In the Olympics of car ownership, Rachel Veitch of Orlando, Fla., is a marathoner of the first order, with a record virtually impossible to match.
For one thing, Veitch is still driving at the age of 91. For another, she has had her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente for 45 years, racking up about 559,000 miles on it. Together, Veitch and her car have outlasted her three husbands -- a feat surely worth of a footnote in the annals of automotive history.
This happened for a simple reason: A retired nurse, Veitch likes to keep things in good working order -- a trait that her patients no doubt appreciated when she cared for them in critical care units after open-heart surgery.
Veitch also hates to discard anything that still works. "I have never been a throw-away person. I came up in the Depression and my whole being is devoted to saving, and conserving and preserving."
But as much as she has babied her "chariot," as she calls it, she never spared it from life’s hard knocks. She has taken it on trips from Florida to Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin, among other states. "How else do you think I put 559,000 miles on it?" she laughed.