Irv Gordon crosses 3 million miles in his Volvo P1800
Volvo enthusiast has driven nearly every road in the U.S. in his original, 47-year-old Swedish coupe.
For the sake of nothing but himself and an old red Volvo, Irv Gordon has driven more miles in a single-owner car than anyone on earth. As of Tuesday, he just hit 3 million.
Gordon, a retired science teacher from Long Island, N.Y., has been in the news for the past 30 years, simply for his obsessive passion for driving and sightseeing -- and for doing it all in one of the prettiest Volvos ever made, a 1966 P1800 coupe.
On Tuesday, his odometer -- still five digits, and meticulously noted at each rollover -- passed 3 million on a stretch of Alaska Highway 1. Even at age 74, Gordon has managed to average nearly 64,000 miles a year since he purchased the P1800 new in 1966 (imagine the dealer's surprise when he returned three days later for his 1,500-mile service).
Gordon has driven nearly every single road in the U.S., while having to rebuild his engine only twice. Needless to say, he never misses an oil change. While he worked as a teacher, his 125-mile round-trip commute was a mere walk in the park.
“It’s not about getting to the 3 million miles; it’s about the trips that got me to the 3 million miles,” Gordon said to Volvo. “I never had a goal to get to 1 million, to 2 million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”
Even though Volvo has capitalized on Gordon's mileage in advertising campaigns, Gordon is less keen for publicity stunts than his love for American roads. One sign of proof: He doesn't have air conditioning.
"The best way to explore America is by car," he said. "I challenge everyone to go out and see as much as possible. Find your own journey and reason to believe because you only have one life to live."
In 1987, he hit 1 million miles in New York's Central Park and reached 2 million in 2002 while driving through Times Square. In 1998, he first made the Guinness Book of World Records for the most miles driven by one car owner in a non-commercial vehicle. Gordon says that he probably won't make the next million, but that the car should have no trouble.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Gordon's Volvo had a modified seven-digit odometer. The odometer is stock and five digits.
Great story but many older American cars from the sixties could go that long with enough rebuilds and replacing parts.They still run American cars from the 50's down in Cuba and Mexico.I bet a lot of old Mercedes diesels have gone that long as well.
I have always liked the P1800! It was the car to the "Saint" as the Aston DB5 was to "Bond"!
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