The First Car to 3 Million Miles?

One man's Volvo P1800 is still breaking records.

High Gear Media

Modern cars can do over 100,000 miles without pausing for breath. If you really pile on the miles, you might have 200,000 or even 300,000 miles on the clock. If the car Gods are really shining on you, you might have managed more than half a million.

Prepare to feel insignificant. Irv Gordon from East Patchogue, New York, and his 1966 Volvo P1800, have completed over 2.9 million miles together. If you're after an arbitrary comparison to offer some perspective, that's around six round-trips to the moon, or over 116 circumnavigations of Earth.

It also equates to an average of a staggering 64,444 miles per year since Irv took delivery of the car, five years after its launch in 1961. The beautiful P1800 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Irv hasn't gone easy on the car. Upon taking delivery back in '66 he drove it 1,500 miles in the first two days and had already amassed half a million miles in the first decade - far more than most cars do in a lifetime. Of course, though the car has proved itself time and time again, Irv is religious with maintenance and the car receives all the attention you'd expect it to.

By 1998 Gordon and his Volvo had made it into the Guinness Book of World Records at 1.69 million miles, more than anyone else in a single-owner non-commercial vehicle, and by 2002 they'd reached 2 million miles. It also means Irv is in the enviable position of breaking records with every mile he drives.

Three million miles is easily within reach, and Gordon expects to hit that target in the next couple of years. "In honor of the P1800's 50th anniversary, I'd like to reaffirm my goal of reaching three million miles within the next two years" explains Gordon.

It's not only Irv's record we envy, though. Very few people can claim to have owned the same vehicle for so long - never tiring of it, always giving it the attention it requires and enjoying so many journeys.

Whilst undoubtedly a testament to the quality and reliability of the Volvo, it's also a testament to the excellence of the automobile and what can be achieved.

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