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The first three things Irv Gordon did 47 years ago after purchasing a shiny red 1966 Volvo P1800 were to adjust his seat, check the mirrors and buckle up. After driving the same car more than 2.99 million miles, the Long Island native still abides by these rules.

Gordon has gained worldwide attention by becoming the first person to drive almost three million miles in the same car. In September, Gordon plans to turn three million miles in Alaska, one of two U.S. states he has never visited and a fitting backdrop for this historic moment.

Reaching this unprecedented milestone is due in part to Gordon's safe driving habits - driving with patience and awareness, and scheduling regular tune-ups at his long-time Volvo dealership. Gordon offers these additional safe-driving tips to fellow drivers:

Buckle Up. "It's the most important thing you and your family will do on a roadway. Plus, it was a Volvo employee named Nils Bohlin who created the 3-point safety belt, which has been credited with saving tens of thousands of lives so I'm a bit partial."

Batteries not included. "Make a rule that nothing requiring a battery charge reside in the front of the car. Cell phones, MP3 players, DVD players, etc. They are all potential distractions. Put them in the back or even in the trunk," Gordon said. "In fact, make a rule that everyone put their gadgets away. Road trips are wonderful times to reconnect with family members and enjoy the beautiful views this nation offers."

Expect other drivers will make mistakes. "Be observant of your fellow drivers. Don't assume a car pulling up to a stop sign will stop until you see it stop. Allow five to six seconds of time between you and the car in front of you. If a car is tailgating you, try to let that car pass."

During long road trips, take frequent breaks."This is not NASCAR; it's okay to take long breaks to stretch your legs, breathe fresh air and review your maps. It keeps you more alert on the road," Gordon says.

Spend a few minutes each week inspecting your car. "Even the most mechanically challenged car owners can look for low fluid levels or deteriorating belts and hoses. Also look to see that the battery connections are tight and corrosion free. These are the most common sources of trouble on the road. And, walk around your car to ensure the blinkers, brake lights, etc., are in proper working condition."

Adjust the mirrors. "Rearview mirrors aren't 'vanity mirrors' designed for admiring your hair or applying lipstick. Automotive engineers spent countless hours designing your car so that these mirrors would reduce blind spots when driving. Do the engineers a favor, and adjust your mirrors accordingly."

Ensure proper tire inflation. "There is a reason all service stations have air pumps and every mechanic has a tire gauge in his or her shirt pocket. Having your tires properly inflated is as important as having oil in your engine."

Don't drive if you can't stand the conditions. "Is it too late in the night? Too rainy? Too snowy? Too hot? Too cold? When you're driving, it's not the time to be daring. If you haven't gotten enough sleep, if the roads are too wet, or if anything else will inhibit your ability to drive safely, pull over at a rest stop or stay the night at a hotel. Maybe they'll have a swimming pool and a complimentary breakfast."

When your car makes a funny noise, listen to it. "Don't turn up the radio and hope that knocking noise goes away. It won't. If your car develops a condition, take it in immediately. The longer you wait, the greater potential for danger."

Weatherize your car year-round. "Prepare for the climate you'll be visiting and the season that is approaching, not just the one that's going on now. Have a qualified mechanic check your tire inflation, treads, brake wear, fluids, etc., and let him or her know the type of weather in which you could be driving. "
 

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how many motors?
 

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How many sets of tires? :)
 

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How many sets of tires? :)
Good question. Assuming he got 30K miles out of each set, that would 100 full sets...
 

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Irv Gordon - the early years...

http://www.cabinnaise.com/vpage/irv2.jpg

...the middle years...

http://webspace.webring.com/people/oj/jesca/p1800_6.jpg

...and a recent "profile"...

http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/irv-gallery-2.jpg?w=600

Irv's Swedespeed Profile Page shows inactivity...

http://forums.swedespeed.com/member.php?7426-I.-Gordon

...but he has been here early on (09-27-2004)...

Just returned Tuesday at 2:00 AM having driven straight thru from Kansas City via San Diego. Went by Dorothy and Toto's house while passing thru the backroads of Kansas as well as the old Dalton Gang hideout. Had a great time at the first annual car show and customer appreciation day at Superior North Volvo in Kansas City and made a bunch of new friends. Great food and great evening entertainment is you like live music....blues and jazz! KC is a beautiful city and perhaps the location of next years National Meet. It's dead center in the middle of the country with lots to do and see for the whole family. Another fast 8200 miles most of which was in 100 degree plus weather including all of California!! My 4/60 AC leaves a lot to be desired under such circumstances.
...and his last reply (02-05-2010)...

I am not aware of this particular discussion group but tried to find the comments you refer to without any luck. One can only wonder what my name came up in relation to. If they have any questions it is just as easy to ask me rather than to speculate. Perhaps you can advise them. Thanks for the head's up!!
Looks like the 3 million miles mark matures this September 2013.

George Dill
 

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IIRC from the VCNA Open House last year when he spoke, he's on the 3rd rebuild.
good to know thank you......you just never see anything about that in the story's!
 

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While he didn't talk about $ or parts-replaced, he made it clear that he takes very good care of this car with regular cleaning (lives near the ocean) and service. IIRC, he carries a fair amount of spare parts.
 

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While he didn't talk about $ or parts-replaced, he made it clear that he takes very good care of this car with regular cleaning (lives near the ocean) and service. IIRC, he carries a fair amount of spare parts.
Irv and VCNA work together to keep the 1966 1800S in top condition - Irv drives the car and VCNA maintains it.

http://classicvolvorestoration.com/3millionmilesandstilldriving.php

Back in 2007 the arrangement was a bit different...
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My car is quite original considering the mileage. Volvo Parts Dept. has made a log of what has been replaced and at what mileage. Almost everything on the car seems to last an infinitely long time which is why I use only OEM replacement parts. To give you an idea:

The engine has been rebuilt once at 680,000 miles..completely. The head has not been off since and that was in 1978. I had the work done by the same dealer that sold me the car in 1966 and they still service it today. I had it done as preventive maintenance as I never heard of an engine that could last that long.

Transmission has had the 3rd gear syncro replaced as well as the front and rear oil seals.

Brake rotors have been replaced once and the rear drums are still original.

Clutch and throw out bearing gets replaced approx. every 450,000 miles as needed.

Carburetors get rebuilt and throttle shafts get rebushed every 900,000 miles

One new starter motor

Two fuel pumps (first pump was changed at 1, 251,000 miles)

Three water pumps

Shocks, bushings, tie rods, etc. are replaced as needed…also at very high mileage…usually over 400,000 miles

Front seats have been recovered twice ( I have no garage and the sun has a tendency to dry out the leather after a while). The rest of the interior is all original

Speedometer gets serviced by Smiths Instruments ( Nisonger Corp.) approximately every 100,000 miles…cleaned, lubricated and calibrated)

All gauges are original including the AM-FM radio

Sheet metal is original except for the rocker panels(rust), jacking struts (rust) and the rear panel due to an accident. The chrome has been redone about 20 years ago and the nose grille surround was replaced due to an accident in 1987.

Original radiator was damaged in the same accident in 1987…and I am on my second radiator.

Heater core and control switch have been replaced once.

Tires are replaced about every 100,000 miles and usually I need brake pads at about the same mileage. ( I use Bridgestone Tires)

Oil gets changed every 3500 miles and the rest of the service is done according to the owners manual.

Brake Master Cylinder and Clutch Master and Slave units have been replace twice each.
Brake vacuum Booster has been replaced once.

That is about all I can think of right now. If you have any further questions…feel free to drop a line. Always willing to help out. Many of the parts are still original….doors, fenders, hood, trunk…all locks, switches, wiring, distributor, overdrive, drive shaft, axles, wheels, wiper mechanism, window washer pump and bottle, horn, seat belts, and steering box. Sorry, that is all I can think of at this time.

Hope this helps clear up your questions.

Best wishes,

Irv
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George Dill
 
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