US & Canada

For sale: 1964 Mercury, one lady owner, 576,000 miles

Rachel Veitch in her trusty Mercury
Image caption Despite all those decades of driving, Rachel Veitch is nowhere near to holding the Guinness World Record for highest mileage

A 93-year-old Florida grandmother has parked her car for good after driving 576,000 miles (927,000km) over 48 years at the wheel of one trusty vehicle.

Rachel Veitch bought her Mercury Comet Caliente for $3,289 in February 1964. It has outlasted three marriages and 18 battery changes, she says.

On 9 March she had to give up driving as she has become legally blind.

Mrs Veitch plans to sell the car instead of giving it to her family amid concerns they might not look after it.

"They're not going to get it. They couldn't take care of it like I did," Mrs Veitchtold Fox News. She has four children, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Mrs Veitch said the care and attention she paid to her car was one of the main reasons it had lasted so long.

In 2009 she told Fox News: "When I buy gas, I write down the mileage, the date and how many miles per gallon I got. I've never been a destructive person and I've just taken care of everything, except my husbands."

Leno sale?

The car is said to be worth about $12,000 (£7,500) today and has been through three sets of shock absorbers and eight exhaust mufflers as well as surviving a rear-end collision in 1980.

It is due to appear in an antique car show in the state of Wisconsin in July, though Mrs Veitch says she is not sure what will happen to it after that.

Mrs Veitch has said she would consider selling the car to Jay Leno, a classic car enthusiast and host of the US late night chat show The Tonight Show.

"I haven't talked to Jay Leno yet, but I'm wondering if he's interested. But I don't think I should start talking about it now," Mrs Veitch told Fox News when news of her decision to stop driving emerged.

The former nurse has said, however, that she is adjusting well to life without her chariot.

"I know I'm not safe enough to drive, but I have taken it in stride," she said.

While Mrs Veitch has clocked more miles than a trip to the moon and back, her car does not hold the record for the most miles travelled.

Irv Gordon entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1998 with 1.69 million miles on his 1966 Volvo P1800.It is reportedthat he has now accumulated close to three million miles on the same car.

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