Colorado Springs, USA - The saying ‘penny wise and pound foolish’ refers to being careful and economical in small matters while being wasteful or extravagant in large ones.

But one particular penny-covered classic Mini could be an astute invesment choice for some classic-car collector with some pounds (or dollars) to spend. It’s an ultra rare 1968 Morris Mini-Minor mk II that was used to promote The Beatles 1968 song Penny Lane, and it’s up for sale in the USA for $25 000 (R364 000).

Anyone into classic cars knows a golden oldie’s value is enhanced by good provenance, such as an association with someone rich or famous. And back in the 1968 no one was more rich or famous than The Beatles, which gives this 50 year old Mini some great bragging rights.

But that’s not all, as the infomercials say, because the car is also completely covered in coins (Penny Lane, geddit?). The car was commissioned by Paul McCartney and the 4000 pre 1968 British coins stuck to the car are coated in lacquer to prevent oxidation.

McCartney reportedly commissioned at least two ‘Penny Lane’ Minis for promotional work. The coating of pennies adds around 90kg to the Mini’s weight, but the vehicle remains fully drivable.

After being used by a company in England for promotional purposes, an employee bought the car for himself when the company went bankrupt. For over 25 years he attended car shows and offered prizes to people for guessing the correct number of coins covering the car. Reportedly there are some rare coins from the late 1800s in this exotic coating, which gives the car even more value.

A new owner then exported the Mini to the US in 2002, and recently put the car up on sale at www.autoclassics.com/advert/117996 for $25 000 (R360 000) – and that doesn’t seem like a bad price at all for any serious collector of Beatles’ memorabilia.

IOL Motoring