Some Cars Go Three Million Miles, Others Barely Top 100,000

Irv Gordon's 1966 Volvo P1800

Irv Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800

I found myself thinking about Irv Gordon yesterday.

If you’re not familiar with the name, you will be shortly. I thought of him as I drove my aging 2004 Jaguar X-Type through the pothole-ridden streets of my city. My car has 111,000 miles on it, along with all kinds of suspension/steering clunks and a frustrating occasional loss of power due to a vacuum line problem. On most days, the car purrs like the day she was new, but the old cat has recently shown signs of distress.

Its mileage isn’t terrible for a 10-year-old car, but I don’t know what kind of repairs lie in her immediate future or how much longer we will have together.

That was my train of thought when Irv popped into my head.

Irv Gordon owns a 1966 Volvo P1800 and, when we last heard from him, he was 30,000 miles short of hitting the 3 million mark. That was in July of last year, and yesterday I found myself wondering if the old Volvo had hit the milestone yet.

I glanced at my odometer again and almost chuckled. From Irv’s perspective, my car has barely been broken in. It’s just a tenth of the way to it’s first million, which Irv has driven three times already. My car has barely taken its first step, while Irv’s has run three marathons.

Three million miles on a car is obviously an extreme situation, as most modern cars will be lucky to hit 200,000 miles. There was an article at MSN recently that listed some candidates for hitting 300,000 miles, but that was your predicable list of Honda and Toyota vehicles. Who in 1966 would have predicted a little Volvo could drive to the moon and back a half-dozen times? Incredible.

Thinking of Irv and his Volvo put some perspective on the mileage of my car. I decided I should spend less time complaining about its clunks and and more time looking for ways to solve them. If I want to go even 200,000 miles, now is the time to find out what’s wrong and fix it!

What’s the highest mileage you’ve achieved in a car?


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Used Jaguar X-Type


  1. 1993 Ford Taurus 358000. Only part of the drivetrain replaced was idler pulley on the serpentine belt. Used half quart of oil between oil change (3500 miles) and 28 mpg. Totaled by uninsured driver running a red light.

  2. i have a 2003 ford transit which is on 463,000! im hoping for the big 500k this year!

  3. I have a 98 jeep grand Cherokee with 250,000 miles on it and runs like a champ. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if goes well past the 300,000 mile mark at all.

  4. 158k ON A 2001 Camry, my goal is to get it to 200k, then donate it to a charity who can hopefully get it to 300k

  5. I’m sitting at 115k miles in my 2010 Acura TSX. Haven’t even gotten started yet.

  6. I sometimes wonder about stories like Irv Gordon. If you do the math and Irv drove at a steady 60mph and drove 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take 24 years to accumulate that much mileage. So any way you look at it, apparently Irv spends most of his time driving. Not a pleasant way to enjoy a car, in my opinion.

    I’m not real up on constant(and heavy maintenance) so I tend to get rid of cars once they pass the 100K mark. My oldest vehicle is a early 1950’s Ford tractor, which is actually very easy to maintain as long as nothing major goes wrong, and my second oldest is my 2000 Toyota Spyder. It only has 50,000 miles on it, and since I only drive it 1000 or so miles a year, I doubt I’ll ever hit 100K before I hit the end.

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