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The Car that Lived Forever

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Several weeks ago, I received an email from regular reader, Jason Stone. You might remember him from his guest post, Jason Stone’s Journey to Financial Freedom.

He wrote about an old story that became very popular around 2012. Unfortunately, I didn't hear about it until Jason's email. He essentially asked whatever happened to Rachel Veitch's 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente.

What is Rachel Veitch's 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente

As this 2012, NPR points out, After 567,000 Miles And 48 Years, Florida Woman Parks Her 'Chariot'. I think a name like "The Chariot" needs to be earned and this car certainly did that, right?

It's an amazing enough story on its own. Here's a video of the car:

Here are my two favorite takeaways:

1. Regular Maintenance Matters

"She's had her oil changed every 3,000 miles — Veitch buys it by the case and purchases filters too, then stands right there to make sure the mechanic does things right every time."

I'm not sure that regular maintenance is the key to making a car last nearly 50 years. In fact, I'm fairly sure it isn't since we'd all be driving cars that are 50 years old. I note it because it is a great reminder to take care of things if you want them to last. Admittedly, this is something that I'm not always the best at.

I don't think the cars build today are built to last like they were in 1964, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't want to get as much out of a car as we can.

To take it beyond cars, let's take a minute to congratulate Rachel Veitch on her own maintenance schedule. At age 93, as of 2012, that's a longevity story in itself.

2. Take Advantage of Lifetime guarantees

"Chariot has outlasted the 'lifetime guarantees' on three sets of shocks, eight mufflers and 18 batteries. 'I'm the lifetime guarantee people's nightmare,' Veitch said."

I'm the worst at this. Fortunately, my wife is much, much better with keeping and logging warranties. It certain sounds like it can pay handsomely over time. We have cashed in a few warranties, but it certainly wasn't anything like 18 batteries.

What happened to Rachel Veitch's 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente?

I couldn't find out what ever happened to Veitch's The Chariot. Maybe you can? What I did find is that an 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente was auctioned for $17,280 in 2015. It's probably not The Chariot as it appears to be superb condition, but it's still interesting to me.

Posted on March 28, 2016.

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