• Sep 1, 2010
Irv Gordon and his Volvo P1800 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While Irv Gordon is already retired, he's taken to accruing miles on his already impressively well-traveled Volvo 1800 like it's his job. It took a while to rack up the first million miles, but the second million came more quickly, rolling the odometer over in Times Square back in 2002. Now Gordon is headed for 3 million a mere eight years later. Only big rigs put on a million miles more quickly, and even that might be debatable.

"Who would have thought such a decision, to buy a Volvo, would have created so many opportunities?" Gordon tells Autoblog. Some of his favorite miles out of the 2.8 million currently showing on the odometer (he was at 2.6 million the last time we checked) were his first trip across the United States and a trip to Europe where the 1800 and its intrepid driver drove from the United Kingdom into Sweden to see the car's original birthplace before rolling on to other continental hamlets and accruing 5,000 miles in a month.

Irv's 70 years old now, and he wouldn't mind selling his beloved red Volvo coupe. Asking price? "A dollar per mile," says Gordon. Despite what Irv calls "some very interesting offers," nobody has offered him his asking price. That's okay with Gordon, who acknowledges that his Volvo is the star. "Once I sell the car, no one will invite me anywhere any longer," he quips.

Should the right buyer for the trusty red 1800 come along, Gordon knows what he'll do. "It'd be nice to have a car with all the new creature comforts to travel in, and who knows, should I live another 10-15 years, I could put a million miles on my next vehicle and start the cycle all over again."

While unlikely, putting three million dollars in his bank account would make those long treks more comfortable, affording fine hotels and gourmet dining versus at times sleeping in the 1800 to save some bucks. Gordon's not complaining, "I have indeed been a very fortunate fellow," he says. You have to respect his commitment to the little Volvo coupe that was originally purchased as a refuge from a pair of demonically unreliable Chevrolets, too. A retirement lifestyle that would allow one to travel in style and worry less about finances is a nearly universal goal, too. Gordon's got a leg up on all of us, having put in the seat time to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and turn a stolid, stylish Swede into a wheeled pension plan.



[Source: AOL Autos | Photos: Josh Max - Irv Gordon]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unbelievable! So, this guy just for nothing better to do has burned what, 110,000 gallons of fuel and probably personally responsible for for a big chunk of the planet warming. What is even more fascinating is that it had occurred to no one here that this guy should be actually put in prison instead of getting praises. And some of you find it amazing?! Hypocrisy, stupidity what else can I say.
      On the second thought, no, he just better be shot or at least banned from driving before he warms up and pollutes the Earth any further.
        b0rn_4g41n
        • 3 Years Ago
        Bible says the earth's gonna burn. The Good Book hasn't been wrong yet and there's no reason to expect that it's gonna be wrong now... might as well stop trying to PREVENT it and, instead, start PREPARING FOR it! Have fun driving, Mr. Gordon!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm hoping that Irv will write a book. I'd read it. Here's an article about him from the Volvo Club UK site. More details about Irv and the car:

      http://www.volvoclub.org.uk/press/releases/2007/irv_gordon.shtml
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ahh, I love the P1800. What a fantastic looking car.

      Too bad I don't have the patience for a 30+ year old vehicle. If only the modern C30 was RWD (or they started selling that Polestar one!)
        • 4 Years Ago
        best Volvo, ever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      With an approximate distance of 240,000 miles from earth, Irv's mileage translates into a bit more than 6 round trips to the moon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I saw him driving the other day just outside of Boston. I saw the plate and the car, didn't process what I was seeing fast enough and the next thing I knew, he was gone. The car is in great shape from what I saw.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't sell this car! Take it with you to the grave!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think Volvo should buy it back and use it as a marketing gimmick. It's well worth $3 million for the potential publicity. In fact, that's a bargain and a half.

      I had a '72 1800E with 346,500 miles on the odometer when I bought it. I sold it when it hit about 399,500. A friend and I put its third head gasket on, and replaced a few bushings, hoses, and belts.

      That thing ran like a champ. Beautiful car, inside and out. It looked almost exactly like this one, except for the wheels:

      http://www.saint.org/images/1972-volvo-1800e/volvo-1800e-1972-front.jpg

      I miss that car sooooo much.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am amazed by this...

      Let's look at some of the stats:

      That's on average, 340 miles PER DAY, every single day for 8 years.

      That means that if he's going about highway speeds, he's spending about 5-6 hours EVERY DAY (including weekends) inside his car. If the average person is awake about 16 hours, then he's spending 1/3 of his entire life inside that car.

      If he's on a typical (or what used to be typical) oil-change schedule of 3000 miles, he'd be changing the oil almost every week (every 9 days).

      If this car gets about 25 MPG, he's spending $260 on gas every week... that comes out to almost $40/day and over $13,000/year.

      I don't know about you guys, but I just find this amazing. If he was a traveling salesman, taxi driver or some kind of delivery guy, OK, but he's retired and still to be able to get that kind of miles is crazy!
        • 4 Years Ago
        He lives to drive that car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Remember when Al Bundy was going to put 1MM miles on his Dodge? Chrysler was going to award him with a brand new Viper. Has Volvo given Irv a new car, its the least they can do for all the free endorsements.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Too bad the car rolled out of the garage and rolled over before Dodge could witness it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ..Fat woman walked into the store today.......

        I remember that Episode!! At the very end he went out trying to reach 2 million.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Recalling Married w/ Children...love it!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Irv received a new 780 when he hit the 1 million mark in 1987 and a new C70 when he hit the 2 million mark.

        The thing is, he put a half-million miles on the 780 before selling it; if he stuck to his P1800, he would've been past the 3-million mark already.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a record.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A guy who drives an H2 15,000 miles a year is Satan and this guy is a hero. Can't quite figure that one out.
      The Saint
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great car! Roger Moore drove a car like this in the TV series, The Saint. I have to give you credit for keeping this car for so long. Most people would get tired of driving the same car for all those years.
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