Have you ever dreamed of joining the Million-Mile Club? Many long-haul truckers and those who drive for a living every single day can easily rack up a million miles driving over the course of a career.
But everyday citizens with just one vehicle? That's much harder.
This list contains over 15,000,000 miles worth of driving on just 10 vehicles. According to the Everlance mileage tracking app, if 100% of these miles were business-related the total deduction would amount to more than $8,175,000 using the IRS standard mileage rate or the CRA Mileage Rate!
#1 Irving Gordon: 1966 Volvo 1800S
Irving currently holds the Guinness World Record for the highest vehicle mileage on a personal car, with over 3,000,000 miles on his 1966 Volvo 1800S!
Irving estimates he drives over 100,000 miles per year visiting car shows, with the longest stretch in one trip being New York to Vancouver, Canada. He was interviewed by Popular Mechanics after setting the world record and detailed the maintenance of his vehicle, saying that he changes the oil every 3,000 - 3,500 miles and changes the transmission fluid every 25,000 miles.
An even crazier feat was the fact that his original clutch (yes, this is a manual transmission vehicle) lasted a whopping 450,000 miles! (For reference the average lifespan of a clutch is around 50,000 miles with some people seeing 100,000 miles if properly taken care of.)
Could it be that Volvo built a near-indestructible vehicle in 1966 or is Irving just that gentle on his cars? The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Either way this is a remarkable feat.
#2 Gregorios Sachinidis: 1976 Mercedes 240D
Gregorios comes in 2nd with 2,850,000 miles.
However, this is a bit of a cheat for "personal use" because he drove for a living (a taxi driver). The reality is that this was a dual-purpose vehicle. He used it for business and personal use, just like a lot of self-employed individuals.
The really cool part to this story is that Gregorios hit this milestone in 2004, 14 years ago, and when he did Mercedes-Benz verified the accuracy of the mileage and awarded Gregorios a C-Class! Of course, in order to get the C-Class he had to give up his prized Mercedes 240D, but I think we can all agree it was a pretty good trade.
How many of you would happily trade your vehicle with 2,000,000 miles on the clock for a brand new Mercedes?
Gregorios made out pretty good in this deal and got a lot of use out that 240D, which now resides on display in Mercedes-Benz's personal museum as the longest running vehicle in the brand's history!
#3 1979 Volvo 245 GL
While it's nice to have a personal story to attach to vehicles, sometimes vehicles are just company cars, designed to be used by anyone and everyone at a specific company.
In this instance, the 1979 Volvo 245 GL that put up 1,630,000 miles was the property of a Finnish company called S.E. Makinen. There aren't a lot of details about this use of this vehicle, but we like to imagine that it has traversed the world a few times and visited some really cool far-off destinations.
However, it probably spent its entire life navigating the country of Finland as part of a logistics fleet. The company has said that it didn't do anything to the vehicle other than "proper care." If that's true, that says a lot about older Volvo's!
#4 Joseph Vaillancourt: 1963 Plymouth Fury
This story is almost too crazy to believe.
After driving his vehicle as a taxi in Montreal for most of his career, Joseph had managed to reach 1,620,000 miles by 1999. This was almost good enough for the Guinness Book of World Records at the time—he only needed a few hundred more miles (264 kilometers, actually) to take first place.
Unfortunately, he would never get there.
While driving his vehicle his vehicle was totaled by a truck that ran a red light. While he was unhurt, his chances of getting the world record were ended that day. A sad story for Vaillancourt, but his trusty Fury still earned him a place on the top 10 list!
#5 Albert Klein: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Of course you'd expect one of the most mass-produced vehicles of all-time to be in the top 10, right?
This particular Volkswagen Beetle was owned by a Californian man named Albert Klein who bought the car brand new in 1963 for $1,900.
Over the next 24 years, Albert managed to drive 1,610,000 miles. This in itself is a pretty astonishing feat, but there was a really big catch. All of the vehicles above had managed to drive 1 million, 2 million, or even 3 million miles with very few replacements.
Not the Beetle. This vehicle truly was a terribly built car, but Albert was...um...persistent. Or maybe a bit obsessed? Either way, the final tally of replaced parts reads like a part list from a junk yard:
- 7 new engines
- 3 new transmissions
- 150 tires
In addition to the absolutely obscene number of engine replacements and 3 transmissions (actually, that's not bad), Albert kept records of not only his tire usage, but gasoline and general maintenance costs as well. He says he went through over 35,600 gallons of gas just getting to the million mile mark and over $38,000 in maintenance costs!
#6 Chet Belisle: 1983 Lincoln Town Car
CNN ran a feature on Chet in 2009 where he brags about his 1 million mile Town Car.
Actually, his 1.3 million-mile Town Car, including the impressive claims that he got over 22mph and never had to do any major repairs!
Chet didn't drive for a living, he drove because he enjoyed it. He would take trips from his Kansas home across the country and back, multiple times. He was definitely at home on the road.
#7 Frank Oresnik: 1991 Chevrolet Silverado
Frank was a steak & seafood delivery driver that drove from his home in Green Bay, WI to Chicago, IL nearly every day!
That's one serious commute.
Unlike the majority of people on this list, Frank didn't buy his truck new. He bought it in 1996 with 41,000 miles on the odometer, though he's driven every mile since.
Frank managed to hit the 1 million mile mark with an ad man and a television crew, but he would go on to put another 290,000 miles on the truck. His truck is nicknamed "Old Girl" and he still isn't done driving!
#8 Family: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE
In 2014, the current driver of the '66 Benz 250 contacted the High Mile club to report their odometer had just crossed the 1.2 million mile mark.
The real story is the family that owned it before him, though. The original owner had purchased the Mercedes new in 1966 and managed to drive over 877,000 miles himself before he passed away. Then his family took on the task of getting to the million-mile mark and over the next few years put on over 300,000 miles before finally selling the vehicle to a man Ben Clopot.
Along the way the family kept meticulous records of the car. In the documentation it is said to have had the following major repairs.
- 2 bottom end engine repairs
- 4 top end engine repairs
- 2 rebuilt transmissions
While that repair list is pretty impressive considering the car is over 42 years old, the most amazing part of this story is that this vehicle is still being driven daily!
#9 Hugh & Tammy Pennington: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
One thing to notice about this story: this truck has over 1,000,000 miles on it and it's a 2006!
Even crazier is the fact that they managed to drive over 1 million miles in just 6 years. While diesel engines are known to have a seriously long life span, who could have predicted over 1 million miles?
Or more specifically, 1 million miles in 6 years with no major maintenance. Hugh & Tammy have said they simply change the oil every 5,000 miles and wash it when it's dirty.
Is it just us or is it pretty impressive that 2 very different generations of the Chevrolet Silverado has managed to make up 20% of this list?
#10 Phil Marsella: 2006 Ford F-250
Another 2006! This kind of longevity in a vehicle is a promising thing to see.
This particular F-250's miles are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the Silverado above. While it only took Phil 4 years to put on 1, 000,000 miles (WOW!) it did take him 2 engines.
Furthermore, he drives for a living, so this is a work truck, not necessarily personal use. That being said, Phil put on over 1.2 million miles in 5 years and that's definitely a vote for coolness in our book.
Also, since the vehicle is still operational it's suspected that this Ford may actually be higher up on this list today
Considering it's been 7 years since he broke 1.2 million miles, if the usage has stayed the same this truck may very well be in the 2 million+ mile range! For all we know, he could be aiming to break the all-time record and we wish him luck.
Do You Have A High Mileage Vehicle?
If you have over 300,000 miles on an original engine Everlance would love to hear from you. After all, your high mileage could be worth a lot of money in tax deductions if you drive for business and use the Everlance app to track your mileage. Send us an email and tell us about you and your vehicle and we may just feature you in our next high mileage article.