By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
You’d like this lady, I think. Really. When she was interviewed on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” on April 4th, 93-year old Rachel Veitch of Orlando sounded as spry as a cat and came across as the living embodiment of a “car guy.” She loves her car — never ever thought about replacing it — but she has to quit driving it due to age-related eye problems.
The car she’s giving up is “The Chariot,” her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente with a documented 567,000 miles. She’s had it since new, and follows scrupulous maintenance on it. Until her vision problem, she was quite prepared to see the car through its next mileage milestones and is convinced the car is capable of many more thousands of miles if it’s taken care of. For now, her grandson will escort her and her car to various car shows both local and distant.
Some quick math shows the average miles per year on the car to be just over 11,800; realistically, it was probably much higher in the car’s early years and diminished with vehicle and owner age. She was quoted on the NPR segment saying, “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.”
Photo: Katie Ball for NPR
According to Ms. Veitch, the car still has the original engine and “the same air conditioner.” We’ll grant her some poetic license on that concept, but here’s an R-12 system that apparently still works in the Florida heat. She did not mention any A/C repairs but we think it safe to assume that there’s been a bit of fiddling over nearly five decades.
Interestingly, she told the interviewer that when she’s gone, she’d really like Jay Leno to add Chariot to his car collection because, in her view, no one in her family “would take care of it like I do.”
In this era of “wheeled appliances,” and car-as-consumable, here’s a big hat-tip to people that just love their cars.
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.