Monday, April 1, 2013
Longest car ownership: James C. Rees breaks Guinness world record
LOWER PROVIDENCE, PA, USA -- It's been a long journey for James C. Rees, 83, of Worcester and his 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe; It was registered as an antique vehicle in 1976 and is in terrific shape, setting the new world record for the longest ownership of a car from new,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: James C. Rees, 83 of Worcester, stands next to his 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe outside of Collegeville Italian Bakery. He was treated to a surprise party after achieving the World Record for the longest car ownership from new. Photo by Adrianna Hoff. (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record was held by Carl T. Keller of Clintonville, Wisc., and his 1951 Packard convertible.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the smallest roadworthy car; it was set by "Wind Up" which measures 104.14 cm (41 in) high, 66.04 cm (26 in) wide and 132.08 cm (52 in). It was created by Perry Watkins (UK) and finished and measured in Wingrave, UK.
In the years following World War II, Rees said, there was a waiting list for automobiles, but he was able to purchase a 1950 coupe from an uncle, which he then traded in for the 1951 Bel Air.
He went into the service shortly afterward, and his parents drove the car to Georgia for him to use while stationed there, The Times Herald reported.
After his discharge in 1954, Rees met his wife, Mary Jane, and the car became part of their everyday lives.
It was registered as an antique vehicle in 1976, and although it has required some maintenance and upkeep, it is in terrific shape, Rees said. It even has the original mats in the trunk.
"We still take it for an occasional drive." Rees said with a smile. He still shows the Chevy at antique car shows, parades and family events.
Related world records:
Largest private collection of Packards: New Zealand museum sets world record
First car with a wood burning stove: Pascal Prokop sets world record (Video)
Most people crammed into a Mini Cooper: Eastbourne fundraisers sets world record
Longest bumper car marathon: Sylvia Wayfer (Video)