World’s highest millage car could have been driven to the moon 14 times

  • Irv Gordon purchased his beloved Volvo P1800 in 1966
  • In his first weekend of owner, Irv notched up 2,414 kilometers in his new car
  • That was just the start, though, as Irv clocked up 5.1 million kilometers in the vehicle during his ownership

Published on Nov 24, 2023 at 7:24 PM (UTC+4)
by Adam Gray

Last updated on Dec 04, 2023 at 9:29 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Adam Gray

World’s highest millage car could have been driven to the moon 14 times

Some people like to keep their car tucked away to keep the miles down.

Not Irv Gordon, though, whose beloved Volvo P1800 clocked up an incredible 5.1 million kilometers (3.2 million miles) during his ownership, earning it the title of the world’s highest mileage car.

To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of driving to the moon 14 times.

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Irv never set out to become a world record holder, though.

In fact, he simply wanted a reliable car after two bad experiences with new vehicles.

So in 1966, he purchased a P1800 and notched up 2,414 kilometers (1,500 miles) after his first week of ownership.

What business did a middle-school teacher have putting in so many miles so soon?

He simply loved to drive and wasn’t afraid to admit it.

“Obviously, I like to drive,” Irv once said. “It’s my way of relaxing and getting away from it all.”

After clocking up 2,414 kilometers in just one weekend, Irv took every opportunity to get behind the wheel of his trusty car.

Apparently, at 402,336 kilometers (250,000 miles) and with no repair work outside of regularly scheduled services, Irv wrote to Volvo.

“We’re happy you’re happy with the product, don’t forget to buckle up,” the Swedish automaker responded.

Irv wrote again at 804,672 kilometers (500,000 miles) and again at the million-mile mark (1,609,344 kilometers), at which point someone at Volvo took notice and gifted him a brand-new 780 coupe.

Irv’s passion for driving wasn’t just restricted to his native US, though.

Irv Gordon became brand ambassador for Volvo Cars, which saw him bring his P1800 to auto shows throughout Europe.

He was even invited to the factory where his vehicle was built.

Irv also flew out to South Africa courtesy of Castrol Oil for a campaign highlighting the oil’s performance and reliability.

You’re probably wondering how Irv managed to keep his car running for so long.

In all the years that he drove his P1800, parts that routinely wore out were replaced and the engine rebuilt.

However, the engine block and transmission were all original.

When asked if he would ever give his old Volvo up if it wouldn’t start, his answer was frank and honest.

“No such thing, it’d never happen. If it didn’t start, I’d find out why it didn’t start and fix it.”

Sadly, at the age of 78 and the proud owner of the world’s highest mileage car, Irv Gordon sadly passed away in 2018.

# Tags - Car News, Cars, Volvo


Adam Gray

Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.