Honda Owner Plans Cross-Country Trip To Commemorate Million-Mile Achievement
Joe LoCicero's 23-year-old Honda Accord is still going strong
Although he knows he'll be traveling from east to west, few of the details are firm. But the destinations don't matter nearly as much as the vehicle transporting him.
LoCicero and his wife, Sharon, will drive his 1990 Honda Accord, a 23-year-old car with more than 1 million miles on the odometer. Celebrating the car, nicknamed "True Blue," will be as much a part of the journey as celebrating the country. His Accord is one of only a handful of passenger cars in the country known to have reached the million-mile plateau.
Irv Gordon, a Long Islander, holds the current American record, just a few miles shy of 3 million on his 1966 Volvo P1800. Peter Gilbert, of Wisconsin, reached the 1 million mark in his 1989 Saab SPG, but it's now in a museum. Paul Harman, of Georgia, owns a Mercedes-Benz 240D that passed the million-mile mark in 2008.
There's one other known Honda, a 1991 Accord LX that belongs to Rodney K. Beattie of Columbus, Ohio, that has reached the milestone, according to Chris Martin, a company spokesperson.
LoCicero, 55, reached the million-mile threshold in October, 2011, and Honda honored him with a full-blown parade in the nearby town of Saco, Maine, replete with marching bands, floats and the keys to a brand-new Accord.
He wasn't sure whether he'd keep the older Accord after that surprise gift, but he has been operating both cars. By profession, he's a mechanic. By nature, he likes to experiment, so he's been running comparison tests.
"It's for my own curiosity," he said. "Cars have been in my blood since I was a kid and inherited my dad's 1966 Chevy Impala convertible, and testing is sort of my hobby."
The elder statesman in his Accord fleet now has 1,002,507 on the odometer, he said Thursday.
When he bought the car used in 1996, with about 74,000 miles on the odometer, he was curious how long it would last with meticulous care. One hundred eighty-five oil changes, 72 tires and 31 transmission flushes later, he still doesn't have an answer.
While his TLC is certainly a source of the Accord's longevity, he dispenses the credit to the people who made it. Few things impress LoCicero more than the might and ingenuity of the American workforce. He's hoping to incorporate that theme into his summer road trip.
Showcasing a Honda might strike some people as a peculiar way to express such red-white-and-blue sentiments, but domestic-versus-foreign arguments are outdated. Car companies are multi-national corporations these days, and have been for some time.
Honda employs more than 26,000 people in the United States, including roughly 5,000 at its Marysville, Ohio, assembly plant where LoCicero's Accord was produced more than two decades ago.
Along his upcoming journey, he may stop at the plant, as well as make appearances at several Honda dealerships to showcase the car that made it past 1 million miles.
"That's my plan," he said. "I'm still working out the details, but the idea is that my car and most of the products that got me to a million miles are made in America. ... We're just going to tour America, and show what good maintenance and care can do. I'm an American through and through, and want to do my part."
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