March 12, 2002
Two million miles in a Volvo P1800
On March 27th, Long Island native and retired science teacher, Irv Gordon, is scheduled to reach a milestone no other individual has accomplished in the more than 100 years of the automobile: driving two million miles in the same vehicle.
To mark the occasion, Gordon plans to drive his shiny red 1966 Volvo P1800 through the heart of New York City on Broadway, cruising up to 44th Street in Times Square, where he’ll be the honoured guest at Volvo Cars of North America’s 75th anniversary party. The Swedish auto maker’s celebration will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (EST) at Times Square Studios, home of ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America.”
Irv Gordon, Click image to enlarge
“Of the 260 million vehicles on the road in the United States, only a handful have accumulated one million miles, and until now, none have made it to two million,” said Dan Werbin, president and chief executive officer for Volvo Cars of North America. “We like to say that ‘there are cars, and then there are Volvos,’ but there is more involved here than the wisdom of our engineers in developing a car that could last so long and travel so far. Irv’s meticulous care of his Volvo over the years has played a significant role.
Gordon bought his P1800 on June 30, 1966 at a neighborhood Volvo dealership for $4,150. “I was replacing a new car I had just purchased from another manufacturer that broke down on my drive home from the dealer,” Gordon said. “I love driving, and I put 1,500 miles on the P1800 during the first 48 hours I owned it. I just loved the way it drove.”
Gordon’s long commute to work (a 125-mile daily round trip) and his passion for driving enabled him to log his first 250,000 miles in less than 10 years. “The car never gave me any problems – didn’t overheat, never failed to start. At about half a million miles, the car was driving better than ever, and that’s when I was sure this is an extraordinary car.”
In October 1987, Gordon celebrated his one-millionth mile by driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in New York’s Central Park. Following his retirement a few years later, he made driving his pastime, going to Cincinnati for coffee or to Denver for lunch. “I’d ask a woman out for a lunch date. When she agreed, I’d say, ‘Fine, I’ll pick you up at nine o’clock.’ When she asked, ‘Why so early?’ I’d reply, ‘Because we’re having lunch in Montreal.'”
Gordon has driven to Mexico and Canada and has placed his car on a boat for excursions overseas. He drove in Holland, Denmark and Germany. While in Sweden, he drove to Volvo’s global headquarters to see where his P1800 was born.
In 1998, The Guinness Book of World Records honoured Gordon’s Volvo P1800 as the vehicle with the “the highest certified mileage driven by the original owner in non-commercial service.” Today, Gordon is breaking his own world record every time he drives his celebrated car.
In the weeks leading up to Gordon’s scheduled two-million milestone, he will visit a variety of automobile shows, dealerships and car clubs throughout the United States. At Volvo’s 75th anniversary party, he’ll cross over the two-million mile mark by driving onto Times Square Studio’s street-level stage.
As for what he’ll be doing on March 28? “I’ll keep on driving,” Gordon said, “but whether I drive three million miles is more up to me than it is the car. The car’s parts may be able to take it, but I’m not so sure about my own.”
Ten Tips To Help Make Your Car Last Two Million Miles – by Irv Gordon