Runabout for sale: one careful lady owner...576,000 miles

An old lady is selling her runabout. No big deal there. Except that this lady is 93-year-old Rachel Veitch, and the runabout she's selling is the Mercury Comet Caliente she's been using since 1964.

In that time, the Florida grandma has racked up 576,000 miles and has been married three times, claiming in a 2009 Fox News interview that "I've never been a destructive person and I've just taken care of everything...except my husbands."
Pottering about in the Florida sunshine won't have harmed the Mercury's bodywork too much (aside from the paint, maybe), but Mrs Veitch has given the car everything it has ever required.

It has had 18 battery replacements, eight exhaust mufflers and three sets of shock absorbers during its 48 years with Mrs Veitch, and she has written down the date and mileage of the car every time she refuelled, calculating the mpg too.

It's only been involved in one collision, when it was rear ended in 1980.

She's only giving the car up because she was registered legally blind; after running a red light, Mrs Veitch discovered she was suffering from macular degeneration in both eyes.

But she's selling the car rather than bequeathing it to someone in her family, because "they couldn't take care of it like I did."

She's announced an interest in selling it to American chat show host and famed car collector Jay Leno, who's yet to commit despite having met Mrs Veitch and the car (picture below).

The car cost $3,300 when she bought it in 1964, and has been valued at around four times that amount now - though that doesn't take into account the subsequent media interest. It's not known how she plans to sell it yet (assuming Leno doesn't want it).

(This article was originally published with a couple of typos. The guff/gaffs [sic] have now been rectified. Apologies. Mark.)
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