Sunday, January 6, 2008


Man Buys Half-ton Pickup with Half-ton of Spare Change!

Paul Brant calls himself a "penny pincher."People who know him - including the staff at Mike Raisor Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep - might agree.

Accompanied by a police escort from the Clinton County Sheriff's Office, Friday he drove his old diesel pickup into the Raisor parking lot and bought himself a brand new, 2008 half-ton, shiny red Dodge Ram truck.

What made the $26,670 purchase even more interesting was the manner in which he paid for it.Brant's payment was made up entirely of quarters and gold dollars he'd been saving since 1994 - the last time he traded enough of his hard-earned coins to buy a vehicle.Friday, he handed over the coins, neatly rolled and stored in various containers - water jugs, coffee cans, piggy banks - that had ridden in on the bed of his pickup.Lt. Joe Mink and Chief Deputy Mike Hensley of the sheriff's office were right behind him.

Being thrifty, Brant said, comes naturally."I reckon I was just brought up that way," he said. His father always paid cash, he said, and it's a tradition he carried on. Besides, he added, "Checks are no fun."

He makes it a habit to save his loose change, he said, explaining that he cleans out his pockets every morning, and doesn't hesitate to pick up stray coins from the ground wherever he goes."Once you drop them out of your hand, they're gone," he said. "They don't last very long."

The 70-year-old Clinton County native graduated from Frankfort High School in 1956 and went to work at the Kokomo-based Chrysler plant the same year.Thirteen years ago, Brant bought a car and a truck from Kincaid's of Lebanon. That purchase cost him $36,000, he said, which he surrendered in coins - 100 percent quarters.After that, while he continued to stash away his quarters for the eventual purchase of his next vehicle, a couple tellers at The Farmers Bank notified him that they had plenty of rolled, gold dollars available, if he wanted to buy them. He did."I just took them home and threw them in the jug," he said.

Keith Gephart, a sales consultant for Raisor, said he'd been after Brant for all those years to do it again, this time at Raisor's. With the numerous spectators and news people milling about the showroom, Gephart said the publicity will likely be good for business.
The truck, with several extras added on, retails for about $35,000, he said. Brant's price reflects his Chrysler employee discount and rebates, plus taxes, he explained. As for how Raisor's cashier planned to handle $26,670 in coins.
Gephart said, "No bank wants to take them. We've got a Loomis armored car coming."Loomis personnel will count the change, he said, and let Raisor know the total within three days."Their count is final," he said.


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