3 million miles. 4.8 million kilometres. That’s the same distance as going around the world 3 times. There are probably some people who have travelled that total distance in various vehicles over many years but Irv Gordon did it all in just one car – a Volvo 1800S which he purchased in 1966. Irv reached the 3-million mile mark recently near the village of Hope in Alaska.
”It was all rather undramatic,” said Irv. ”We just cruised along and I kept an eye on the odometer in order not to miss the great moment”. At 4.00 pm on September 18, the meter ticked over, indicating that Irv and his Volvo had finally achieved those dreamed-of three million miles that they set out to reach many years ago.
“But it has really not been about just getting to the three million miles; it’s more about the trips that got me to the three million miles and what I have experienced getting there,” Irv continues. “I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”
He remembers collecting the car on a Friday back in 1966 and as it was a holiday weekend, he couldn’t stop driving it. In fact, over just that one weekend, he drove 1,500 miles (2,400 kms) and was back in the dealership for the first service the following Monday!
With a 125-mile (200 kms) round-trip daily commute, a fanatical dedication to vehicle maintenance and a passion for driving, Irv logged 500,000 miles (800,000 kms) within the first 10 years.
By 1987, the meter recorded the passing of the millionth mile and 15 years later, in 2002, the second million passed by as he drove along Times Square in New York. By then, his record mileage had caught the attention of Volvo and the media.
Passing the 3-million mile mark has earned him a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest mileage one man and one – and the same – car have reached together.
The record mileage is one thing but it is also testimony to the durability of Volvos in general and many owners around the world will agree that they were built to last a long time.