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Gran, 93, ends 920 000km journey

2012-04-11 10:00

SHE'S GOT NO TICKET TO RIDE: Rachel Veitch has had to hang up her car keys, ending a 48 year/920 000km journey behind the wheel of her Mercury Comet Caliente named Chariot.

A 93-year-old grandmother has had to end her fantastic journey behind the wheel of her beloved 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente named Chariot.

Rachel Veitch has covered 920 000km in a car she's owned since 1964 but her ailing eyesight means she'll have to stop driving.

Veitch told Fox News, "I know I'm not safe enough to drive but I have taken it in my stride. I’m legally blind, so I can no longer drive my lovely Chariot. They don’t have to take it away, I would not dream of driving that car again.”


According to the DailyMail, Veitch bought her prized Chariot for $3289 (rand equivalent of R2335) in February 1964 from a dealer in Sanford, Florida. The car, which has been appraised at R95 771, has gone through 18 batteries, eight exhausts and countless oil changes.

Veitch has had an obsessive dedication to the car which is the main reason it's managed to be roadworthy for nearly half a century. The car was wrecked in 1980 following a rear-end collision while Veitch, who was not injured, drove along the I-95 in Georgia.

Veitch said: “When I buy gas, I write down the mileage, the date and how many miles per gallon I got. I've never been a destructive person and I've just taken care of everything, except my husbands.”

Chariot has outlasted all three of her marriages.

In July 2012 Veitch will travel to Wisconsin to appear in an antique car show and says might consider giving her ride to Jay Leno, host of The Tonight Show, which she appeared on in August 2010.

Veitch's four children, nine grandchildren or 11 great-grandchildren can count themselves out of the running to own the prized car: “It wouldn't matter if they did [want it], they're not going to get it. They couldn't take care of it like I did.”

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