Cars

Mustang tally: The 45-year-old car that’s clocked up a MILLION miles (and hasn’t broken down once)

  • 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.

On a roll: Bob Lucas's Mustang is still going strong after 45 years in Santa Ana, California
On a roll: Bob Lucas’s Mustang is still going strong after 45 years in Santa Ana, California

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.

Vintage classic: Mr Lucas has been offered a lot of money for the car he bought for $3,000 - but has refused to sell
Vintage classic: Mr Lucas has been offered a lot of money for the car he bought for $3,000 – but has refused to sell
Hot wheels: Mr Lucas, a retired teacher, has never had a break down in his Ford GT Mustang 289
Hot wheels: Mr Lucas, a retired teacher, has never had a break down in his Ford GT Mustang 289

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.

Getting good mileage: Mr Lucas uses his car for charity work, family holidays and has taught his three daughters to drive in it
Getting good mileage: Mr Lucas uses his car for charity work, family holidays and has taught his three daughters to drive in it

‘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.’

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