Wed, Jul 11, 2012 - Page 7 News List

New Yorker nears 3 million miles in ’66 Volvo

AP, BAY SHORE, NEW YORK

It just keeps going, and going and going. No, it is not a battery. It is Irvin Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800S.

Gordon’s small, red two-door has more than 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) on the odometer, the equivalent of nearly 1,176 times across the globe.

The retired schoolteacher from Long Island hopes to reach the 3 million mile mark by next year. He only has 34,000 miles to go.

The 72-year-old Gordon drives his Volvo everywhere. He has held the Guinness World Records mark for High Mileage Vehicle since 2002 and was the first person to hold that record.

He bought his beloved car on June 30, 1966, for US$4,150 at the age of 25.

“It was a whole year’s salary,” he said.

Gordon originally wanted the convertible Volvo with air conditioning, but it was too expensive. He paid extra to have an AM/FM radio, though.

“It was US$10 extra, and at that time, US$10 was a lot — but an AM/FM radio was a big deal,” he said.

Gordon’s car has just enough room for him and his essentials. His front bumper is filled with pins of his mileage achievements and his trunk overflows with the many car parts he thinks he might need when on the road. Even his license plate says “MILNMILER.”

Gordon has been taking road trips since he was a kid and continued through his adult years. He says he would just tell his family to pack their things and hit the road.

Now divorced, Gordon takes road trips alone. With trips to Montreal, Texas and Michigan in just the past month, the last leg of his trip should not be too hard. It took him 21 years to reach the first million miles and 15 more years to reach 2 million. Gordon averages 85,000 to 100,000 miles 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.

“I have had coffee in every state,” Gordon said. “I am my own travel channel.”

The avid driver believes in taking care of his car and does not let anyone else drive it.

Gordon’s car has brought him fame. Volvo has sent him to trips around the country and the world to represent Volvo in auto shows.

“I don’t think [just] any car could do it,” said John Maloney, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America.

Jordan Weine is a mechanic at Bay Diagnostic, an auto shop based in New York, and a Volvo expert. He says because Gordon takes care of his car, he is able to get high mileage without much change to the car’s original mechanics. The car still has the original engine, though it was rebuilt twice in the car’s lifetime.

Gordon thinks that his car will last way longer than 3 million miles.

“I have a feeling I’ll be dead long before the car,” he said.

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