In Pursuit of the Million Mile Volvo

Irv Gordon is the envy of Volvo enthusiasts. In 1966, Gordon purchased his bright red P1800 from a local car dealership and has been driving the same car ever since. Over the years he has passed a number of important milestones including reaching his first one million miles in 1987. Today, the retired teacher is still driving, racking up more than one hundred and seventy miles a day in quest of his next goal: three million miles on the odometer!

Relentless Automotive Maintenance

Gordon's pursuit of his next big milestone is well within his reach thanks to some important maintenance tips he offers to all car owners regardless of what make/model they drive. Having just passed the 2.7 million mark, Gordon still checks his oil, transmission and coolant levels religiously, while checking his tire pressure at nearly every fuel stop. The moment he sees signs of wear with the belts and hoses he replaces them, a move he credits with keeping his Volvo roadworthy.

Though Gordon certainly applauds Volvo with building a rock solid car, he knows that drivers need to get in the habit of completing important maintenance tasks at prescribed intervals, in his case every 50,000 miles. Gordon does some of the maintenance himself, but he leaves the rebuilding of the carburetor in the capable hands of his Volvo mechanic, something he has done every 900,000 miles whether it needs it or not.

Fewer Than 50K Units Produced

Rolled out in 1961, the Volvo P1800 was offered as a two door coupe as well as a three door wagon/hatchback model. Powered by a 2.0L I4 engine paired with a 4 speed manual all-synchromesh Laycock overdrive transmission, fewer than 50,000 units were produced throughout the car's production run which ended in 1973. Thus, the P1800 line is not only hardy, but rare.

One advantage that yesteryear Volvo owners have in helping them keep their rides going is that there are fewer parts powering each car. Sophisticated technologies, including those introduced by Volvo, have been added to every Volvo since that earlier era, which means that much more thorough maintenance needs to be accomplished in order to extend any Volvo's life. There are reports of some modern day Volvos which have passed the one million mile mark too, though nobody is anywhere close to challenging Gordon for mileage supremacy.

Tracking Down Hard To Find Replacement Parts

The P1800 model employed dual Skinners Union carburetors which although dating back to pre-World War II times, were well designed and highly durable. A qualified and knowledgeable Volvo mechanic can rebuild ancient carburetors while owners may want to consider shopping their favorite online Volvo parts distributor for other hard to fine, but available Volvo P1800 parts including a clutch pedal pad, brake silicone, brake fluid, rear wheel bearing kit, differential pinion seal, ceramic fuses, hoses, tie rods, bushings, head gasket set and more.

While most drivers will eventually trade their cars in for something newer, the Volvo P1800S model owned by Irv Gordon is proof that a well maintained car can deliver years of dependable and satisfactory driving performance.

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