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Old 02-12-2002, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
He Drove 1,700,000 Million Mile In His Volvo!

Got this from another MB list. Thought to post here.

3,000 miles Get a Change

It's not just a myth. There's a guy out there right now who has a '66 Volvo P1800 that has almost 2 million miles on it now. He's a retired schoolteacher and all he does now is drive around for Volvo. His name is Irv something-or-other. I just call him Iron Butt. If you ask him the key to the car living as long as it has, he'll say, "I change the oil every 3,000 miles." You don't need to put in gasoline additives in the wintertime. If you keep changing your oil regularly, there is no need for you to put in any kind of magic voodoo goo.
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Old 02-12-2002, 10:00 AM
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Guinness record breaker? :)

I think it's an official record breaker... It was a Mercedes...

Article from "Chicago Magazine":

From the "Columbus Dispatch" 8/13/93
Irv Gordon has put a few miles on his Volvo over the years - enough to travel at least twice to the moon round-trip.

Unofficially the most durable car in the world, Gordon's Volvo P1800S has hit the 1,260,000-milemark - that's million - and appears to only run better the farther its driven.

Gordon, a middle-school teacher, made a spontaneous pit stop early yesterday at Segna Motors, 2265 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., while driving across the country.

"This car just amazes me. I make trips now just to see how long it will take before it starts to leave pieces on the highway," Gordon said. The car, which has been repainted four times, appears to be rust-free.

Long car trips are part of Gordon's life. He drives, just for fun, an average of 50,000 miles a year. He keeps records, which are verified by the Volvo company, of miles logged.

Gordon left his Patchogue, N.Y. home Monday for a road trip to the annual meeting of a Volvo owner's club in Flagstaff, Ariz. The meeting begins August 27 and he occassionally will stop at Volvo dealerships and parts stores along the way.

The fiery red car still has the same transmission and master cylinder it had when Gordon bought the car new in June 1966. It has most of the original engine parts, although he said the engine was rebuilt after 675,000 miles.

"The car has been great; it's never failed to start," he said.

The key to making a car last a million miles is to keep up on maintenance, Gordon said. Every 3,500 miles he changes the oil; the belts are changed every 100,000 miles.

Gordon appears to have broken a world record for the highest mileage, although his name does not appear in the 1993 Guinness Book of World Records because he's never turned it in.

The highest recorded mileage listed in the book is held by the owner of a Mercedes 180D that reached 1,184,880 miles in 1978.

Gordon has a 16-year-old daughter who is ready to learn to drive.

She won't be practicing in the million-mile Volvo. "No one drives this car but me," he said. "She can drive one of my other four Volvos."

Last edited by BlackE55; 02-12-2002 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 02-12-2002, 10:14 AM
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Whenever I hear about this car, it amazes me, because

I've overhauled several Volvo motors from that era, including one '66 1800S, and they all had bad camshafts long before they got to 200,000. I do suspect that at some time he has updated to a later model "type D" camshaft.
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Old 02-12-2002, 10:17 AM
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That reminds me -- how do I get one of those grill badges

for the '85 300TD I acquired last month -- it has over 311,000 and counting.
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Old 02-12-2002, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Seattle Area
Posts: 373
I remember hearing that he was on his third motor re-build. Now, I don't know if those are top and/or bottom-end rebuilds, but rebuilds nonetheless. Still impressive, but....

It's only a matter of time, before the right person comes along to run their MB that long! I think the main reason we haven't seen a Mercedes do this is the seats

- Ryan
'95 E420 - 'Shadowfax' 138kmi.
'92 Volvo 740Turbo Bard 193kmi
'74 240D - 'Ol' Green' 4spd Manual 104kmi. (sold )
'77 300D - 'Red' 223kmi (sold)
'75 240D - 'Bianca the Blue Bomber' (sold)
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Old 02-12-2002, 01:13 PM
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I had massive respect for the structural integrity of the 1800, it wasn't the fastest sports car ever built, but it was definitely one of the most solidly built.

Have a great day,
Change oil hot and change oil often
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Old 02-12-2002, 09:06 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
So. How much of a rebuild can you do on a car and still call it the same car? Some places I've heard of having to remodel 1/6 of a home at a time to avoid zoning issues - because anything more and it has to pass current zone rules.

So. New block? New transmission case? New cylinder head? Body panels? You could just about keep anything going for a long long time. OK. You need something that was popular so you can find parts.

Hmmm. W123? Well, most people get tired of the same car long before they really get all the use out of it. Then some kid gets it who revs it in neutral and drops it into drive (oh, that's another thread).

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