Free cars now!

Rob Cockerham, whose website, cockeyed.com has provided many hours of amusement, had an eBay auction to fund research into the “Free Car” scam. I agreed to sponsor this.

I initially found Rob’s site while trying to find out how many coffee beans are in a shot of espresso. Rob’s site had an article on how much is inside a pound of coffee, which I found endlessly funny. I spent the rest of the day reading the hijinks. It didn’t answer my question, but was worthy of a bookmark.

I regularly check out cockeyed.com to see what they are up to. My all-time favorite is the signs story as it was very thoughtful and pretty darned funny. (I have wondered if the ubiquitous “Lose 95lbs By Aug Guaranteed? Best Diet Pill” e-Bay auctions were distributors. The claim is preposterous, but eBay seems to tolerate it because the high volume of transactions and mosltly positive feedback.)

I knew the “free cars” was a scam, and it was probably going to be something totally lame, but they’re obviously making money off of people. Thankfully Rob was willing to expose this in his humorous way. (By the way, the Sammamish Safeway is still reveling at the sighting of his Safeway Card stickers.)

Rob and I exchanged emails a few times, speculating back and forth on what the “angle” was. Among the alternate theories bantered about:

  • you have to pay for the wrap
  • you have to secure your own sponsors
  • it’s really a front for collecting personal information sold to the Nigerian, viagra and Iraqi playing card scammers

But alas, reality is more mundane…


Through other sources, I determined that a single shot of espresso is made with 7-8.5 grams of finely ground coffee. Rob’s article was the Rosetta Stone in a series of complicated calculations and tricky unit conversions. There are between 51 and 62 coffee beans in a shot of espresso.

The espresso making process is more complicated than I care to ponder, and involves proper mastery of Italian — macinazoione (correct grinding), miscela (the coffee), macchina (the espresso machine) and mano (the skill of the barista). No wonder espresso is expensive!

8 thoughts on “Free cars now!”

  1. Thanks for sponsoring that investigation. Hopefully it’ll stop someone from throwing away their money.

  2. Yeah, it is pretty obvious to someone like me, but I’m sure the only reason they have those adword ads is because they are making money, and since I’ve begun getting spam about them, I figured it was time to do something. Thanks Jim, for the funding! 🙂

  3. Thanks for sponsering the “Free Car” deal. It was great that someone was willing to let other people know the deal by offering up some cash.

  4. Hey jim, thanks for the funding. I’m going to check out the 22 websites and apply for a free car. We’ll see what happens 🙂

  5. I found your article about the Free Car Directory scam in a Google search and read the whole thing–you are funny! Anyway, I did the search because I have a website and I’m trying to look for good affiliate programs to support it. I thought my money-saving site users (my site is about grocery
    coupons) would love a free car.

    But I didn’t want to promote a scam, and I found your article. That decides it–I’m not promoting that! Thanks for taking the time to figure that out and I hope you get a good bike ride tomorrow.

    Take care,

    Stephanie Nelson
    Cut Out Hunger, Inc.
    4686 Scribner Ct.
    Marietta, GA 30062
    770-649-0447
    http://www.cutouthunger.org

  6. thanks Jim. I would have been one more sucker and thrown my money to another “Free Car” scam. Dave

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