I have a 14-year-old car that’s less than 200 miles away from turning to 100,000 miles.
Victor Sheppard passed 100,000 in his first year of car ownership.
I’ve been a little nervous about the change to six digits on the odometer, but after hearing Victor’s story I’m starting to hope that this first hundred thousand is just the start of many more to come.
Victor has done something that very few people on Earth will ever accomplish. He reached a milestone with his vehicle that has only been reached a handful of times, and he did faster than anyone would have believed possible.
Victor has driven a 2007 Toyota Tundra over 1 million miles.
Since buying the Tundra new, Sheppard has regularly driven from his home in Houma, LA, a little over an hour outside of New Orleans, to work assignments as far away as North Dakota, Wyoming, and Virginia, logging an average of 125,000 miles each year for nine years.
The million-mile Tundra was one of the first of its kind assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio, TX. Sheppard has been the sole owner of the truck and brought it into the dealer for service 117 times. It still has its original engine, transmission, and paint job, which is still in near-new condition. Sheppard says even the interior still looks new.
So what’s a well-preserved Tundra with a million miles worth?
A Toyota press release says,
For Toyota’s production engineers and team members, the truck’s longevity offers invaluable insight for future products. For Sheppard, it was worth a new truck.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. swapped trucks today with Sheppard at Greg Leblanc Toyota in Mr. Sheppard’s hometown, Houma, La., in a brief ceremony.
Mike Sweers, the chief truck engineer from the Toyota Technical Center, said,
Having a million-mile truck in as pristine condition as this one with original parts is a truly rare find. Our team plans to tear down the entire truck, bumper-to-bumper, top-to-bottom to evaluate how the quality and safety we designed, engineered and built into the Tundra has held up to over one-million miles of real-world driving and help us continue providing ever-better vehicles for our customers.
We’re happy that Victor got a new truck out of the deal, but also wonder if Toyota has any ulterior motives. Automakers would be in trouble if all cars lasted a million miles. Is it possible that Toyota might replace parts that have held up remarkably well with cheaper parts to save money and keep customers coming back for new cars every 200,000 miles?
That’s an unlikely scenario, and I think this accomplishment is one of which Toyota and Mr. Sheppard should be proud.
What’s the most mileage you’ve ever put on a car?