“My first love is Volvo. I expect this one to keep on going long after it reaches 3,000,000 miles!”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Irv Gordon
- Car in Question: 1966 Volvo 1800S
- Odometer: 2,967,000+
- Car’s Theme Song: “Route 66”
- Rules: No eating, drinking or smoking.
- Date Purchased: June 30, 1966
Q: Welcome to Defend Your Ride New York! Has this car really driven nearly three million miles!? That’s amazing. What can you tell us about this record?
A: This car is the highest mileage car in the world, although there are many others with over 1,000,000 miles. However, those cars are no longer on the road, while mine remains a daily driver and is still making crosscountry trips.
Q: How long have you owned this Volvo?
A: I purchased the car new on June 30, 1966 at Volvoville, USA in Massapequa, New York. I put 1,500 miles on the car the first weekend and brought it back to the dealer on Monday morning for its first factory recommended service. They are still in business today.
Q: In the 46 years you have owned this vehicle, what is the farthest distance you’ve driven in it?
A: The farthest I have driven the car is to Vancouver and back, but the most interesting trip was driving the car back to the original factory in Sweden where my car was made. Then spending six weeks in Europe driving to several countries and visiting friends.
Q: That sounds like a lot of fun. If you were to give your car a theme song, what would it be and why?
A: Theme song? “Route 66” [is] most appropriate based on the number of times I have driven that route across the U.S.A.
Q: What kind of music do you like to listen to in your Volvo? Do you ever sing along?
A: I listen to the original AM-FM radio when traveling. Mostly country-western music is what is available where I travel and late at night–unless I can pick up a good, talk-radio station. If I can pick up a New York City radio station, great. However, Chicago seems to reach equidistant from the West Coast and East Coast. With my voice, there is little singing along going on.
Q: Do you have any rules in your car? If so, is there anyone you’d break the rules for? Maybe someone famous, hypothetically?
A: Rules in the car? Of course! No eating. No drinking. No smoking. There are no exceptions for anyone regardless of their position in society. I’m the guy who has spent the past 46 years trying to keep it neat and clean.
Q: Back to this record, where do you plan to break it? Anywhere specific?
A: I have no idea where the three million mile celebration will be or if one is planned just yet. For the previous two celebrations–the first at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park, the second in Times Square–I was the last person to be informed as to what was going to happen or where.
Q: It’s an amazing feat no matter where it happens. Just one more question please. You must love Volvos. You’ve had an incredible relationship with this one. Do you think Volvos generally are the best cars? Are there any other cars out there that have tried to steal your heart over the years?
A: There are lots of cars I would probably enjoy owning, especially some of the exotics, but my first love is Volvo. I have owned several. All have had hundreds of thousands of miles on their odometers. They have proven to be the most durable, safe, user-friendly and comfortable cars on the road in my opinion. My ex-wife, myself and daughters have had our share of accidents and we are still here to talk about them as a result of being in a Volvo. I expect this one to keep on going long after it reaches 3,000,000 miles!
About Irv Gordon & His Volvo
Irv Gordon purchased his Volvo in June 1966 and immediately fell in love, driving 1,500 miles in the first
48 hours. With a 125-mile roundtrip, daily commute, a fanatical dedication to vehicle maintenance and a passion for driving, Gordon logged 500,000 miles in 10 years.
In 1998 with 1.69 million miles, he made the Guinness Book of World Records for the most miles driven
by a single owner in a noncommercial vehicle. In 2002, he drove the car’s two-millionth mile down
Times Square to international media attention.
Today, Gordon breaks his own record every time he drives. He is committed to the goal of reaching the three-million-mile mark, a goal which he believes will secure his legacy as well as set a record that no one will ever beat.
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSBoston.com/Autos.