Kildeer resident brings new kind of hybrid to town
Wherever he goes, Kildeer resident Mitch Hagee says gets thumbs up for his car-motorcycle, which gets 70 miles to a gallon of gas. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:45AM
KILDEER — Mitch Hagee’s 20-year career in mortgage lending has substantiated his title as everyone’s “guy.”
Now he’s hoping to take on that same role in a different industry — but only when the Division of Motor Vehicles decides what to call that industry.
Hagee, a Kildeer resident, says he is currently one of only eight people in Illinois who privately own what he proclaims is a “Smarter Car,” and he’s now one of the few selling them. His only issue is the DMV’s decision to label his vehicle as “unknown” on his insurance card.
“On my insurance card, which says I drive a motorcycle, it says ‘unknown’ under make and model,” Hagee laughed.
Having grown up in the real estate business, been involved in the North Shore’s very first mortgage brokerage, and been voted Illinois Loan Officer of the Year by the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals in 2007, Hagee said he has reached his highest potential in that area of expertise.
However, the Kildeer resident and father of two has recently developed this new hobby — selling the car — out of a keen interest in the candy apple-red, motorcycle-like Snyder ST600-C that he bought from a motorcycle dealership in Chicago three weeks ago.
“It was costing me about $125 a week just to drive my GMC Terrain truck from Kildeer to Northfield and back for work,” Hagee said. “Then I saw this little car in the motorcycle section of the magazine that had a motorcycle engine, and everything else like a car… except for the fact that it had three wheels.”
Hagee hopes to soon become the area’s go-to “guy” for the car, which is a distinguished, three-wheeled automobile that looks like a car, yet runs like a motorcycle. Although its motorcycle-interior holds only about four gallons of gas, it allows the vehicle to achieve 70 miles per gallon.
Hagee’s daughter, a junior at Lake Zurich High School, does not like the car, and his son, an eighth-grader at Middle School South, has mixed feelings. Hagee thinks that they’ll come to appreciate the car.
“If everybody started driving these things, we’d be in a better place, I think, with the gas prices the way they are today,” Hagee said.
Although it’s equipped with fewer utilities than the average car, an ST600-C costs $7,995 and requires less fuel stops than most vehicles. Hagee explained that he prefers to drive the car on residential roads, as opposed to the highway, and recommended cruising at a maximum speed of about 50 to 55 mph to keep it safe and fuel efficient.
Hagee feels that the ST600-C is best suited for those who typically take residential roads to and from work every day, and that it is a practical choice for any person wishing to decrease weekly fuel spending.
“Yesterday, I was on empty for the first time — I’ve only owned it for two weeks,” Hagee said.
For more information about the ST600-C car, Hagee can be reached at (847) 869-2000.