Classic ride hits 3.2-million km

2012-07-09 13:39

 BAY SHORE, New York — Irvin Gordon had no idea that his 1966 Volvo P1800S would continue to chug along eventually racking up two million miles (3.2-million km).

The retired schoolteacher from Long Island, USA hopes to reach the 4-million km mark in 2013 and has over 540 000km to go.


Gordon (72) holds the Guinness World Record for High Mileage Vehicle since 2002 and was the first person to earn the record.

He bought his car on June 30, 1966 for $4150 at the age of 25. Gordon commented: "It was a whole year's salary."

He originally wanted the convertible Volvo with air conditioning, but it was too expensive. He paid extra to have an AM/FM radio, installed," It was $10 extra, and at that time, $10 was a lot. An AM/FM radio was a big deal!"

The car has just enough room for a driver and essentials. The front bumper is filled with pins of his mileage achievements and the license plate reads "MILNMILER."

Gordon's boot is filled with car parts in case the old clunker has mechanical trouble: "I have a set of everything. If I have it, then I am not going to need it."

It took him 21 years to reach the first million km and 15 more to reach two million. He averages between 136 000 km and 160 000 km per year. Most of his trips are for auto shows, but he also takes trips across the country just for a good cup of coffee.


Gordon said: "I have had coffee in every state. I am my own travel channel."

The car still has its original engine, though the vehicle has been rebuilt twice.

Volvo has sent Gordon to trips around the globe to represent th Swedish automaker.

John Maloney, president and CEO of Volvo Cars North America, said: "I don't think (just) any car could do it. It is a combination of a car beloved by his owner that has gotten Irv to this mileage."

Gordon thinks that his Volvo will outlast him: "I have a feeling I'll be dead long before the car."

Do you find the figures a bit hard to swallow? His Volvo is 46 years old and, by our reckoning, that works out at 70 000km a year, or 1350km a week, to reach 3.2-million km. The average driver does 20000km a year, if we compared that to Gordon's 21 year journey that only equates to 420 000km a year. This means that Gordon was averaging 76 635km per year!

Could you handle that kind of distance - in your spare time? Tell us about it in the Readers' Comments section below.

  • leroux.smit.7 - 2012-07-11 09:23

    Well, Irvan is retired, he has the time to do it! In your calculation section there is contradicting facts. Take the "a year" after the 420 000km out. Its confusing. None the less, very interesting story. They say that it is still the original engine, but the car has been rebuild twice... Does it mean that the engine was also rebuild, or not??? Cause you can still have the original engine and had it rebuilt... I guess he replaced a couple of wheel bearings along the way as well :-) Imagine he gets 100 000km on a set of tires, meaning he had 32 sets on tires on that car! Now he can write articles on tire performance and which is the best to buy!!!!

  • betsy.dorris - 2012-07-11 12:57

    try this in an Alfa. bwahaha.

      rorytaylor.futter - 2012-07-11 14:13

      One of my everyday Alfas has over 550 000kms on it Betty.Boob.... Original pistons, rings, disc brakes, the worx

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