Highest Mileage Car

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Have you ever dreamed of joining the Million-Mile Club? Many long-haul truckers and those who drive for a living every single day can easily rack up a million miles driving over the course of a career – but everyday citizens with just one vehicle? That’s much harder. This list contains over 15,000,000 miles worth of driving on 10 vehicles. According to the Everlance Mileage Tracking App if 100% of these miles were business-related the total deduction would amount to $8,175,000 using the IRS standard mileage rate or the CRA Mileage Rate!

Regardless of which model you choose, the vehicle must be well maintained to make it to a million miles. The process includes strict adherence to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This is crucial when you purchase the vehicle so that you do not void the warranty the first few years that you own it.

Follow the automaker’s schedule for severe driving, which includes operating the vehicle in frequent stop-and-go traffic, extreme hot or cold conditions, dusty areas or regularly pulling a trailer. One or more of these conditions apply to the majority of automobiles.Other routine maintenance checks include regular inspections of the hoses, belts and battery. You should replace belts and hoses when they are frayed, cracked, loose or show excessive wear. Check the fluid level inside the battery once a month by removing the plastic cap. If it is low, replenish it with distilled water. Keep the terminals free of corrosion by brushing them with a solution of water and baking soda before rinsing them with clean water.

#1 Irving Gordon: 1966 Volvo 1800S

Irving currently holds the Guinness World Record for the highest vehicle mileage on a personal car, with over 3,000,000 miles on his 1966 Volvo 1800S!Irving estimates he drives over 100,000 miles per year visiting car shows, with the longest stretch in 1 trip being New York to Vancouver, Canada. He was interviewed by Popular Mechanics after setting the world record and detailed the maintenance of his vehicle, saying that he changes the oil every 3,000 – 3,500 miles and changes the transmission fluid every 25,000 miles. An even crazier feat was the fact that his original clutch (yes, this is a manual transmission vehicle) lasted a whopping 450,000 miles! For reference the average lifespan of a clutch is around 50,000 miles with some people seeing 100,000 miles if properly taken care of. Could it be that Volvo built a near-indestructible vehicle in 1966 or is Irving just that gentle on his cars? The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Either way this is a remarkable feat.

#2 Gregorios Sachinidis: 1976 Mercedes 240D

Gregorios comes in 2nd with 2,850,000 miles, however, this is a bit of a cheat for “personal use”because he drove for a living (taxi). The reality is that this was a dual-purpose vehicle. He used it for business and personal use. Just like a lot of self-employed individuals. The really cool part to this story is that Gregorios hit this milestone in 2004, 14 years ago, and when he did Mercedes-Benz verified the accuracy of the mileage and awarded Gregorios a C-Class! Of course, in order to get the C-Class he had to give up his prized Mercedes 240D, but I think we can all agree – it was a pretty good trade. How many of you would happily trade your vehicle with 2,000,000 miles on the clock for a brand new Mercedes? Gregorios made out pretty good in this deal and got a lot of use out that 240D which now resides on display in Mercedes-Benz’s personal museum as the longest running vehicle in the brand’s history!

#3 1979 Volvo 245 GL

While it’s nice to have a personal story to attach to vehicles, sometimes vehicles are just company cars. Designed to be used by anyone and everyone at a specific company.In this instance, the 1979 Volvo 245 GL that put up 1,630,000 miles was the property of a Finnish company called S.E. Makinen.There aren’t a lot of details about this use of this vehicle but we like to imagine that it’s traversed the world a few times and visited some really cool far-off destinations. However, it probably spent its entire life navigating the country of Finland as part of a logistics fleet.The company has said that it didn’t do anything to the vehicle other than “proper care” and if that’s true that says a lot about older Volvo’s.

#4 Joseph Vaillancourt: 1963 Plymouth Fury

This story is almost too crazy to believe. After driving his vehicle as a taxi in Montreal for most of his career Joseph had managed to reach 1,620,000 miles by 1999. This was almost good enough for the Guinness Book of World Records at the time, he only needed a few hundred more miles (264 kilometers, actually) to take first place. Unfortunately, he would never get there. While driving his vehicle his vehicle was totaled by a truck that ran a red light. While he was unhurt, his chances of getting the world record were ended that day.

#5 Albert Klein: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle

Of course you’d expect one of the most mass-produced vehicles of all-time to be in the top 10, right? This particular Volkswagen Beetle was owned by a Californian man named Albert Klein who bought the car brand new in 1963 for $1,900. In 24 years time Albert had managed to drive 1,610,000 miles and this in itself is a pretty astonishing feat, but there was a really big catch. All of the vehicles above had managed to drive 1m, 2m even 3m with very few replacements.Not the Beetle. This vehicle truly was a terribly built car, but Albert was…um…persistent. Or maybe a bit obsessed? Either way, the final tally of replaced parts reads like a part list from a junk yard.

  • 7 new engines
  • 3 transmissions
  • 150 tires

In addition to the absolutely obscene number of engine replacements (7!), and 3 transmissions (actually, that’s not bad), Albert had kept records of not only his tire consumption, but gasoline and general maintenance costs as well. He says he went through over 35,600 gallons of gas just getting to the million mile mark and over $38,000 in maintenance costs! I wonder how much of that maintenance was 7 engines…

#6 Chet Belisle: 1983 Lincoln Town Car

CNN ran a feature on Chet in 2009, which you can now view on YouTube, where he brags about his 1m mile Town Car. Actually, his 1.3 million-mile Town Car, including the impressive claims that he got over 22mph and never had to do any major repairs! Chet didn’t drive for a living, he drove because he enjoyed it. He would take trips from his Kansas home across the country and back, multiple times. He was definitely at home on the road.

#7 Frank Oresnik: 1991 Chevrolet Silverado

Frank was a steak & seafood delivery driver that drove from his home in Green Bay, WI to Chicago, IL nearly every day! That’s one serious commute. Unlike the majority of people on this list, Frank didn’t buy his truck new. He bought it in 1996 with 41,000 miles on the odometer, though he’s driven every mile since. Frank managed to hit the 1 million mile mark with an ad man and a television crew, but he would go on to put another 290,000 miles on the truck he nicknamed “Old Girl” and he still isn’t done driving!

#8 Family: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE

In 2014 the current driver of the ’66 Benz 250 contacted the High Mile club to report their odometer had just crossed the 1.2 million mile mark. The real story is the family that owned it before him, though. The original owner had purchased the Mercedes new in 1966 and managed to drive over 877,000 miles himself before he passed away. Then his family took on the task of getting to the million-mile mark and over the next few years put on over 300,000 miles before finally selling the vehicle to a man Ben Clopot. Along the way the family kept meticulous records of the car. In the documentation it is said to have had the following major repairs.

  • 2 bottom end engine repairs
  • 4 top end engine repairs
  • 2 rebuilt transmissions

While that repair list is pretty impressive considering the car is over 42 years old, the most amazing part of this story is that this vehicle is still being daily driven!

#9 Hugh & Tammy Pennington: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

I want you all notice something here. This truck has over 1,000,000 miles on it and it’s a 2006! Even crazier is the fact that they managed to drive over 1 million miles in 6 years. While diesel engines are known to have a seriously long life span, who could have predicted over 1m miles? Or more specifically, 1m miles in 6 years with no major maintenance. Hugh & Tammy have said they simply change the oil every 5,000 miles and wash it when it’s dirty. Is it just us or is it pretty impressive that 2 very different generations of the Chevrolet Silverado has managed to make up 20% of this list?

#10 Phil Marsella: 2006 Ford F-250

Another 2006! This kind of longevity in a vehicle is a promising thing to see. This particular F-250’s miles are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the Silverado above. While it only took Phil 4 years to put on 1, 000,000 miles (WOW!) it took him 2 engines. Furthermore, he drives for a living so this is a work truck, not necessarily personal use. That being said, Phil put on over 1.2 million miles in 5 years and that’s definitely a vote for coolness in our book. Also, since the vehicle is still operational it’s suspected that the Ford may actually be higher up on this list today. Considering it’s been 7 years since he broke 1.2 million miles, if the usage has stayed the same this truck may very well be in the 2m+ mile range! For all we know he could be aiming to break the all-time record and we wish him luck.

In rare cases, a few owners have racked up more than a million miles on a single vehicle. This phenomenal number is equivalent to driving around the equator 40 times. At 60 mph, it would take two years of continuous driving to cover the distance. Here are the current highest mileage cars of all time:

1) 1966 Volvo P1800 owned by Irvin Gordon (World Record Holder)

The Guinness World Record holder is a 1966 Volvo P1800 owned by Irvin Gordon of Long Island, New York. A retired science teacher, Gordon crossed the million-mile mark in 1987. He hit the 2 million-mile mark five years later. The feat was celebrated in Times Square. His red, two-door coupe reached 3 million miles in 2013. When Gordon purchased the vehicle in June 1966 for $4,150, the price was the equivalent of a year’s salary. Gordon has driven the automobile every day and logs approximately 90,000 miles per year. He drives to numerous car shows and other events in the U.S. The car is also displayed overseas occasionally. The longest non-stop trip was from New York to Vancouver. Gordon jokes that he would sell the car if he could get a dollar per mile.

2) 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Owned by Hugh Pennington

After retiring as an autoworker, Michigan resident Hugh Pennington started a new career delivering camping trailers across America. He bought a brand new Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD in 2006 to haul the 39-foot trailers. While the heavy-duty truck is a little battered on the outside, the vehicle is still equipped with its original engine and transmission. Pennington says that he replaced the fuel injectors once. The million-mile mark is a testament to the strength of this truck that makes epic road trips across the country while pulling giant trailers. Pennington’s wife recommends the optional leather seats for a more comfortable ride if you want to rack up a million miles in your vehicle.

3) 1990 Honda Accord Owned by Joe LoCicero

Another vehicle reaching the million-mile threshold is Joe LoCicero’s 1990 light blue Honda Accord. The automaker sponsored a parade in Saco, Maine to celebrate when the four-cylinder sedan hit the impressive milestone. The biggest wear items are the upholstery and seat belts. Joe and his wife Sharon raised two children while driving the automobile. LoCicero purchased the car in 1996 when the vehicle had 74,000 miles on it. He faithfully complied with the factory-recommended schedule for oil changes, tune-ups and other routine maintenance. The original fuel pump lasted just over 740,000. LoCicero, a master mechanic, rebuilt the engine once.

4) Dodge Ram 2500 Owned by Dan Edelman

In 2010, Dan Edelman’s Dodge Ram 2500 eclipsed the million-mile mark. Working as a courier, he can put between 500 and 600 miles per day on the 1996 Cummins diesel-powered pickup truck. Edelman chose the truck because the engine and transmission were mostly mechanical and had few electronic components, which make them easier for him to maintain. Over the years, he has had to replace the alternator, starter, radiator and water pump as well as the transmission several times. He rebuilt the current transmission, which has lasted over 600,000 miles.

5) 1989 Saab SPG Owned by Peter Gilbert

Salesman Peter Gilbert drove his meticulously maintained 1989 Saab SPG (Special Performance Group) over a million miles in 17 years. In 2006, he donated the car to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. While the engine and turbocharger are original, Gilbert had to replace the transmission once and the cylinder head gasket three times. The car is still mechanically sound. He donated the car to the museum located in the small town of Hartford because the salty winter roads in rural Wisconsin took their toll on the body panels. Gilbert credits the car’s longevity to regular maintenance and synthetic oil.

6) 1983 Lincoln Towncar Owned by Chet Belisle

Built in 1983, Chet Belisle’s full-size Lincoln Towncar has logged more than a million miles transporting Belisle across America from his home in Topeka, Kansas. While the V-8 engine and transmission have been rebuilt several times, the car has never left Belisle stranded on the side of the road. He follows a regular maintenance schedule and purchases parts with lifetime warranties. When they wear out or break, he trades them in for new ones.

7) 1990 BMW 325i Owned by Mobil 1

The Mobil Oil Company purchased a six-cylinder 1990 BMW 325i brand new to test its synthetic motor oil. While it has 40,000 road miles, the rest of the car’s miles have been driven on a laboratory dynamometer. The engine was stopped for scheduled oil change. After running the car at 85 mph for four years, the million-mile mark was reached. The engine was disassembled to check the tolerances for wear. They had the same specifications as when the engine was first built. The experiment proved that the company’s Mobil 1 oil has the ability to protect an engine. The results of the experiment enabled Mobil to become the official oil for BMW’s race cars and standard production models for the next 25 years.

How to Get Your Vehicle to Last Over a Million Miles

Regardless of which model you choose, the vehicle must be well maintained to make it to a million miles. The process includes strict adherence to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This is crucial when you purchase the vehicle so that you do not void the warranty the first few years that you own it.

Follow the automaker’s schedule for severe driving, which includes operating the vehicle in frequent stop-and-go traffic, extreme hot or cold conditions, dusty areas or regularly pulling a trailer. One or more of these conditions apply to the majority of automobiles.

Other routine maintenance checks include regular inspections of the hoses, belts and battery. You should replace belts and hoses when they are frayed, cracked, loose or show excessive wear. Check the fluid level inside the battery once a month by removing the plastic cap. If it is low, replenish it with distilled water. Keep the terminals free of corrosion by brushing them with a solution of water and baking soda before rinsing them with clean water.

Before driving, use a reliable gauge to check the air pressure in your tires. Keep them properly inflated. Use the penny technique to check tread wear regularly. Rotate the tires annually.

These techniques will reduce the wear and tear on your engine, transmission and other vehicle systems. Fixing minor problems early will also help prevent major repair expenses later. Proper maintenance will prolong the life of your car, truck, minivan or SUV and help you reach a million miles.

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