After 567,000 Miles And 48 Years, Florida Woman Parks Her 'Chariot' : The Two-Way Rachel Veitch can't drive her beloved 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente any more because of her eyesight. Her "Chariot" has been with her nearly five decades and for more miles than a trip to the moon and back. She never considered trading in the car she loves.

After 567,000 Miles And 48 Years, Florida Woman Parks Her 'Chariot'

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Now, a car from the past. It is a 1964 Mercury Comet with 567,000 miles on it. It's owned by a Florida woman named Rachel Veitch. She's 93 years old. And as much as she loves her car, she has decided that it's time to quit driving. And Ms. Veitch joins us now from her home in Orlando. Welcome to the program.

RACHEL VEITCH: Thank you. I love my car. And the reason I stopped driving is I have macular degeneration. Now, that's one little spot that would keep me from driving and also from reading, but I have wonderful peripheral vision. So, I'm not totally blind.

SIEGEL: I see. But you decided...

VEITCH: By any means.

SIEGEL: But you've decided that your vision just isn't - it isn't good enough for you to keep on driving?

VEITCH: I definitely decided on the 10th of March when I picked up the paper and could not read it.

SIEGEL: Aha. Now, I want you to take me back to 1964...

VEITCH: All right.

SIEGEL: ...when you bought this particular Mercury Comet.

VEITCH: I'll correct that. I did not buy it. My husband picked it out, picked out all the accessories, power steering, automatic transmission, air conditioning, which still works, and I never saw it until he brought it home and it's a beautiful misty yellow.

SIEGEL: In all these years and all those hundreds of thousands of miles, you didn't even replace the air conditioning or the motor, for that matter?

VEITCH: It's still the same engine and the same air conditioner.

SIEGEL: This is a car that you started using back in the days before unleaded gasoline.

VEITCH: Oh, yes. And that's when I got 19 and 21 miles to the gallon. Now, I get 10.

SIEGEL: You mean for the transition to unleaded gasoline?


SIEGEL: How often did you change the oil on this car over all these years?

VEITCH: I try to every 3,000. And I buy my oil by the case. That's why she's survived, because I have guarded her very carefully.

SIEGEL: Yeah. You don't just love this car. You actually know this car, as well, obviously.


SIEGEL: And, you know, if everyone who bought a car in 1964 was still driving it, all the car companies would be out of business today.


VEITCH: I know. And not only that, I've had lifetime guarantee shocks from Sears and I've had three sets, and lifetime guaranteed Midas mufflers. I've had eight. And lifetime guaranteed J.C. Penney batteries and I've had 18.

SIEGEL: But, Ms. Veitch, just one question about this. For all of these years you've owned the same car, the 1964 car, and put all these miles on it, weren't you ever tempted, during the 1970s, '80s or '90s to, you know, just trade it in for some newer car?

VEITCH: Never, never. There's no car on this earth I would trade for my Comet. I love my car.

SIEGEL: Well, if somebody cared for it, they could get another 100,000 miles and...


SIEGEL: Really? Really?

VEITCH: Sure. If I hadn't lost my vision, I might have worked on it, because it'll soon be 570,000. And I've already got the signs made for 580,000 and 590,000 and 1,000 miles.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks a lot for talking with us about another very important milestone, which is your giving up driving. We've enjoyed talking with you.

VEITCH: Well, I enjoy talking about my chariot.

SIEGEL: That's Rachel Veitch, who is giving up driving at the age of 93 and that means that she is also giving up joyrides in her beloved 1964 Mercury Comet, caliente, she would add, which has more than 567,000 miles on it.



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