120 times around the world in a car! Irv Gordon and his Volvo’s 4.8 million km story

While most cars have a life of no more than a couple of lakh Kms, Irv Gordon has proven that with proper maintenance and regular service a car's life can be exponentially increased, although it probably did help that the car he was driving was a Volvo!

By: | Updated: December 13, 2018 3:36 PM

A 1966 Volvo with 48 lakh Kms on the clock has completed over 120 laps around the world. It wasn't bought to complete the milestone either, it was a regular two-door front wheel drive Volvo bought by a regular guy, Irv Gordon. What he did, however, was extraordinary, he proved that with regular TLC and proper service and part maintenance any car's life can be exponentially increased. The car, a Volvo 1800 S, bought in Alaska and its driver has entered the record books for having done the most number of miles by a single driver in a non-commercial vehicle.  They achieved this feat near the village of Girdwood, on the Seward Highway, south of Anchorage in the state of Alaska; one of the two remaining places where Irv and his famous car had not been together until then.

On completing the feat, Irve Gordon said, “It was all rather undramatic. We just cruised along and I kept an eye on the odometer in order not to miss the great moment”. At 4.00 PM on September 18, the meter ticked over, indicating that Irv and his Volvo had finally achieved that dreamed-of 48 lakh Kilometres that they set out to reach many years ago.

“But it has really not been about just getting to the three million miles; it’s more about the trips that got me to the three million miles and what I have experienced getting there,” Irv continued. “I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million miles(or 16 lakh kms and 32 lakh km). I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”

It was love at first sight after Irv Gordon bought his Volvo 1800 S on a Friday back in 1966. He simply couldn’t stop driving the car – it was a holiday weekend – and brought the car back to the dealership the following Monday for its 1,500-mile (2000 km approximately) service. With a 250-km round-trip daily commute, a keen dedication to vehicle maintenance and a passion for driving, Gordon logged 500,000 miles ( 8 lakh kms) in 10 years. In 1987, he celebrated his one-millionth mile driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in Central Park and in 2002; he drove the car's two-millionth mile down Times Square to international media attention. After having broken the record, the Volvo is now a record-breaking machine and breaks a record everytime it is driven, with no one even close!

To achieve 3 million mile record (48 lakh kms) the record, the Volvo was transported on board a covered truck to Alaska with Irv following by plane. A few days of driving around got the meter closer to the magic mark and the highway leading to the beautiful Kenai peninsula was chosen for the occasion. 48,00,000 Kilometres is by far the longest mileage one man and one and the same car have reached together and this world record is included in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Irv Gordon, however, is no more, he passed away while in a remote region of China when he was travelling with Volvo on November, 15th this year. He was 78. He may be no more, but his legendary Volvo and the love story of a man and his car will go down in History!

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