Irv Gordon’s Volvo P1800 reaches 3 Million Miles on Alaska’s Seward Highway

irv gordon volvo p1800

Irv Gordon's Volvo P1800 recently set an automotive milestone, clocking 3 million miles on the odometer in Alaska on the Seward Highway.  This makes Irv Gordon and his 1966 Volvo P1800 the first automotive history to reach 3 million mile mark.

Gordon drove his three millionth mile on September 18th, 2013 on the Seward Highway – Alaska Highway 1 – along the Turnagain Arm in his 1966 Volvo P1800. Alaska's known as the “Last Frontier”, which is the state's slogan, is one of two U.S. states Gordon has never visited and he felt was a fitting backdrop for this historic and breaking achievement.

Most might be wondering how someone could reach 3 million miles of driving in a lifetime, let along in the same car.  Irv Gordon, a retired Science teacher, used to drive have a 125-mile round-trip daily commute to and from the school where he worked.  He logged 500,000 miles in 10 years on his P1800 and had a fanatical dedication to vehicle maintenance which kept it in the best running condition possible.

In 1987, Gordon celebrated his one-millionth mile driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in Central Park.  Then in 1998 with 1.69 million miles, Gordon made the Guinness Book of World Records for most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle.  In 2002, he drove the Volvo P1800's two-millionth mile down Times Square in New-York City where the international media was watching.  Now everytime Gordon gets in his car and drives, he keeps breaking his own record.

“It’s not about getting to the three million miles; it’s about the trips that got me to the three million miles,” said the 74-year-old Gordon and Long Island native about his amazing accomplishment with his shiny, cherry red 1966 Volvo P1800.  “I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”

To celebrate a Gordon’s remarkable achievement in his P1800, Volvo is launching a special campaign called, “3 Million Reasons to Believe,” that ecnourages people around the world to visit and follow Irv’s remarkable journey, explore his favorite road trips and share their own reason to believe, in Volvos obviously.

“The best way to explore America is by car,” Gordon added. “I challenge everyone to go out and see as much as possible. Find your own journey and reason to believe because you only have one life to live. No matter how many roads I’ve been on, there’s always one I haven’t taken. That’s what makes it exciting.”

If you are going to explore America by car it's best to do it in car you love and enjoy.  “I bought my Volvo P1800 on a Friday and immediately fell in love,” Gordon recalled. “I couldn’t stop driving the car. It was a holiday weekend, and I brought the car back to the dealership the following Monday for its 1,500-mile service.”

Some might be wondering what's next for Irv Gordon and his seemingly unstoppable quest for more miles on his Volvo P1800.  “Everyone asks, what’s next? Well, I’ll keep driving my Volvo P1800 to auto shows and taking trips across the country. Not much will change. But whether I drive four million miles is more up to me than it is the car. The car may be able to take it, but I’m not so sure about me.”

Do you think could get 500,000 miles out of the your current car?  What about 1 million?  What would you do to ensure that you get the most miles out of your car?

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Adam loves cars and anything with wheels. He has many interests and passions but he especially loves writing and blogging. Hence starting this auto blog.

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Adam loves cars and anything with wheels. He has many interests and passions but he especially loves writing and blogging. Hence starting this auto blog.

6 thoughts on “Irv Gordon’s Volvo P1800 reaches 3 Million Miles on Alaska’s Seward Highway”

  1. This is pretty amazing but is possible to have technical details on that car, especially to know if the engine and the gearbox are original.

    1. I think Irv Gordon has had the engine and transmission rebuilt several times for the P1800 Joka. Seriously doubt any passenger vehicle could get over 3 million miles on an original powertrain. Still it is quite an impressive accomplishment and it shows you can keep cars far longer than most people think. 🙂

      1. Thanks for your answer. Yes we can keep old cars quite a long time. Maybe because the scheduled obsolescence wasn’t really existing in that industry.
        I own a Toyota 4 runner 1988 which have almost 400.000km. Everything is original, the engine, the gearbox, the transfert case, etc.. Even the clutch!
        I will keep it for as long as I can.
        Have a nice day.

        1. Wow, that’s incredible Joka! That is about a quarter of a million miles (250,000) and being on the original engine and transmission. I’m definitely impressed.

          I have a Honda Accord I’m hoping I can get at least 250,000 miles (or as you say 400,000 kilometers) out of, preferably more if no major issues come up. It’s been a great car so far.

          You are right that planned obsolescence is new for automakers and other manufacturers. They didn’t used to build products this way. In my opinion it’s easier to get more miles out of Japanese cars from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s because they are less computers and electronics. New cars are more reliable but if you have electrical or computer issues, it’s expensive to fix and repair. Most people rather just go buy a new car!

          Did you buy the Toyota 4Runner new or used? How do you handle maintenance? What do you if you need parts? I know Toyota parts are easy to get but I’m sure you need to order some auto parts online.

          Appreciate you sharing.

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