Skip to comments.93-year-old Florida woman retires her ’64 Mercury after 576,000 miles on the road
Posted on 04/04/2012 9:51:06 PM PDT by Impala64ssa
These days, most people consider themselves lucky if a new car lasts 5 to 10 years. Make it to 100,000 miles in your vehicle, and the car company might make a commercial about you. That makes 93-year-old Rachel Veitch a notable exception. Veitch is retiring her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente after more than 576,000 miles on the road. "I am legally blind, so I can no longer drive my lovely Chariot," Veitch told FoxNews.com. "They don't have to take it away, I would not dream of driving that car again." The car itself is fine, but Veitch has macular degeneration in both her eyes, making her legally blind. After running a red light in March, she decided to voluntarily give up the vehicle she's been driving since Lyndon Johnson occupied the White House. "I have taken it in stride," she said. "I don't have cancer, I don't have Lou Gehrig's disease. I am lucky." Yet for all the miles she has put on her vehicle, it doesn't come close to the world record. The Truth About Cars blog wrote that Irv Gordon's 1966 Volvo P1800 is scheduled to reach 3 million miles this year. Gordon has held the record in the Guinness Book of World Records for most miles on a noncommercial vehicle since 1998. Even without the world record, Vietch is fond of noting that the car has outlasted three marriages. Mechanically, it's worn through three sets of shocks, 18 batteries and eight mufflers. Veitch bought the car in February 1964 for just $3,289. She credits the longevity to a "near-obsessive" approach to the car's maintenance. "I've never been a destructive person and I've just taken care of everything, except my husbands," she told FoxNews. Veitch, who appeared with the vehicle on an episode of the "Tonight Show,"
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Freepmail "Lazlo in PA" to be added or removed.
Hmmm. I've got a 240Z that has outlasted 3 ex-wives. It only has 230K on it, and it's retired into the lean-to today. If the economy improves, I'll restore it.
But I won't get married again.
My parents drive my old ‘94 3/4 ton Cheyenne that has 350,000+ on it; all highway miles. Original water pump and starter. I changed the alternator at 170,000. A 350 btw.
My ‘02 GMC has just over 200,000 on it atm (highway miles). Still purrs.
Oil changes are key.
Hey now. Let's not get out of hand here. Look at the dashboard of any late 60's thru to the 80's Ford product and look how they solved automatic transmissions that would slip out of Park into Reverse. A sticker.
I had a '69 Fairlane 500 that I could start while I was chugging backwards.
Oil changes - bah. I had a 64 IH truck, it changed it’s own oil, every couple of fill-ups. Sucker went for 700k miles, that I know of.
Sniff. I miss it.
I knew a guy who had a 1965 Comet Cyclone when I was a kid in the 60s. He used to let me drive it alot. Had a 289 with 210 HP and was one fast car! A few years ago he finally told me the secret. The entire front end was fiberglass.
Another hot care was the Comet Caliente. Knew a guy who bought a ‘64 new. The name Caliente was perfect.
My first car was a 67 Merc Caliente. It got a burned valve at about 180,000 miles and I sold it for $300.
Then I got a 68 Impala with a 327 small block. Oh...yeah.
They don’t make them like they use to!
But does it have it's original engine?
I remember, a freind of mine had a 65 Mustang that could start in reverse. It seemed the auto shift linkage on some Fords were a bit flimsy.
Maintenance is important, but for a car to reach this sort of mileage, it’s also luck of the draw. She just happened to get one of the good ones where every part was perfectly manufactured and properly assembled.
Of course, back then cars were mostly made out of an expensive and durable material called “metal”. That doesn’t happen any more.
That works out to something like 180 miles per day for 45 years. I'm not sure I believe this claim.
Irv Gordon’s 1966 Volvo - most of its first 35 years were spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic on his daily 125-mile commute on the Long Island Expressway.
Routine maintinence is the key. I have over 555K miles on my 1999 Toyota. Get the small things taken care of before they become big problems. It’s cheaper that way, too.
I have over 246k miles on my 1998 Harley electra glide classic,
My long mostly off and now sort of on jalopy 1968 Willys has most of the original mechanical stuff. The hubs are mismatched and the radiator is from who knows where.
It will spin over but no ignition. I have forgotten a lot of basic automotive. That is what books, wiring diagrams, and meters are for.
The wiring is in poor condition. The next plan of parts is to swap out the coil and old distributor. There is an aftermarket one with electronics instead of darned points that is externally indentical. Chucking that old one barrel is on the agenda too.
Me and my dad had it running a few years ago when he rescued it. It had to be pulled off to start but it ran ok as far as I can remember.
Yesterday a friend of mine helped me clear the bay I have it stored in at another person’s building that is crammed full of junk. Now big and bulky me has a little room to actually do stuff.
I am also rolling HD video of my efforts on it. Some of that is going to stock footage that might sell one day. Here is a mix of HD and some old SD when it arrived way back when.
Wasn’t my first but I had a ‘67 Caliente for a couple of years. This was in about the ‘78 to ‘80 time frame. The vacuum booster for the brakes went out. I priced a replacement diaphragm which was well over a hundred dollars,
so I cut a 99 cent beach ball in two and it worked fine until I sold the car. I gave the guy I sold it to the other half of the ball.
Sweeeeeet Car! (Sorry, Rachael, you too.)
My 1948 Harley is better today than when it was new.
Thought it was the coolest thing ever [after I pimped it out with racing stripes and matching racing mirrors].
It blew a head gasket, so I traded it for a silver '68 Pontiac Firebird with a posi-track rear end.....used to scare the CR@P out of people taking the turns.
Those were they days! LOL!
That's impressive. I only put about 12k per year on mine (Road Glide). How many rebuilds has it had?
I'd try replacing the points and condensor first, just to see if that restores it to running condition. If you want a breakerless ignition, the Pertronix Ignitor and Ignitor II are both available for Jeeps. They fit inside the original distributor body, enabling you to easily re-install the points & condensor in the event that the electronic module dies way out in BFE. (just hide the old parts in the ashtray or glovebox).
Pertronix makes a hotter coil to match its ignition module, too.
Be sure to post a video of the CJ once it's running.
That looks like an easy restore. You can get a lot of body panels for those and the engine and electrics are super simple. If I were you, I would just replace all the ignition components including the wiring and be done with it. That way you won’t have to screw around with it later down the road.
The body parts aren’t bad except a replacement steel tub. That is the killer moneywise but it is a while before that is on the radar.
Since it isn’t rolling anytime soon, I plan to yank the fenders off for more access.
I hope to be “allowed” to work with it some this weekend and into the coming week.
I’ve found the local parts people totally clueless about points and condensers. There is Kaiserwillys and I will probably order from them.
Even with a fresh new and charged battery, the starter seems a little slow and weak. It is probably original. I will look around for what an automotive electrical place would hit me for as far as test/rebuild. I have a feeling for a little more, I can get a reman with a warranty.
For such a small displacement engine, that is one massive starter. It looks like ones on some diesels I used to work with some many years ago.
Thanks for the Pertronix information. If I can get a hotter and better burn, I am interested.
The Dodge had a push button automatic with no Park position. It had an interlock that prior to failure would keep it from starting in anything but neutral.
After failure of that interlock, it would start in any gear it had been left in which made for some "fast get-aways" for a teenager.
As for that starter, be sure you rule out problems with the battery cables, engine-to-chassis ground and all the heavy wiring connectors in the starter circuit. Corrosion (sometimes unseen inside the insulation) or a frayed cable can cause a power loss at the starter.
Car had to have been thoroughly restored at some point. I wonder if her husband or son is a mechanic.
“So do her store-bought teef.
Was that really necessary?
My store-bought teef and my old 240Z will still look good long after I've been reduced to ashes. ;)
Just a well intended nod to our inevitable deterioration and fate. Our cars and store bought teef outlast us by decades, if not centuries.
I’ve swapped the main battery and ground lead. The ones on it weren’t too hot looking.
Eventually one of the painless harnesses (supposedly very close to OEM) is on the agenda.
The cap is ill fitting and the wires off of it are sad. Those will get swapped with the rotor button.
At least the rain and some other conflicts mean I don’t have sit it out at a boring college baseball game or two and I might acutally have some open time instead of a piecemeal couple hours here and there.
My sister has a concourse quality 1957 Imperial Southampton Coupe that I get stuck working on. The typewriter transmission doesn’t have a Park. You push the Neutral button to start it so that is the only gear you can be in on ignition. The Parking Brake is the park.
The Forward Look Mopars are cool to look at, but that Imperial has so many “high tech” features, it is a nightmare to work on. 7 wires run into the into the 2 speed wiper switch for crying out loud.
Try to deal with NAPA if you can. They usually have some old timers there that know the old stuff. Also steer clear of re-manufactured stuff if you can rebuild the original. I sometimes have gone through 2 or 3 of something before I found one that the Mexicans rebuilt right. There are usually starter/alternator guys still around. Hit some local car shows this summer to ask folks for information if they have a related vehicle. See where they get their parts and work done.
There is a guy 10 minutes up the road from me that is supposed to be thee guy for Willys Jeep stuff. I have a buddy that just picked up an mid 60's one and used him for parts and advise and he knew his stuff.
He has a pile of them laying around.
NAPA has usually gone right.
Thank you for the link! I have that one bookmarked for review.
“Our cars and store bought teef outlast us by decades, if not centuries.”
My dad had bought it new and I got it seven years later with a 100k on it
I also loved the convertible of that model.
All the 57 models were great. The Corvette, the T-bird, the chevy.