• Aug 23, 2007
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Earlier this month, Volkswagen of America showed off the oldest VW diesel in the U.S., a 1977 diesel Rabbit residing in California. Today it revealed the second half of its search, the highest mileage VW diesel in the U.S. This one is a 1986 Jetta Turbo Diesel owned by Syl Schmid of Blue Rock, Ohio. It's racked up over 562,000 miles in its lifestyle and has the weary odometer to prove it. Not only that, but Schmid has records to prove that the car has consistently achieved over 50 mpg throughout its lifetime. Take that, Prius! Just don't ask about its particulate emissions, though. For its longevity, the car has won its owner a six-month lease for VW Touareg V10 TDI.

Having owned two 1986 VW Jettas in my lifetime, both gas-powered, I can attest to VW's amazing find from central Ohio. Schmid's Jetta even has its original drivetrain and muffler! Both of my Jettas needed new exhaust systems thanks to the corrosive effects of Cleveland's salting strategy in the winter, so to hear a fellow Ohioan has made it through over twenty winters with the same exhaust is just incredible.

[Source: Volkswagen]



PRESS RELEASE:

VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL HERITAGE SEARCH FINDS HIGHEST MILEAGE DIESEL IN OHIO

1986 Volkswagen Jetta Has 562,000 Miles On The Original Engine

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced that, as part of its Diesel Heritage Search, it has located the highest mileage Volkswagen diesel vehicle in the United States, a 1986 Jetta Turbo Diesel owned by Syl Schmid of Blue Rock, Ohio with over 562,000 miles.

The Jetta's mileage was recently verified by Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Byers Imports, a Columbus, Ohio-based Volkswagen dealer. Fuel and mileage records presented by Schmid show the Jetta frequently delivered fuel economy over fifty miles per gallon.

"Mr. Schmid has a story that is like so many of our diesel owners; he loves the longevity of the engine and fuel economy that his diesel Volkswagen has delivered these last twenty years," said Steve Keyes, Volkswagen Public Relations Director. "Throughout all of entries that we received for our Diesel Heritage Search, we found many VW owners who were passionate about their cars and the economic benefits of the diesel engine."

Schmid originally leased the Jetta for three years and decided to purchase the vehicle at the end of that period. After twenty years, and over a half million miles, he is especially proud of the original drivetrain and muffler. In recognition of owning the highest mileage Volkswagen diesel in the U.S., Volkswagen has provided Schmid with a Touareg V10 TDI to drive for six-months.

Volkswagen announced their Diesel Heritage Search in March 2007 and received more than 200 entries for the highest mileage and oldest operating U.S. diesel Volkswagen vehicles. Volkswagen recently recognized a 1977 Rabbit owned by Clint Wilson of Tehachapi, Calif. as the oldest diesel Volkswagen.

Volkswagen is a leader in the U.S. diesel passenger car market with over 815,000 diesel vehicles sold since the introduction of the 1977 Rabbit, the first U.S. Volkswagen diesel. In addition to the currently available diesel Touareg V10 TDI, Volkswagen has previously announced that the 2009 Jetta and Jetta SportWagen, which will be available late first quarter 2008, will feature a Clean Diesel TDI engine option.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at vw.com.


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  • 23 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's the cheesiest prize ever. Volvo, when it was still Volvo, gave high-mileage owners new cars - to keep.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I wonder whether or not he had it painted before he submitted his mileage to VW."

      Look at the front edge of the hood.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow! I hope my TDI lasts that long!

      That really is amazing that he was able to keep the car running for so long. Not only that, but it looks amazing... I wonder whether or not he had it painted before he submitted his mileage to VW.

      Oh, and BTW... what's with the freaking LEASE of a TDI Toureg? Give him a Bluetec (or whatever they're gonna call it) Rabbit for Pete's sake.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm sure the gent treated his particular Jetta to unbelievable maintenance.

        I mean, 20 yrs of records proving your car has consistently achieved 50 mpg?

        Take that Prius!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had an '89 Jetta as my first car. I loved it, the lack of a lap belt, all the plastic toggle switches, and the hand crank sunroof. The car had such character. The transaxle snapped in 2003, on the night of the Superbowl of course.

      The car wouldnt start unless the shoulder belt was plugged in the receptacle on the door...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oooo 600K miles for a diesel. There's a handful of Volvo drivers with over 1 million miles on their plain old gas engines. Irv Gordon has 2 million miles on his Volvo, but they don't make 'em like that anymore. Thanks, Ford.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How sad that the current Jetta (or the 98 Corolla Edition as I think of it as) is the only one I'd comfortably fit enough for a road trip.
      Old guys really do love those Diesel VW's though, that's for sure.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's it? A six month lease on an SUV? Man, those VW boys are bloody cheap.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My sentiment exactly..... they ARE cheap..... Beside, what is a retiree gonna do with a V10 Touareg...... just GIVE him a new Golf Diesel and he'll be much happier...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ok, so here's an old man who has apparently driven his 1986 Jetta Tdi very gingerly to achieve a lifetime average of 50MPG and mollycoddled it through 20 Ohio winters.

      Am I the only one who finds it richly ironic that his prize is 6 months in a totally ridiculous fuel-guzzling V10 Touareg designed for hard-core off-roading? Seriously, can you see this guy hooning out in the mud somewhere? VW USA needs some new marketing people.

      An appropriate prize would have been a full 3 year lease on a 2008 T2B5-compliant Jetta Tdi. So what if that means waiting another 6-9 months - surely the old Jetta will last a little while longer.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yep. VW is cheap. The free advertising alone with this search could be the MSRP (in value) of that Touareg. Or even a serious offer on 08-09 diesel Jetta or rumored Rabbit.
        Nah, we want you to drive a pig.
      • 7 Years Ago
      very cool. i wish i owned a car that could be driven over 500,000mi.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Buy an old Volvo (not the diesels). I have almost 400K on my '85 240.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And here I am all happy that I just now got around to changing the plugs on my '02 Sebring after 109,000 miles and the original plugs were still in pretty good shape and I was still getting 32 mpg on the highway. Anyway, this guy's 562K miles kinda put me to shame. That's a trip to the moon and back with a trip around the world thrown in for good measure.
      travis
      • 2 Years Ago
      i just watched this car sell at a local auction for 125$ if i didnt just buy a mk4 jetta it would have been mine! if the owner ever wants to sell this contact me tapaul13@yahoo.com! thanks
      • 7 Years Ago
      My '03 TDI is now at 286K miles and counting...At this rate I'll have him beat sometime in 2013...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree with all you guys. VW is cheap. They could give all those winners the Touaregs for free. What the hell is 6 months. I guess they would rather trash them in commercials and movies than have someone make better use of their cars by taking care of them and driving them.
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