• The Three Million Mile Man Takes His Last Ride To Heaven

Irv Gordon had covered more than three million miles in his Volvo P1800S before his death

The owner of the famous three million mile Volvo P1800S, Irv Gordon, has passed away aged 77, during his trip to China. This news comes courtesy of sources in the American Volvo community. Gordon holds the Guinness World Record for highest mileage count for a single production car ever and became famous in the classic car circle for accomplishing this feat in his invincible Volvo P1800S.

Did THe Three Million Mile Man Drive Anything Else?

Considering the number of miles he clocked on his Scandinavian classic, it is only fair to assume that the P1800S is the only car he has ever owned.

But no, Gordon has not been driving the P1800S all his life.

Before getting the Volvo, he owned two Chevrolet Corvairs. Talking to Wired eight years back, Gordan said, ‘I had nothing but trouble with the first [Corvair]. I was a brand new schoolteacher, I started teaching in ’62, and I needed a car that would take me 125 miles to work back and forth’.

Playing By The Rules Is The Secret To Longevity

He never had the idea to create a world record, or intend to put his Volvo through a test of sorts.

But once he crossed the 250,000-mile mark without replacing even a single component, Gordon realized he was onto something.

“I had never had a single repair on the car. Maintenance, yes, but I never had to have a water pump removed or anything like that,”, Gordon said. He knew the long-term benefits of ‘precaution is better than cure,’ thanks to his experience with the two Corvairs previously. Gordon did go for two engine rebuilds, but the first one was not even necessary according to the dealer.

The Record-Holder

The Three Million Mile Man Takes His Last Ride To Heaven
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In 1998, Gordon made the Guinness World Record for highest vehicle mileage at 1.69 million. This was not the end; not even anything close to what the car would go on to achieve.

On May 1, 2014, Gordon’s Volvo P1800S hit the three million mile mark in the town of Girdwood, Alaska.

The four-million-mile mark was laid to rest once Gordon started driving the Volvo XC-60R that was gifted to him by the automaker itself for the achievement.

It’s Not All Hunky-Dory

The Three Million Mile Man Takes His Last Ride To Heaven
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There was one incident, however, which would have given Gordon the heebie-jeebies. Gordon had driven thousands of miles to bring his car to Las Vegas for the SEMA show.

The P1800S was being moved by a container company, and a little mishap happened where the car sustained damage to its bodywork.

Apart from the engine rebuilds, this was one of the rare occasions where the car needed some work.

Our Take

The Three Million Mile Man Takes His Last Ride To Heaven
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This is one of the rare occasions where the driver will be remembered as much as the car itself. Irv Gordon set an example and is an inspiration to classic car enthusiasts all around the globe. What’s fascinating is that all Gordon did was follow the company manual to the T and take care of the car like it was his own blood.

This is the kind of feat that can never be achieved again; especially since new-age cars have gotten so much more complicated and sophisticated now. Back in the day, it was just the mechanicals and the body; no electronic shenanigans whatsoever. Despite better roads, better technically-sound cars, and better tools available to maintain a car, it’s going to be really tough to even come close to anything what Irv Gordon’s Volvo P1800S did. Do you think the modern-day or future EVs could do it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Autoclassics

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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