Cleveland Philanthropist Buys Bush Truck To Aid National Guard

Friday, April 12, 2013
Check Into Cash recently purchased this pickup truck owned by President George W. Bush. The revenue from the sale will benefit the National Guard Youth Foundation.
Check Into Cash recently purchased this pickup truck owned by President George W. Bush. The revenue from the sale will benefit the National Guard Youth Foundation.

A Cleveland, Tn., businessman stepped up for the National Guard in a big way at the recent Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.

Allan Jones, founder and CEO of Check Into Cash, purchased a white F-150 pickup truck owned by President George W. Bush at the April 6 auction in Palm Beach, Fla. The final bid on the truck was $350,000.

Bush kept the truck at his Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, TX after he left the White House in 2009, said Holly Moeller, director of VIP Bidding at Barrett-Jackson.



“President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush used the truck to work around their ranch; entertain friends, family and dignitaries; and to give tours of their Crawford property,” said Ms. Moeller. “This vehicle purchased by Allan Jones is a piece of presidential automotive history.”

Mr. Jones said Check Into Cash purchased the truck not only because he is a fan of the former President, but also to benefit charity. Barrett-Jackson designated all funds from the sale to the National Guard Youth Foundation – a military mentoring and training program for at-risk youth.

“Check Into Cash has always been a big supporter of our nation’s troops and the National Guard and we are proud to make this donation,” Mr. Jones said. “The mission of the National Guard Youth Foundation is to advocate for and support the National Guard Youth Challenge program, which benefits our nation’s young people.”

The Foundation provides scholarships, training and workforce transition assistance for graduates and helps build a stronger America, said Check Into Cash President Steve Scoggins.

The title of the truck is currently in the former President's name and will be transferred directly to Mr. Jones. Additionally, the right airbag panel features President Bush's signature and a copy of a video showing him autographing the truck and driving it around his ranch was included with the purchase.

Mr. Jones said the truck will be on display for the public at the Check Into Cash headquarters in Cleveland and will be parked outside the entrance of the Bald-Headed Bistro restaurant at 201 Keith Street SW.

The truck will replace the historic 1927 Fillauer Packard that is currently on display outside the restaurant.

Mr. Jones has a history of creating excitement and drama at Barrett-Jackson. In 2012, the businessman pushed the price on a tractor owned by Jay Leno to over $500,000 in an auction designated to benefit the Fisher House Foundation, whose goal is to support military families during times of need. Mr. Jones was ultimately the second-highest bidder on the tractor.

Mr. Jones has become legendary at Barrett-Jackson for his trademark Tennessee Vols cap and propensity for engaging in high-dollar bidding wars that benefit charity.

Prior to his charity bid in 2012, Mr. Jones drew attention at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2005 that has become legendary among classic car collectors and fans of the auction.

At the event, he bid on a rare Olds F-88 – a Chevrolet Corvette with Oldsmobile-style bodywork. Wearing his trademark Vols hat, he engaged in a dramatic bidding war for the concept car with collector Alan Lewenthal, curator for the Gateway Auto Museum who has also been called “Ferrari Hat Guy.”

Mr. Jones felt he had the car secured for $550,000 but eventually pushed the bidding to $2.7 million until he decided to no longer pursue the F-88 he estimated was worth about $600,000. The car was eventually sold for $3.24 million.

The duel was described by AutoWeek magazine as “perhaps the most emotional 10 minutes of automotive television in recent history.”

Mr. Jones’ history of philanthropy runs deep. He was the sole financial contributor to the Jones Wrestling Center at Cleveland High School, home of the 2011 and 2013 state champion Blue Raiders. Jones was also the sole contributor to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s state-of-the-art Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

The businessman made national headlines in 2011 with a donation to the non-profit Tennessee Achieves program that ensured every graduating high school senior in Bradley County had a chance to attend Cleveland State Community College.


Projects Bring Road Closures On Barton Avenue and Highway 27 On-Ramp At West 12th Street

Contractor Thomas Brothers will be replacing a sewer line across the West 12th Street on-ramp to US Highway 27, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.  The project is estimated to be completed by 4 p.m. on Friday.   The ramp will be closed for the duration of the project, and detours will be posted. Contractor Tennessee American Water Company will be repairing a water ... (click for more)

Wilson Road In Whitfield County Closed Monday And Tuesday

Wilson Road in Whitfield County will be closed to replace a cross drain on Monday, starting at 8 a.m. and continuing through Tuesday, at 4 p.m. or until work is completed. The road will be closed between Cohutta Beaverdale Road and McGaughey Chapel Road. Traffic on Wilson Road will detour onto Cohutta Beaverdale Road to Cleveland Highway, while traffic south ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 northbound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They include six counts of vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count for DUI ... (click for more)

$40 Million Traffic Improvement Set To Connect Hamilton Place More Directly With I-75 And Ease Congestion On Shallowford Road

The city, state and CBL & Associates are cooperating on a $40 million plan to make the Hamilton Place section more accessible to Interstate 75. The upcoming project will provide a direct connection for southbound I-75 traffic with Hamilton Place Boulevard. The project will also provide a new connection for those on Hamilton Place Boulevard to enter I-75 northbound. ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)