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Charge On!, Issue #001: Girl Talk with the Sparrow-makers
January 02, 2007

I talked to John Dages from Myers Motors about the (car-formerly-known-as) Corbin Sparrow, the 70 mph freeway-flying, one-passenger commuter. We talked about changes to the vehicle, financing, new models, and the wonders of buying a new car over the internet.

Okay, we had an email conversation, actually, so in order not to bore you completely to death I might have taken some liberties when re-telling the story. (No liberties were taken with the facts, however. What John told me, I'm telling you.)

As you may have heard, the Sparrow that Austin Powers drives is no longer being made by Corbin...however, Myers Motors in Tallmadge, Ohio, has taken over and is producing them for sale, primarily direct from the factory via the internet or over the phone, and at limited dealerships across the country.

Are All the Rumors Really True?

Me: I've heard that the range at 60mph is 60 miles, and I see on the website that it is 30 miles. Which is true?

John: The previous makers of the vehicle claimed a 60 mile range. The actual range is much closer to 30 miles, especially if you've got a lead foot or need to climb a few hills. We didn't want to disappoint anyone by over-representing, you know?

Me: I do have a lead foot. Good call. So can I get more power? What sort of options do you have for batteries or drive system?

John: Right now, the drive system is set. We are beta testing some different battery options right now that will give it a longer range, so stay tuned.

Me: Where can I send people if they want to test drive them locally? Is there a list of dealerships?

John: There are people across the country driving either our upgraded vehicle or the old Corbin Sparrow vehicle that we can put a potential buyer in touch with.

We have limited our dealers at present to make sure that we can fulfill their product demands as well as for those who buy direct from us. Again, a phone call to Brad at 866.693.7778, extension 3306, will determine whether a factory visit or a dealer or a willing owner would work best.

How did Myers Motors change the Sparrow when they took over?

Electrical System:

  • Isolated the high voltage and low voltage systems to improve electrical reliability and safety;
  • Upgraded to state-of-the-art (Zilla) drive system control computer, improving longer term reliability, providing battery usage feedback and protecting against damaging the batteries by running them too low;
  • Added high voltage fuse protection
  • Improved DC/DC converter system with 12 volt auxiliary battery back-up;
  • Added a low voltage battery indicator light.


  • Smoothed acceleration;
  • Limited the amp draw to preserve battery life while preserving quickness;
  • Chose a more advanced motor for better performance and longer life.


  • Opted for sealed automotive bearings to improve bearing life and eliminate wobble;
  • Upgraded to automotive brakes with integrated parking brake;
  • Stiffened, supported and trued brake bracket to reduce wear and eliminate "barking";
  • Added a standard production automotive rotor that can be easily replaced;
  • Changed brake actuator geometry for improved brake feel and responsiveness;
  • Included solid steel brake lines;
  • Analyzed and optimized front end alignment procedures.

Driver Comfort:

  • Quieted ride by putting in polyurethane iso-mount bushings;
  • Improved seals for the hatch;
  • Improved quality control of door and windshield seals;
  • Upgraded heater hoses to higher temperature hose for better airflow;
  • Repositioned seat belt for improved occupant protection.


Me: Is it possible to get financing for these?

John: Yes! Talk to your credit union first. Most of the people who've gotten these financed did it through their credit union. Key Bank did one, too, as I recall. Who else...Capital One says they'll write a motorcycle loan if you've got pretty good credit, and Tom at has offered to extend credit as well. So there are a few solid sources.

Besides that, two companies (talk to Brad) have offered to write an equipment lease for business use if you've got a business.

Ordering a Car Online: The Gritty Details

Me: I see that I can go on your website and order up a new Sparrow.

John: Nmg.

Me: Nmg. No-More-Gas, right. Sorry.

John: No problem. We get that a lot.

Me: I've never bought a car off the internet before; walk me through the process. So I go to your website at, and click on the box that says "buy now"...

John: Right, and fill in the boxes.

Me: After reading the "give me liberty or give me death" bit up at the top. "Today is the day..." et cetera, et cetera.

John: Hey, that's inspirational, revolutionary prose. Today is the day you join the good guys by just saying no to mean old GM and yes to a groovy little environmentally-friendly NMG instead.

Me: Take back your power through car-shopping, I like it.

John: Not only that, but it comes in all sorts of fashion colors, like teal, aqua, and coral.

Me: Wow, I didn't know boys could actually pronounce those words. Anyway. So fill in the blanks with your name, your address, and whatnot...then down a ways I see you need a Paypal deposit of 1000 bucks to get my car order going. Tell me what happens after I put the deposit into the Myers Motors paypal account?

John: Someone will call you within 48 hours.

Me: So I can't just do it all online? Pay my...what is the total cost... 25,000 dollars, then UPS ships me a car?

John: This is the electronic age, but we like to provide personalized service, anyway. If you want to buy a car, I'd strongly suggest you call Brad Hirsch at 866.693.7778, extension 3306, and chat with him for a while. If you're actually in Tallmadge you can call us locally at 330.630.3768 and set a time to come visit the factory.

Me: Ooh, that would be cool! Will you show me around Tallmadge?

John: Probably not.

Me: Oh. How long does it take to get the car, then?

John: Depends on how backed up production is. Normally, it is a 6 to 8 week wait unless you're not picky about the color.

Me: Please, John, I'm VERY picky. Tell me all the colors again.

John: Aqua, Blue, Coral, Dark Aqua, Green, Lilac, Lime, Magenta, Orange, Purple, Red, Silver, Teal, Yellow, and of course, White. Or anything else you want, really.

Me: There's even a spot on the form to describe the paint job you want.

John: Well, if you've got a company logo or something you'd like us to put on there, we can do that.

Final Question: New Models in 2007?

John: Yes, we hope to have a new model out in 2007! Check the website, or visit us at:

180 South Avenue Tallmadge, OHIO 44278 330.630.3768 866.693.7778

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

- Martin Luther

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