1999 Smart Passion a.k.a. 'Carbug'SOLD

From the recent Red Dwarf special

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Registration No: V818MGJ Engine No: Not Known CC: 599 Colour: Green Trim Colour: Blue MOT: Jan 2010

Reference Number 52032

as of 9/25/2009

Overview
Car 1999 Smart Passion a.k.a. 'Carbug'
VIN 01XH087366 
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Known History

Introduced at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Smart City Coupe (later renamed the Smart Fortwo) was hailed as the most innovative small car for a generation. The fruit of a joint venture between the Swiss watch maker Swatch and German automotive giant Mercedes-Benz, the funky two-seater would turn out to be far truer to the ideology behind the original Mini than BMW's wonderfully executed retro pastiche. Based around an immensely strong Tridion Safety Cell clad with interchangeable plastic body panels, the City Coupe offered considerably more interior space than its diminutive overall length (250cms) suggested. Initially powered by a 599cc three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine allied to six-speed semi-automatic transmission, the Smart was not only nippy around town but also capable of sustained motorway cruising. Commendably fuel efficient and agile enough to make many UK buyers put up with the fact that early cars could only be had in left-hand drive, the model is now into its second generation and seemingly becoming more popular by the day.

 

Irrepressibly cute or faintly ridiculous looking depending upon your aesthetic leanings, the Smart City Coupe has clocked up an impressive number of film and television appearances over the last twelve years. Though, few - if any - can have been as memorable as the starring role that this particular example played in the recent RED DWARF `Back to Earth' three-parter screened on DAVE earlier this year. Teleported to Earth and a dimension in which they only exist as fictional characters, the cult Sci-Fi sitcom's four main protagonists: Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat use `Carbug' (a.k.a. `V818 MGJ') to go in search of their creator. Amazingly by removing the seats and getting the cast to balance on crates, the production crew managed to shoehorn four people inside the `Fortwo' and then film them (well one human, one hologram, one mechanoid and a mutated feline anyway). Though, doubtless the intrepid quartet felt comfortable aboard `Carbug' given its uncanny resemblance to their second home, `Starbug'.

 

The man responsible for transforming a humble 1999 Smart Passion into `Carbug' is Dean Brooks. A well regarded prop maker based at Shepperton Studios whose past credits include: `Saving Private Ryan', `Atonement' and `Revenge of the Sith', Brooks festooned the two-seater with `booster rockets', `hover pads / landing legs' and `directional tail fins' not to mention copious amounts of self-adhesive green vinyl wrap. The overall effect is fantastic and would not disgrace a Thunderbirds' set. For a vehicle that is not road legal (at least not with all its paraphernalia attached), `Carbug' has been well travelled. Not content with hogging the limelight on Coronation Street, it has also drawn crowds in London's Berkeley Square and at the Haynes International Motor Museum's `Rare Breeds Day'. Seemingly irresistible to camera phones and the source of many an onlooker's smile, the motorised green blob's appeal transcends the RED DWARF fanbase. Perfect for kids of all ages, this unique piece of British Television memorabilia is offered for sale with V5C Registration Document, current MOT certificate and furry dice.