Over the past five decades, 93-year-old Rachel Veitch has been through three husbands, but only one car. She bought her tan Mercury Comet Caliente new in 1964 for $3,289. Now, after driving it nearly 600,000 miles, she has finally called it quits.
As she told Fox News last week, the Orlando resident knew it was time to stop when she ran a stoplight and had trouble reading large print in newspaper headlines. It's an important decision that not everyone is willing to make.
Her last trip in her car — which she had affectionately dubbed Chariot — was March 9th, but Veitch said she's taken her voluntary withdrawal from driving in stride. In the years before macular degeneration ended her long driving career, the retired nurse took meticulous care of the Merc, even writing down date, mileage and fuel economy figures every time she gassed it up. During her long and detail-oriented ownership of the car, Veitch has replaced 17 batteries, seven mufflers and has had scores of oil changes done. She only got into one wreck, in 1980, when someone rear ended her beloved Comet.
Veitch still has to figure out what to do with the car, but said that none of her four children, nine grandchildren or 11 great-grandchildren are punctilious enough to take care of Chariot, which is now valued at $12,000. She appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 2010, and suggested that the renowned television host and car collector is worthy of owning her well-maintained ride. She hasn't yet asked Leno if he's interested.
Perhaps she should sell it to Jalopnik?