for single moms and widows on July 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at B-Town Automotive located at 912 N. Second St. in Berthoud. The clinic is an outreach started by Jordan and Diana Austin, members of the church who had been involved with a similar outreach in Lakewood Colo. “We didn’t see anything like it here and thought it was something that could really be a help“ Diana said. Grace Place and the Austins, along with several volunteers have been offering around three clinics a year since 2013. Generally these clinics take place towards the beginning of the year, mid- summer and again in the late fall. The

owners of B-Town got involved the very first clinic by offering their garage as an alternative to a gravel lot next to the church building that was originally slated to host the event. When asked what she felt the main goal of the event was Diana said “We are helping people get on their feet and stay on their feet”. The clinic will offer basic oil changes and general car inspections free of charge. If participants know what filters their vehicle requires Diana recommended purchasing them so they can be changed at the clinic. If vehicles have more complicated issues mechanics will be on hand to give participants an idea of what repairs need to be made. Diana commented she hopes the inspections help women not get price gouged, “I’ve seen a lot of women get ripped off with car repairs and we

want to help with that so there are no surprises.” The group needs both car-care savvy and general helping-hands at the event as the more volunteers available the greater number of women can be helped. If a donation is more your speed Diana said, “We would love oil donations.” Spaces are limited so participants who are single moms or widows are asked to call ahead to let the group know what type of vehicle they can expect to see and to secure a spot. If you are interested in volunteering, donating oil or participating call Grace Place at 970-532-9886. Eventually Diana said they would like to also offer free classes to teach basic car maintenance but for now they are happy to serve the community with the clinics.

Wheels - June 2017  
Wheels - June 2017