Florida woman, 93, reaches end of the road after 576,000 miles in her 1964 Mercury
The end of the road is here for Rachel Veitch’s beloved “Chariot.” After 576,000 miles — or more than a trip to the moon and back — in the same 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente, the 93-year-old Orlando grandmother is stepping on the brakes due to age-related macular degeneration in both eyes. She realized her vision had completely failed her in early March after running a “bald-faced red light,”.
Veitch bought her beloved ride for $3,289 in February 1964 from a dealer in Sanford, Fla. The car, which has been appraised at $12,000, has gone through 18 batteries, eight mufflers and countless oil changes. She credits her near-obsessive dedication to the car as the main reason why it’s spent nearly half a century in her care.
Asked if any of her 4 children, 9 grandchildren or 11 great-grandchildren have expressed interest in the car, Veitch responded: “It wouldn’t matter if they did, they’re not going to get it They couldn’t take care of it like I did.” The car saw its lone wreck in 1980, when it endured a rear-end collision while Veitch, who was not injured, drove along I-95 in Georgia. The last time she bought a car, gas cost 39 cents a gallon, Lyndon B Johnson was in the White House and “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” was ruling the radio.