The Car Lust Lifestyle
Today I'd like to introduce you to someone who gets it. Someone who has an irrational passion for a vehicle, and isn't afraid to show it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: James F. Jones.
Okay, let's get the unimportant stuff out of the way:
SPRINGDALE – James F. Jones walked into an office at car dealer Jake Sweeney today, plunked down 16 coffee cans of coins and said: “I want that Chevy truck,” pointing to a red, 2008 half-ton Chevrolet Silverado.
“In my 19 years in this business I have never seen anything like this,” said Biff Arnold, finance manger for Jake Sweeney. “I have seen many buyers come in with a lot of cash money, but never this much money in coins.”
Then the counting began, led by salesman David Crisswell.
“He had dimes, quarters, half dollars, silver and Susan B. Anthony dollars. It took me an hour and a half to count all of it,” Crisswell said.
Crisswell said the Silverado that Jones bought cost $16,000, including taxes and fees. Jones and his wife, Betty, wrote a check for the remainder.
Jones, 70, said he has always kept his personal money in coins because he doesn’t trust banks or paper money.
“Paper money will burn, but it is hard to damage coins. I bought four or five rolls of coins each month. I don’t know how long it took me to save this amount, probably all my life, spending some of it now in then,” said Jones, who retired as an engineer from Fort Hamilton Hospital’s maintenance department in 2003.
Jones’ son Dennis, 49, said that as far back as he can remember, his father always had coins.
“He gave me lunch money in coins and each time he ever gave me money it was in coins,” Dennis Jones said. “I am amazed that we were able to talk him into buying a new truck, because he is pretty tight with his money.”
What does all that have to do with Car Lust? Nothing. In fact, I think it is just a sign of how news is increasingly out of touch with what people want to know. Who cares about someone paying for a truck with change? I know I use loose change to pay for, say, candy bars all the time. Routine stuff.
So let's get back to what's newsworthy and important in life: irrational love for a vehicle.
James Jones had owned a 1981 Chevy pickup, which he kept until January last year.
He was driving a 27 year old truck! It doesn't say whether or not he bought it used, but if originally new, that means he cared for it and kept it running for 27 years. Either way, it's awesome. Awe-inspiring.
The emergency brake gave out as he walked in front of it while it was idling. The truck ran over him, crushing his liver, kidney and several ribs. He spent months in the hospital recuperating.
Now, we had some debate among the Car Lust writers as to how this could happen. If the truck was in Park, and still ran over him, then the vehicle's problem is bigger than just an emergency brake. Someone else pointed out, however, that if it were a standard transmission, it has no Park gear; if the vehicle was on even a mild slope, an emergency brake failure would result in the truck rolling forward.
“He still wanted to fix up the old truck and keep driving it, but I convinced him to give it up,” said Dennis Jones. “He is in pretty good health now, except he rambles a little when he talks.”
And that is the coup de grace, folks. When faced with a deteriorating vehicle that nearly killed him, all he wanted to do was fix up the truck and keep driving it. That's true dedication. That's the Car Lust Way.
But wait a second: why does "...except he rambles a little when he talks" sound familiar? Oh, that's right, from the Car Lust founder Chris Hafner's own biography:
Be cautious; if you would like to avoid hearing him drone on about Saabs for countless hours, it's best if you avoid eye contact and back away slowly.
Jim Jones (if that's your real name...), I dub thee Car Luster Emeritus. You are an inspiration to us all.
Picture is property of The Enquirer/Malinda Hartong; copied from Cincinnati.com