So, what’s the most miles you’ve gotten out of a car? Do you feel a sense of dread as you approach the big 50,000 service? Would you buy a car with a hefty 100,000 racked up on the clock? Is a mass of miles a feeling of pride? Or do you simply opt for a new car, upgrading often, never giving a second thought to the odometer?
Unbelievably, there are some vehicles still ‘alive’ today, with over a million miles on the clock. No, that’s not a typo, we got that right. One million miles is the equivalent of traveling the entire world roughly forty times. Basically, the drivers of these cars have racked up a mileage that accounts for two full years of driving, every second of every day. Scroll down to view the list.
Cars In The Million Mile Club
Successful business man Paul Harman purchased a second-hand Mercedes 240D in 1983. The car had clocked up 40,000 when he became the owner. In 2008, Paul was delighted to officially see his car go over the one million mile mission he had set himself. Mercedes were just as pleased with the achievement and awarded Paul a badge which is displayed on the front of the car. The badge is a clear indication of success. When asked what contributed to the cars durability, Paul insists that his regular oil changes, taking place every 3,000 miles, was a huge factor.
As the Mercedes 240D was approaching 400,000 miles the engine was restored. In addition, the transmission and timing belts were given an upgrade. When the half-way mark in the personal challenge Paul had set himself had passed in 1991, he treated himself to a new driver seat. With almost half a million miles left to travel at the time we can fully understand his decision. To enhance the appearance, the car was repainted, and its weather-proofing was secured through the re-sealing of certain areas.
1990 BMW 325i
This 1990 model of BMWs 325i was purchased by the well-known company, Mobil Oil. Owning the car was a method used by the company to monitor, record, and analyse their oil. This oil evaluation process was designed to push the car to its limits, to ensure oil efficiency even within the most extreme conditions. The BMW 325i was required to run at high speeds of 85mph, for a total of four years. This took place on a machine designed to imitate the actions of the car if it were on the road; try and picture a treadmill for a car.
Stopping only briefly for general mechanical work and to change the oil, the car was put through a gruelling one million mile experience. The challenge actually proved the sustainability and reliability of the BMWs 325i 1990 model, as the car’s engine remained as good as new when assessed at the end. To emphasize the strength of this engine, the car has since completed a further 40,000 on-road miles. Incredible!
BMW K100RT Motorcycle
Dave Swisher has completed a marathon 1.5 million miles using a variety of motorbikes. During his lifetime, Dave has owned a long history of 19 motorcycles, with his first being the BMW R75/5. At one point this energetic 82 old owned a K100 RT and by 1991 had thrashed three hundred thousand miles with this individual bike. Dedicating much of his life to riding, the first million miles were achieved in 26 years, with a further 15 years being invested in successfully achieving another 500,000. This remarkable man completed 48,000 miles in the year of 2009, not letting his poor health hold him back. In recovery from a stroke and knee replacement surgery, Dave showed his determination and passion. BMW Motorcycle’s High Mileage Award was presented to Dave in 2007, as a form of recognition for his amazing achievement.
Lincoln Town Car
Chet Belisle is one extremely savvy man. Not only has he successfully managed a massive 1.3 million miles in his Lincoln Town Car, but he has cleverly embarked on the journey with an unlimited replacement guarantee on the mechanical parts. When parts of the car become inefficient or damaged, he is simply entitled to cost-free replacements. This has saved him a good sum of money over the years, allowing him to pump any spare cash into his Lincoln’s tank. The car has had extensive repair work carried out on the V8 engine and the transmission. The proud owner happy makes us aware that his reliable car has never, ever broken down, despite often encountering challenging, off-road terrain.
1989 Saab SPG
It took 17 years of some serious driving, but Peter Gilbert became an addition to the Million Mile list in 2006, with his 1989 Saab SPG. On completion of his 1,000,000 target, Peter kindly offered The Wisconsin Automotive Museum the vehicle for display and educational purposes. Showing the reliability of the good old Saab, Peter assures us that the factory-fitted engine and turbo are intact. This is very impressive considering the brutal winter weather the car has endured in the owner’s hometown of Hartford.
Some minor maintenance, regular oil refills, a transmission, a few cylinder head gaskets were all that was required to make the massive 17 year mileage possible. Oh, and almost 90 tires! It’s no surprise to hear that this dedicated driver purchased himself another Saab after donating his 1989 model to the local car museum.
1996 Dodge 2500 Pickup
Despite Dan Edelman clocking around 500 miles on a daily basis in his minivan, totaling a current mileage of 600,000, he still had time to take his 1996 Dodge 2500 Pickup to a mega one million miles. Dan loves his Dodge Pickup truck and has invested a lot of time, energy and money into keeping it running smoothly. He prefers the driving experience with his diesel Dodge as opposed to his Chrysler small van. Building the transmission himself, it has successfully struck the 600,000 mile mark. The transmission has been replaced several times. Further upkeep work to the vehicle included replacing the coolant pump, the engine coolant, and motor starters.
1990 Honda Accord
Joe LoCicero is the owner of a 1990 Honda Accord that displayed on its dashboard an incredible distance of one million miles. With endless refueling and oil replacements, Joe has counted and recorded each and every one since 74,000 miles was reached. Carting his beautiful wife and kids around with him for much of his journeys, Joe has reported the interior was actually more difficult to keep in good condition that the exterior parts.
Seat belts were replaced once in the million mile duration, along with a new steering wheel and mechanical fuel pump. The engine was also revamped on one occasion by Joe himself. A motor mechanic to trade, he certainly has worked wonders on his 1990 Honda Accord.
2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD
Retired car mechanic Hugh Pennington has recorded one million miles in the 2006 Silverado. He claims the majority of these miles were racked up when he started his new career path of driving trailers to the home of their owners. This 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD shows its reliability as the factory fitted engine is still fully functional. Several minor parts have been replaced along these mountain of miles such as the fuel pump. His wife often joins Hugh on his journeys and they recommend the comfortable choice of leather interior for other enthusiasts inspired to reach the milestone.
1966 Volvo P1800
Having passed the one million milestone in 1987, the owner of this car has now achieved three million miles! As Gordon Ivy reached the one million miles mark in 1987, Volvo celebrated by gifting him a brand new 780 Bertone Coupe, which was upgraded in 2002 to a C70 as a reward for having driven two million miles. Despite having two brand new cars to his name, the retired teacher continued to rack up the miles in his precious P1800. Showing no sign of slowing down any time soon, Gordon is proud of his incredible three million miles driven in this 1966 car.
This dedicated driver enjoys the ride in his compact, rear-wheel drive vehicle and goes to great lengths to keep it on the road. The car has been thoroughly inspected and repaired. Replacing the brakes on this Volvo must have become a bit of a habit for Gordon, taking place ten times per million miles. He religiously tops up his oil every 3,000 miles and the mechanical fuel pump has to be fully restored after each million milestone is achieved. Clearly taking extremely good care of his P1800, Gordon also revitalized the carburetor each time he approached the million mark, as well as regularly fitting a fresh clutch and his old-school ignition points. The car is given the best treatment throughout the winter months to minimize weather damage and Gordon claims to always drive at a sensible and safe pace.