Saturday, June 13, 2009

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot!

The entire car hobby segment of the Internet is abuzz with the story of Rachel, the cute elderly lady who has gone over 540,000 miles in her car "Chariot" - a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente, which she bought new.

Aside from being one of those great "feel-good" stories, Rachel's lifelong love of a single car is an indictment of our entire throw-away society. Hot Rodders: think "true love"! "Enviro-Wackos: think "incredibly low life-cycle cost". You might not like the instantaneous efficiency of Rachel's carbureted Caliente, with its antiquated ignition points, but think of how she has been saving the planet for 45 years by not causing 15 new Hondas or Toyotas to be produced!

I've been a Mercury man since 1994, and the Caliente is as hot as its name, but that is obviously not the only captivating thing about this story. Her faithfulness to a single car, a single idea ... the awesome stability of that love ... well, it is a lesson for this whole fickle, "changing partners" society that we've evolved. The bittersweet part, of course, is that her Mercury has outlasted three husbands. Perhaps they did not understand the incredible power present in the monogamous love of a woman - which Rachel has clearly demonstrated toward "Chariot".

There is a sequel to the story, here.

And it just gets better and better ... (H/T: Drew Collins)