A Vintage Tale from Florida

Photo credit: Greg Gjerdingen

How would you feel about coming across a legally blind 93 year old driving a car which is almost 50 years old?

It might sound the start of a disastrous tale of motorway mayhem but it is actually a story which warmed my cockles a little this morning.

Rachel Veitch from Florida is the heroine in question, and a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente is the vehicle she has been using since snapping it up in February of the same year, when Lyndon Johnson was President, Muhammad Ali was the heavyweight champion of the world and The Beatles were becoming fairly popular.

Since then man has landed on the moon (allegedly), the Berlin Wall has come down and Mr Blobby has got to number one on the charts. All the while, Mrs Veitch has been riding along in her classic car, which has had its battery changed 18 times, while the owner has had a total 3 different husbands since buying her vehicle all those years ago.

A Bargain Price?

The original purchase price was $3,289, which actually seems a bit steep to me, as my Dad claims that every single item he bought before 1970 involved handing over a tenner and getting enough change back to buy a new pair of shoes and take a fortnight’s holiday in Margate.

This story – the one about the vintage car, not the one about my Dad’s wonky memory – came to light because Mrs Veitch has now stopped using the cat at last, due to being declared legally blind.

She said that she cared for the vehicle “meticulously” throughout all those years of ownership and that she now hopes to sell it, as her family wouldn’t take care of it like she has done. Before that, it will be presented at a classic car show in Wisconsin.


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