After 567,000 Miles On Her 1964 Mercury, A Florida Woman, 93, Reached The End Of The Road
Meet Rachel Veitch, a retired nurse who drove her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente for more than 567,000 miles until she was 93. Her story is one of unwavering loyalty to her trusty car, which she affectionately called “Chariot.”
Despite numerous offers to sell it, she refused, citing her belief that no one would take care of it as she did. In this article, we explore Veitch’s journey with her beloved car, the memories it holds, and the impact it had on her life.
In February 1964, Rachel Veitch, a retired nurse and mother of four, paid a dealer in Sanford, Florida, $3,289 for “Chariot.” Veitch stated, “My ex-husband and I divorced in 1975.
I kept Chariot while he drove off in the 1972 Pontiac we shared. He must have changed cars at least six times while I am still driving my trusty Chariot.
I know I can always depend on My Chariot since she has never cheated on me or lied to me. When talking about Chariot, Rachel referred to her as “she” or “her.”
Veitch claimed that her automatic-transmission, “lousy” 15 miles per gallon, classic Mercury Comet had participated in car events around the nation and was with her to her 70th high school reunion in Pennsylvania in 2007. She claimed that her peers and neighbors were sick of hearing the same old story.
In 2002, Veitch received a ticket for traveling 92 mph in a 55 mph zone; as a result, her dream vehicle was fixed. The car has reportedly been in Rachel Veitch’s care for nearly 50 years because of how much she values it.
People no longer want to speak with me, Veitch said. They no longer want to hear about my Chariot.
She said, “I note the date, the miles per gallon I got, and the miles I drove when I buy gas. I’ve never behaved badly and have taken care of everyone and everything but my own needs.
Her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente, known as “La Chariot,” was one of the antique cars she drove in the National Association of Antique Car Club.
She hadn’t driven a vehicle since March 9, 2012. After March 9, she was no longer able to drive due to her vision impairment.
When she found that she couldn’t read the newspaper’s big headlines the following day, her worst fears were confirmed.
This was due to the fact that she was a car person who was nearly obsessed with cars and that her eyes had been growing worse for years. I know I’m not comfortable enough to drive a car, she said. But I have handled it well.
Veitch had the plan to sell her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente after her old car went to Wisconsin in July 2012 to participate in an antique car show.
The Jay Leno Tonight Show
Mrs. Veitch was reluctant to give the car to her family out of concern that they wouldn’t take good care of it, so she decided to sell it. Veitch said she might sell it to host Jay Leno, who loves classic cars, if he’s interested, on “The Tonight Show” in August 2010.
Jay Leno and I haven’t spoken yet, but I’m wondering whether he’s interested, Veitch stated early on Thursday morning. But I don’t believe the moment is right to discuss it right now.
Veitch responded, “Even if they did, they’re not going to understand,” when asked if any of her four children, nine grandchildren, or eleven great-grandchildren were interested in the car.
They were unable to handle it the way I was able to. Mrs. Veitch claimed that one of the primary factors contributing to her car’s lifespan was the outstanding maintenance she gave it.
In 2012, the car was estimated to be valued at around $12,000 (£7,500). It has eight exhaust mufflers and three sets of shock absorbers. Veitch was struck from behind while driving on I-95 in Georgia.
The only time the car was involved in an accident was in 1980. Fortunately, she survived the incident unharmed.
Nonetheless, the Wisconsin Car Museum received Rachel Veitch’s 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente in the year 2016.
It has been reported that the former nurse is doing fine without her Chariot. I know I’m not safe enough to drive, but I’m not upset about it, the woman stated.
Many people have it worse off than I do. “Neither Lou Gehrig’s disease nor cancer affects me. I am lucky. She had approximately 600,000 miles on “Chariot” by the time her time with it was up, so she wasn’t upset about it ending.
On May 11, 2017, Rachel Veitch, who was 98 years old, ended her life journey in Orlando, Florida, after lovingly saying goodbye to the 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente.
Despite being unable to drive due to vision impairment, Rachel Veitch’s love for her car never faded. Even in her later years, she had plans to sell it to someone who would appreciate and care for it as she did.
Her story is a testament to the bond that can form between a person and their vehicle. The legacy of “Chariot” lives on, as it now rests in the Wisconsin Car Museum, a testament to the dedication of one woman and her love for her car.
What do you think about Rachel’s story? Did you have a car that you cannot forget? Please let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to spread the news so that we can hear from more people.