Greg Williams, For The Calgary Herald
Les McDonald of Cochrane was drawn to the Smart car because of its miserly fuel consumption - little did he know the car would provide the basis for a new career.
McDonald, 37, has begun importing and manufacturing aftermarket parts for the Smart car. But these aren't parts that add a little extra bling. These are parts that add to the ultimate utility of the diminutive automobile.
"I bought my Smart car about two years ago," McDonald says. "I loved it and it was so different from what I used to drive." What he used to drive was a V-8 powered Dodge Dakota pickup. "I drove a lot for work and the gas bills were just staggering," he says. "I wanted to put some of my money back in my pocket."
McDonald operates Tracker Productions. He produces high definition promotional videos and commercials and must carry cameras, tripods and lighting kits in his vehicle. He says the Smart car always accommodated the load, but he sometimes felt pinched by the lack of space.
While searching the Internet for aftermarket Smart car parts, McDonald stumbled across a German product called the Clever End. The device, which is basically a body extension, replaces the stock rear tailgate/back window and fastens to four frame anchor points, two at the top and two at the bottom. The Clever End effectively doubles the carrying capacity of the Smart car.
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