World Coins

Morris Mini covered in pennies in Beatles tribute

This 1968 Mini Morris is covered in more than 4,000 pre-1968 British pennys, and is a private recreation of two custom cars commissioned by Paul McCartney to promote the song “Penny Lane” 50 years ago.

Original images courtesy of Performance Auto Gallery.

The availability of a 1968 Morris Mini usually does not draw the attention of the coin collecting community, though automobile collectors may get excited over the opportunity to acquire one of the coveted tiny cars that zipped around London streets a half century ago.

One being offered by a Maryland firm, however, does have a numismatic connection, and a tenuous link to The Beatles.

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A 1968 Morris Mini offered at an opening price of $25,000 on eBay Autos by Performance Auto Gallery in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is covered in more than 4,000 British copper pennies. It is a custom recreation car based on two original custom Morris Minis commissioned by Paul McCartney in recognition of the song “Penny Lane,” according to a news article here.

McCartney commissioned the original cars to promote the song, which was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-side single record, the other song being “Strawberry Fields Forever.” 

According to Performance Auto Gallery, the offered car is covered in more than 4,000 pre-1968 British pennies, the exterior then coated in lacquer for protection. Some of the coins date to the era of Queen Victoria and depict her portrait. 

The offered car, a more recent recreation than the originals, “was originally owned and used by a company in England for promotional purposes.” An employee of the firm bought the car when the company went under, and the family owned it for 26 years, taking it to car meets.

While the coins are clearly no longer Mint State, the car is described as being in “superb” shape.

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