- Associated Press - Monday, July 9, 2012

BAY SHORE, N.Y. — It just keeps going - and going - and going. No, it’s not a battery. It’s Irvin Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800S.

Mr. Gordon’s small, red two-door has more than 2.9 million miles on the odometer, the equivalent of nearly 1,176 times across the globe. The retired schoolteacher from Long Island, N.Y., hopes to log the 34,000 miles he needs to reach the 3 million mile mark by next year.

The 72-year-old Mr. Gordon drives his Volvo everywhere. He has held the Guinness World Records mark for high-mileage vehicle since 2002 and was the first person to hold that record.

“It’s just a car I enjoy driving,” he said.

He bought his beloved car on June 30, 1966, for $4,150 “a whole year’s salary,” he said.

Mr. Gordon’s car has just enough room for him and his essentials. His front bumper is filled with pins of his mileage achievements. Even his license plate says “MILNMILER.” And his trunk overflows with the many car parts he thinks he might need when on the road.

“I have a set of everything,” he said. “If I have it, then I am not going to need it.”

Mr. Gordon has been taking road trips since he was a kid and continued through his adult years. He says he would just tell his family to pack their things and hit the road. Mr. Gordon’s two daughters went on his road trips until they outgrew the tiny red car.

“They just couldn’t fit in the back any more. That is when I bought the station wagon,” he explained. “Volvo, of course.”

His odometer doesn’t have enough digits to display the actual mileage, but Mr. Gordon has tune-up records verifying it.

Now divorced, Mr. Gordon takes road trips alone. With trips to Montreal, Texas and Michigan in just the last month, the last leg of his trip should not be too hard. It took him 21 years to reach the first million miles and 15 more years to reach 2 million. Mr. Gordon averages 85,000 to 100,000 miles per year. Most of his trips are for auto shows, but he also takes trips across the country just for a good cup of coffee.

“I have had coffee in every state,” he said. “I am my own travel channel.”

Jordan Weine is a mechanic at Bay Diagnostic, an auto shop based in Brooklyn and a Volvo expert. He says because Mr. Gordon takes care of his car, he is able to get high mileage without much change to the car’s original mechanics. The car still has the original engine, though it was rebuilt twice in the car’s lifetime.

“How high does a redwood grow? If it is not messed with, it will grow,” said Mr. Weine, who hasn’t worked on Mr. Gordon’s car.

Volvo has sent Mr. Gordon to trips around the country and the world to represent Volvo in auto shows.

“I don’t think (just) any car could do it,” said John Maloney, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “It is a combination of a car beloved by his owner that has gotten Irv to this mileage.”

Mr. Gordon thinks that his Volvo will last way longer than 3 million miles.

“I have a feeling I’ll be dead long before the car.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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