- Teacher bought beloved Ford for $3,000 when he was 34 – now he’s 79
A retired teacher who bought a car in 1965 is still behind the wheel four decades later – after racking up more than one million miles.
Grandfather-of-six Bob Lucas, 79, bought the Ford GT Mustang 289 from his local dealer in 1965 for $3,000.
Mr Lucas, then just 34, had no idea the hardy vehicle would last for the next 45 years – and clock up an astonishing million miles. He used his trusted vehicle as a family car and for his church duties delivering food to the poor – driving around 25,000 miles a year.
The six-digit odometer in the ‘honey green’ car returns to zero every 100,000 miles – which it has done ten times.
Mr Lucas, from Santa Ana, California, is already 50,000 miles into the eleventh turn – meaning the car is well on its way to hitting 1.1 million miles.
Despite its incredible longevity, the father-of-three said his car has never broken down once in 45 years.
He said: ‘I remember seeing it in the dealership lot in 1965 and thinking, ”that’s the car for me”. I had no idea it would last all my life.
‘I use it for work, for the church, for family trips, holidays, and my daughters also learned to drive in it. It’s been part of all our lives.
‘The clock has now gone around ten times, which means it’s over a million miles old and still going strong.
‘So many car collectors have offered to buy from me, for much more than I paid for it, but there’s no way I’d sell the old girl after all these years.
‘She’s never broken down, not once, and never given me any trouble.
‘The only problem I’ve ever had was once when I ran out of fuel, but that was my own fault.’
The car’s 289-cubic-inch V8 engine has been replaced over the years and it has been repainted, but the C4 three-speed automatic transmission is the original.
Mr Lucas said: ‘My car has not been babied or given special treatment. It’s just good transportation. If you want a car to last, drive as steady as you can and make the signals.
‘Many people sell their cars and get a newer model. But for me this car still holds all the thrill and enjoyment of the first day I bought it.’