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US man's Volvo nears 3 million mile mark

US man's Volvo nears 3 million mile mark

Published: 10 Jul 2012 08:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jul 2012 08:16 GMT+02:00

A US motorist who bought a Volvo in 1966 and already holds a Guinness World Record is about to pass the 3 million mile (4.8 million kilometre) mark in the nearly 50-year-old Swedish brand car.

Irvin Gordon, who turns 72 next week, bought his Volvo P1800s when he was 25-years-old, paying $4,150 for the sporty red car.

"It was a whole year's salary," he told the AP news agency.

Gordon has been driving it ever since – including on numerous road trips and family vacations – and is now a mere 34,000 miles from breaking the 3 million mile mark.

"It's just a car I enjoy driving," he said.

Gordon has held a Guinness World Record since 1998 when, with 1.69 million miles, his Volvo was recognized as the "highest certified mileage driven by the original owner in non-commercial service", according to Hemmings Motor News.

Back in 2007, Gordon told the Volvo Owners Club in the UK that he thought it would be nice to reach the 3 million mark by his 72nd birthday on July 15, 2012.

"That seems like a nice day to clock three million and park the car once and for all," he said at the time.

"It will be a fantastic testament to the engineering genius of Volvo as well as to the resiliency of folks my age."

His odometer has long since been unable to show the well-over 2 million miles he's already driven.

But the meticulous driver, who now drives with the boot of his red Volvo filled with various essentials he thinks he may need on the road, has tune-up records to verify his car's sky-high mileage.

First produced in 1963, Volvo's P1800S model was produced in Gothenburg in western Sweden as a updated version of the P1800, which was first produced in 1960.

Gordon's Volvo reached its first million miles after just 21 years, and passed the two-million mark 15 years later.

On average, he drives the Volvo around 90,000 miles per year, often to car shows and other events.

"I have had coffee in every state," Gordon told the AP.

The avid motorist's high-mileage feat hasn't gone unnoticed by Volvo, which often invites Gordon to represent the famous Swedish brand at auto shows.

They've also featured him in advertisements and even given him two new Volvos along the way.

"I don't think (just) any car could do it," John Maloney, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, told the AP.

But despite the new Volvos (one of which he ended up selling), Gordon has no plans to part with his beloved Volvo once they together pass the 3 million mile mark, comparing the vehicle to a "good woman".

"Why would I want to get rid of it?" he asked.

"I have a feeling I'll be dead long before the car."

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Your comments about this article

09:35 July 10, 2012 by BenC30
Wow! My Volvo passed the 18,500 mile mark, but 3,000,000? That's impressive! I would love to think mine would last that long!
10:44 July 10, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
Great story!
16:34 July 10, 2012 by cupidcub
Every man should love their car more than their wife.
18:43 July 10, 2012 by dott
Impossible for modern volvos
19:53 July 10, 2012 by millionmileman
As the man who drove a million miles, in a 1989 SAAB 900 SPG and another 2 million with my other SAABs. This is another great SWEDISH milestone. I rode in Irv's car 2 years ago and to have 2 Americans ride together with 6 million miles between us, 3 million each, in 2 Swedish Cars built 50 miles apart is mind-blowing!

A great testiment to Swedish quality and engineering
23:14 July 10, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
Well my ex-wife only gave away her 1975 Volvo after 30 years [I forget the milage] only because spares were impossible to obtain for maintenance.

Good value, proved very reliable.
11:09 July 11, 2012 by Twiceshy
How much of the original car is still in there, and how much did he spend on maintenance?

I can make any car ride for millions of miles if I'm allowed to spend untold amounts on new engines and other components...
03:07 September 15, 2012 by dcarlson12
If you do a bit of research, you will find he has not done very much to keep it going.
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