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18-3-2017 11:08:37  #1

Question For Anyone Who Owns a 'Smith Corona Super G'

Was looking into picking up one of these units; I absolutely love the super angular 70s design. Plus, it's a Smith Corona! ;)
 Quick questions for those who might own one of these units.1) In general, what are your thoughts on the unit?
2) How heavy is the carriage shifting on this unit? (seems like an odd choice for SC to abandon Floating Shift on this machine)
3) Any quirks that you don't tend to like?
 Thanks, all!

-Michael Archambault
Current Machine: Smith Corona Sterling 1959

18-3-2017 16:14:44  #2

Re: Question For Anyone Who Owns a 'Smith Corona Super G'

I could justify buying a Ghia-designed Smith-Corona purely for its aesthetic value, but never - ever - for its typing performance. The model you're considering is essentially nothing more than a Corsair in a different package, and as such, in my opinion, one of the worst mass-produced ultra-portables ever made.

Let me put this another way: I see that your "current machine" is a Super-5 Sterling, and assuming that you like the Sterling's robust build and nice type action, the Ghia (and Corsair models) in comparison will be a complete disappointment. Buy all means buy one for fun, but not for any serious typing expectations.

Floating Shift is just a Smith-Corona marketing term used between the '30s and '50s to denote its segment versus carriage shift mechanism. Segment shifting designs are really only of importance when you're discussing standard and full-sized portables, especially those that have a wider carriage. Having a segment shift mechanism is less of a concern when using ultra-portables because they have much lighter carriages, and in the case of these later Smith-Corona models that had plastic trim, it's not really an odd choice that Smith-Corona utilized a carriage shift. 

"To save time is to lengthen life."

18-3-2017 23:33:24  #3

Re: Question For Anyone Who Owns a 'Smith Corona Super G'

Hi Marcham

​Just brought my Super-G (7YP-86869) out to get a reminder for the feel of the machine. As Uwe says, it can't be compared to a Sterling or a Silent, they're simply not in the same category. However, I feel one can safely compare it to an SC 4Y- series Skyriter or an SCM 6Y- series Profile (the lesser known cousin of the Cougar and Corsair) The type feel isn't as solid as the 4Y- Skyriter, but it's a little quieter than the Profile. Like you, I bought my Super-G for the cool body, but got a bonus of a cursive typeface.

From what I understand, the Super-G was introduced to compete with the cheap Japanese typewriters that were flooding to world market at the time, so cost production had to be reduced as much as possible while keeping the appeal for British made machines up in order to compete with these imports.

One feature that does strike me a little odd with this model is the page support sits perfectly vertical as opposed to slanting back, so almost holds the paper in your face. One could use it with the page support in the down position, but the paper then drags across the desk behind the unit. These machines also take the SC series-3 ribbon spools (same as the Zephyr, Skyriter, Corsair and Cougar), so a replacement ½" ribbon will have to be wound onto the spools that come with the machine.

​One issue my unit has is the line space detent roller is evidently softer than it should be, so has deformed and no longer locks the platen in every notch of the line advance ratchet wheel. I'm not sure if these units have the line finder or platen release option, if they do, mine's seized solid. As I say, these are just my observations on the SCM Carman Ghia or Super-G. All the best,



12-7-2017 19:00:38  #4

Re: Question For Anyone Who Owns a 'Smith Corona Super G'

I can concur with the other posters. I have two, a brown one that was absolutely filthy but cleaned up gorgeously and a teal one that is cursive.  I grew up in Michigan, about twenty miles from Smith Coronas Kalamazoo offices and my brother had owned a Ghia Mustang in high school, so they really hit my sentimental switches.

They are not great typers. I find them too soft feeling. My other Smith Coronas are all far better typers. Of course, they just don't look as cool.

Benefits to this model, aside from the great looks:  the carriage returns gives a nice rumbling "GRRRR" which totally matches the sportscar looks.  It is VERY lightweight. I take mine in a bicycle pannier when the weather is nice and I'm writing letters in a park.  People sometimes talk to me when I use typewriters in public. People ALWAYS talk to me when I'm using a Ghia.


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