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US man pays for Chevy with loose change

A Ohio man who "doesn't trust paper money" hauled $8000 in coins down to his local car dealership to pay for a new Chevrolet truck.

According to local reports, James Jones, 70,  produced 16 coffee cans full of dimes, quarters, half-dollars and dollar coins to buy his new pickup truck.

But his coins only covered half of the $16,000 price tag, so he paid the remainder with a cheque.

"Paper money will burn, but it is hard to damage coins,"  Jones told reporters.

This quirky local story has been picked up by other news outlets - including the big guns like the BBC and Associated Press - and is providing some good publicity for Chevrolet.

It brought to mind a study that Chevrolet released last year in the UK about coins - in particular pennies.

Citing Royal Mint figures, the car maker said 6.5 billion – £65 million worth – of pennies are currently unaccounted for throughout the UK. 

Chevrolet said its survey showed that £26 million worth of pennies are littered around the streets, £11 million worth are lost in handbags and suitcases, £7.8 million in cars and £5.9 million down the sofa.

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 15 August, 2008, 07:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I have mentioned before that there's money in pennies, and cents.

I wonder whether the Chevy salesman was smart enough to have a good look through the hoard. A recent coin auction saw a 1944 steel U.S. 1 cent fetch $373,750.

For those of you who care: "1944-S 1C --On a Zinc-Plated Steel Planchet--MS66 NGC. 2.6 gm. Large S, one of two mintmark styles in use that year in San Francisco, along with the Knob S. The other known 1944-S steel cent is also the Large S variety."

I have a friend, a bachelor of course (children absorb all spare change), and he had a very large round glass gourd over a metre tall with a narrow neck, perfect for dropping those coins into at the end of a night of bachelor-ing. Also like the monkey with the hand in the jar, theft was impossible because only an adult would have a long enough arm to reach the mountain of coins and would be unable to remove their hand with a clenched fist. After many years he decided it was time to empty it.

After many unsuccessful attempts by able bodied men to tip it over he eventually decided to break it to liberate the contents. I'm not sure exactly how much he had, but it was enough to assist in the purchase of a property. As he didn't drive I believe he used a barrow to convey it to the bank, which was conveniently located about 150m from his house.

I'd prefer to just have the right single 1c tucked away somewhere safe (like an old fashioned bank with safe deposit boxes), or perhaps a few.