Could you buy 1 of these 5 cars with the number of pennies that fit in the trunk?
Small cars, big cars, sports cars, muscle cars…unless you’re talking electric vehicles with frunks, most cars have a trunk of some sort. Trunk space varies greatly depending on body style, and car reviewers have tested the cargo area with all sorts of accessories, including banana boxes. But what about the modest penny?
How many pennies could fit in the cabin of a Civic, Camry, Miata, Mustang or Porsche 911, and would those pennies be enough to cover the starting price? I had to know. For this weird experience, I’ll use typical manufacturer specs, which may be inconsistent with the actual cargo space capabilities.
Luckily, I didn’t need to do the basic math myself. I was able to find a detailed breakdown of penny’s calculations courtesy of The MegaPenny Project. Unfortunately, the original MegaPenny Project website (which calculated and visualized the number of pennies needed to fill any space) is no longer available. But, some useful coin nerds at the Coin Collectors Blog succeeded in giving a second life to information.
A cubic foot contains 49,152 cents. It’s 16 cents long, 16 cents wide, and 192 cents high, and it equals $491.52. Using these numbers, we can calculate what I will call the “trunk-penny value”.
5. The Honda Civic could fit 707,788 cents in the trunk
- The Honda Civic has 14.4 cubic feet of trunk space
- It costs $22,350 for a new base model
- His chest can hold 707,788 pennies
Valued at $7,077.88, you couldn’t buy a new Civic on pennies. You could try your luck in the used car market for a Civic under $8,000. Or, fill the interior with pennies (99 cubic feet of passenger volume = $48,660.48), and you could buy the top-level Civic Touring trim with parts to spare.
4. The Toyota Camry could fit 742,195 cents in the trunk
- The Toyota Camry has 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space
- It costs $25,395 for a new base model
- His chest can hold 742,195 cents
Worth $7,421.95, you couldn’t buy a new Camry, even a base model. Hoping for a fully equipped Camry? Fill its 99.3 to 100.4 cubic feet of passenger volume with Abraham Lincolns, and you’ve got $49,348 to spend.
3. The Mazda Miata could fit 225,608 cents in the trunk
- The Mazda MX-5 Miata has 4.59 cubic feet of trunk space
- It costs $27,300 for a new base model
- His safe can hold 225,608 pennies
Continuing its trend of having a genuinely useless trunk, you couldn’t buy a new Miata, or even a used Miata, with pennies worth of trunk for just $2,256.08. Maybe if you filled in the rest of the original Miata storage options, you could get closer to a cheap used Miata.
2. The Ford Mustang could hold 663,552 pennies in the trunk
- The Mustang Fastback has 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space
- It costs $27,205 for a new base model
- His chest can hold 663,552 pennies
Valued at $6,635.52, you couldn’t buy a new or mint used Mustang for pennies in the trunk. But by filling the cabin of a Fastback model (82.8 cubic feet of passenger volume = $40,697.85), you could buy up to a $37,725 Mustang GT. Mustang GT Premium and above would still be out of reach.
1. The Porsche 911 Coupe could hold 226,099 cents in the trunk
- The 911 Porch Coupe has 4.6 cubic feet of frunk space
- It costs $101,200 for a new base model
- Its front trunk can hold 226,099 pennies
Ok, no one should be surprised by this. The Porsche 911 is extremely expensive and has almost negative cargo space in its trunk. If you’re shopping for pennies, you should probably cross Porsche off your list. The trunk’s $2,260.99 value could get you some ultra high-end used Mitsubishi Porsche accessories on the cheap that you could otherwise afford.
How does this affect the decision to buy a car?
This is not the case. My husband asked me this question when I was writing a different article about cars with the most cargo space, and it stuck in my brain. I was obsessed. could you buy a Honda Civic with the number of pennies it contains? And a sports car? How about a Ford Mustang?
Now I know. You can do not buy most sedans or coupes with a trunk full of pocket change, but you could with a cabin full of pennies.
It’s a little more interesting than the “banana box” test, but until my local credit union sponsors my experiments with at least $22,350 in neatly wrapped coins, it’s purely moot. Don’t use trunk math to choose your next car.
If you insist on doing it, let me know how it goes.
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