- Written by webmin
Volvo’s gregarious unofficial head of brand relations, Irv Gordon, is celebrating his 70th birthday today.
Irv is famous for not only his welcoming smile and willingness to talk Volvo with all who inquire, but for being the Guinness Book of World Records-holder of the title of the most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle. The vehicle in question is his iconic red 1966 1800S, which now has traveled more than 2.8 million miles.
We’re pretty sure that there is only one of these badges around, and it lives on this car in East Patchogue, New York:
Irv bought his 1800 on June 30, 1966, and at the end of his first weekend of ownership, had put 1,500 miles on the car. With a 125-mile round trip to his job as a science teacher, he’d racked up 500,000 miles by the late 1970s. It turned 1,000,000 miles in 1987 – an occasion upon which Volvo, aware of the wonderful publicity Irv’s exploits brought to their cars’ legendary durability, awarded him a new 780 – and turned 2,000,000 miles in 2002 – when he was given a new C70 HPT 5M (red, naturally). Of course, neither of Irv’s more modern Volvo coupes have displaced his 1800 for his affection.
This past June, a collaboration of France’s Volvo clubs, Volvo Cars Heritage and Volvo Automobiles France, hosted the Viking Classic Auto Show 2010, which was a star-studded 50th anniversary celebration of the P1800 in the stunning Loire Valley. Irv was, of course, a VIP guest of the event, and was honored for his accomplishments. While his coupe has traveled around Europe during previous trips, it remained home during this event.
Irv and his 1800S can often be found at car shows, like the charity show on Long Island that he’ll be attending this weekend.
This dynamic duo continues to break their own record with every turn of the tires, and Irv has a plan for his next big event; “Three million miles by my 73nd birthday sounds right. But, whether I reach that mark is more up to me than it is the car. The car’s parts have long proven they can take it, but I’m not so sure about my own. Either way, it will be a fantastic testament to the engineering genius of Volvo as well as to the resiliency of folks my age.”
When asked what he’ll do with his Volvo after he turns three million miles, he says he’s considered selling it for no less than one dollar per each mile he’s driven.
“I used to think I’d park it in a museum where people will get to enjoy seeing the car that beat the odds – all with the same engine, same radio, same axles, same transmission, and of course, the same driver. Now I think, ‘no way.’ I’ll either keep driving it, or sell it for $3 million.”
And what would he do if someone took him up on that $3 million offer?
“I’d spend it on traveling,” he says. “Road trips, of course.”
Happy Birthday, Irv. Here’s to a million more…