Monday, January 30, 2006
E.J. Wessel offers unique choices for getting around town
By MIKE TRELEVEN, Register Business EditorSunday, January 29, 2006 1:06 AM PST
E.J. Wessel believes if you understand the concept of "big kid toys," you're the kind of customer he's looking for. And he believes many Napans get it.
Wessel's Big Kid Toys.com Inc. is about highly fuel-efficient gas and electric cycles, utility vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles and an occasional classic car. It's all about toys you can drive.
"And everything is street legal," Wessel added.
Wessel's business, which opened in August 2005, is on the east side of Soscol Avenue -- in the heart of Napa's Auto Row.
With skyrocketing gas prices, motorists are stopping by and kicking the tires of the three-wheeled Bajaj utility trucks and other exotic vehicles that are parked on Wessel's lot.
He said the India-built Bajaj truck has potential in the Napa Valley's vineyards, especially at crush time. A grape bin fits perfectly in the back of the fuel-efficient vehicle that has a 1,000-pound weight capacity.
The three-wheeled, Bajaj utility truck is $6,495 and comes in three models.
Wessel is also working to offer alternative car builder ZAP's Smart Car, which has taken Europe by storm.
The vehicle maker is looking to introduce an American version that meets U.S. standards -- hopefully sometime in early 2006. And Wessel wants to be one of the first dealerships to sell Smart Cars.
The two passenger Smart Cars are considered to be among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.
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