It's safe to say Irving Gordon loved to drive. Really, really loved it. Even though he passed away last year at the age of 77, his beloved Volvo P1800 covered a record-breaking 3.2 million miles.
Gordon, a former schoolteacher from Long Island, gained fame and Guinness World Records by driving, driving and driving the Volvo P1800 he bought in June 1966. He originally turned to Volvos after having trouble with two consecutive Chevrolet Corvairs; Gordon needed a dependable car to get him to work and back every day, doing 125 miles of daily commuting.
Gordon said he really got into the record-driving thing after realising he had passed the 250,000-mile mark with his Volvo with just basic maintenance and no repairs, getting a nice letter back from Volvo after he wrote the company to praise its product.
His secret for getting his cherished Volvo to last so long?
"Follow the factory service manual, replace worn or broken parts immediately and don't let anyone else drive your car!"
The crazy mileage meant Irv was changing his oil every six weeks (857 oil changes in total, in case you were wondering.. Other service parts included 30 drive belts and 120 bottles of transmission fluid — and thanks to all of this maintenance, the car has never broken down.
Gordon hit 500,000 miles in 1976 and celebrated a million miles in 1987 by driving around Tavern on the Green in Central Park. He made the Guinness Book of World Records in 1998 at 1.69 million miles — for most miles driven by a single owner of a noncommercial vehicle.
In 2002, he hit 2 million miles, and marked 3 million miles in September 2013.
“I’m sure I’ll feel very bad once I find out how much I’ve spent on maintaining the car — I spent thousands of dollars every year on gasoline,” the divorced driver said.
“My friends used to think I was slightly nuts for driving as much as I do, but now that I am getting all of this attention for my Volvo, they are very impressed.”
To put his mileage in perspective, he drove the equivalent of about 120 times around the Earth — or six times back and forth to the moon.