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Wow! 3 million miles in 1 car

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

If you think you think you need to buy a new car because your old car has high mileage, you might want to look for inspiration from Long Island, N.Y., native Irv Gordon, who just logged a whopping 3 million miles in his car.

The retired science teacher drove his 3-millionth mile earlier this week on Alaska's Seward Highway. Alaska was one of two states that Gordon had not yet visited. His journey was chronicled on Volvo's website, where visitors can share their "reasons to believe."

His record-setting accomplishment began the moment he bought his 1966 Volvo P1800, though he had no idea at the time. After buying the car on a Friday of a long weekend, Irv says he "couldn't stop driving." He brought the car in for its 1,500 mile service that Monday. Because of a 125-mile round-trip daily commute, he was extremely dedicated to keeping the car meticulously maintained. He drove 500,000 miles in the first 10 years, made the Guinness Book of World Records for the most miles (1.69 million) driven by a single owner in a noncommercial vehicle in 1998 and logged the two-millionth mile in Times Square in front of international media in 2002.

Gordon, now 74, says he will continue to drive his Volvo, but he has no idea if he will reach another million miles. "Whether I drive 4 million miles is more up to me than it is the car. The car may be able to take it, but I'm not so sure about me," he says.

What's the farthest you've ever driven a car before trading it in?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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September 30, 2013 at 5:24 am

My Dodge Dakota 1993 made it to about 250,000 miles, only had to replace the radiator once, and replace the tires 2 times, I drove to school and work and hung out with friends and my girlfiend. Good memmories, the paint started to chip away until I did a couple of spray paint jobs, then I finally took it to a pro. I do miss it, in the end I donated to Make a Wish Foundation.

September 30, 2013 at 4:13 am

My 78 G20 Chevrolet van only made it to 110,000 miles before spinning a bearing and needing a new engine.

American cars used to have a 100000 mile life span. I suppose they figured anyone would want to replace it by then, so why bother improving the engineering.

September 30, 2013 at 2:53 am


Morgan Stratton
September 30, 2013 at 2:27 am

I drove a 1988 Ford Ranger 330,000 miles before a streetlight on Floyd Curl Drive in San Antonio bent the frame. It was not unhappy, just a little rust, still eating up the long drive to work and I am sure it would have made it across the country again.

September 30, 2013 at 2:24 am

I agree with Chuck, 175 miles a day every day for 47 years is a bit hard to believe.

September 30, 2013 at 2:06 am

This has to be bogus! You do the math. He would have to drive 175 miles a day -EVERY DAY - for 47 years. No time off for maintenance, family matters, you name it... Doesn't wash!!!

karen Freeman
September 30, 2013 at 1:12 am

I remember when this man hit 1 million miles with that Volvo. He bought it at Volvoville in Amityville New York, where I had purchased my Volvo in 1987. Great article :)

September 30, 2013 at 1:03 am

what's missing is his maintenance log. I can keep adding new parts and run a long time.

Jim Jordan
September 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

1995 Geo Metro xfi - 278000 miles. This was a 3 cylinder car with no air - had cruise control installed later. It was rated at 58 mpg on the road-53 mpg in town. I actually got 47 on the road- 35 in town. Drove it 280 milesx2 every week from Decatur, Illinois to Fort Wayne, Indiana - my job moved to Fort Wayne so I came home on Friday night - went back on Sunday night for 6 and a half years. A lady ran into me and totaled it at 278000 miles - the car ran good until that happened. No power but good mpg. I loved that car - it NEVER left me on the road in the 6 and a half years. Wish they still made it - I would buy another one.

September 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm

2001 Toyota Sienna 365,000 drove it straight to the junk yard. had too many codes and too costly to fix. I still miss her though. we had some great memories in that old van..