It Takes A Lot Of Road Trips To Rack Up Almost 3 Million Miles In A Single Volvo

Forget those million milers flying around in airplanes, sitting back and letting the pilots do all the work — we’re pretty amazed that one man has had the time and desire to drive not one million, not just two million, but almost three million miles in the last 46 years in a single car. He and his trusty 1966 Volvo are only 34,000 miles from crossing the three-million mile threshold together. That’s a lot of road trips.

Irvin bought the Volvo P1800S for $4,150 at the age of 25, which was a big investment back then, he tells the Associated Press — a whole year’s salary. He’s made sure to get the most bang for his buck since then, nabbing the Guinness World Records title for High Mileage Vehicle in 2002. It took him 21 years to hit a million miles and another 15 for two million — so what’s his secret to racking up enough miles to circle the globe 1,176 times?

“It’s just a car I enjoy driving,” he said.

He’s the only one who drives it and makes sure to keep good care of it. He started taking road trips when he was young, and continued driving his family on vacations in the car until they outgrew the two-door vehicle. Now that he’s divorced he still takes trips, with drives to Montreal, Texas and Michigan from his home in Long Island in only the last month.

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

He adds that his car will not only hit three million miles, but he thinks it will outlast him as well. And he won’t be parting with it anytime soon.

“Why would I want to get rid of it?” he asked. “Kind of like a good woman.”

LIer’s ’66 Volvo nears 3 million miles [Associated Press]


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  1. bnceo says:

    Sounds like Volvo needs to get this guy on the phone and get him and his car in a commercial. Talk about reliability! Great story

  2. Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

    Proof that if you take care of your car, it will last almost indefinitely. Too many people don’t bother to care for their cars, and that’s how they die a miserable, costly, soul-sucking death.

    • Upthewazzu says:

      Unless it’s a GM manufactured vehicle from the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s. In which case no amount of maintenance will keep it running.

    • bnceo says:

      Exactly. Proper maintenance, educating yourself on the product, and using it how it’s intended all contributed to this car lasting decades. I told my gf that I will have my 07 Corolla until it dies, but I’m afraid it can go an easy 200K before it gives me real issues, if any.

      • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

        I drove my ’92 Corolla up to 214k in August of 2008. I still got 33+ mpg on the highway. Heck, as pieces of metal flew off from the rust the car got lighter and I kept getting BETTER mpg! Then, I gave it to someone in need who didn’t change the oil and killed it in the first year…. ::sigh:: Sooo many “firsts” in that car.

        • poco says:

          Similar tale with my ’88 Accord. I bought it for $2000 dollars, it ran fabulously for six years and when I sold it to a friend he ran it into the ground inside of a year. Too many people don’t look after their vehicles.

    • edman007 says:

      Depends, highway driving is different, my last car the mufler went fast and often, I’m pretty sure my super short trips were just crazy rough on it, not much I could do to keep it working. At what point do you stop repairing it and just get a new one?

      If you read the article, the car is under constant repair, to the point that the trunk if full of spare parts. I wonder how much of that car is origional, I suspect most moving parts have been replaced.

    • shepd says:

      Depends on where you live. There’s only so many times you can patch rust holes in metal before the car basically becomes an entire patchwork of nothing more than swiss cheese. That and after 10 years or so most manufacturers quit making parts. Other manufacturers will often step in to make the parts that generally do get replaced, but the parts that would just rust away in certain parts of the country aren’t the ones that generally get manufactured. So once those rust out, you’d be faced with a machine shop having to make it from scratch. At which point, the cost is more than just replacing the vehicle with something made within the last 10 years and fixing all of those rusted parts instead.

  3. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Now that he’s divorced he still takes trips…
    “Why would I want to get rid of it?” he asked. “Kind of like a good woman.”

    Better, apparently.

  4. ZenListener says:

    I guess he won’t be getting a Viper when he hits the milestone.

  5. GrimJack says:

    I wonder what percentage of this car is original? Other than the frame and (probably most of) the body panels, I’ll bet a lot of it has been replaced over the years. Event the seats would get worn out after that much…errr… seat time.

  6. MaytagRepairman is stealing socks while fixing your dryer. says:

    Good grief. I am just trying to get 200,000 out of my CRV.

  7. NeverLetMeDown2 says:

    This guy spends an insane amount of time behind the wheel.

    Be generous, and assume 65mph average (very generous, given the traffic in the NYC metro area). 3 million miles @ 65mph is 46,150 hours, or 1000 hours/year for the last 46 years. There are only 8,760 hours IN a year. This means that he’s spending 2.75 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year (going 65mph the whole time) in his car. He must REALLY like driving.

    • KyBash says:

      Some of us drive until we drop when on long trips.

      Back when the speed limit was 75, I could average 73mph from Omaha to Reno in one straight shot.

  8. hammond egger says:

    You can drive any car for 3 million miles as long as you are willing to throw enough money at it.

  9. Sean says:

    My 97 Saturn just hit 178,000 miles. It is getting better gas mileage now than when we bought it in 2000. I have recently been getting 32 mpg city. I laugh when I see these new “fuel efficient” vehicles touting 35 mpg highway.

  10. red92s says:

    For those wondering what has been replaced on the car, assuming it’s just been rebuilt from the cround up check the interview here:

    Only one engine rebuild in 1978. Hasn’t been apart since.

  11. ferozadh says:

    That is a sexy Volvo.

  12. AngryK9 says:

    If that were me, the car would die at 2,999,999 miles.