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Record-Setting 1966 Volvo P1800 Hits 3 Million Miles

Volvo clocks up three million miles.

Jason Udywriter

A 1966 Volvo P1800 will reach three million miles in Alaska this week with original owner Irv Gordon behind the wheel, Volvo says. Gordon and the P1800 will reach the milestone while driving on Seward Highway. Gordon never planned on setting records in his new Volvo; he just enjoyed driving it from his first day in the car.

"I bought my Volvo P1800 on a Friday and immediately fell in love," said Gordon, in a release. "I couldn't stop driving the car. It was a holiday weekend, and I brought the car back to the dealership the following Monday for its 1500-mile service."

Now retired, Gordon once used his P1800 for his 125-mile round-trip commute, accumulating 500,000 miles in 10 years. He reached the one-million-mile mark in 1987 driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The two-millionth mile came in 2002 as Gordon drove the P1800 down Times Square and continues to break his own record with every mile. At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Volvo noted the Coupe concept was inspired by the P1800 -- the new concept is shown in the gallery below.

"It's not about getting to the three million miles; it's about the trips that got me to the three million miles," Gordon said. "I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo."

About the same time the original 1961 Volvo P1800 celebrated its 50th anniversary, Gordon's 1966 example had reached 2.9 million miles. At that time, Gordon planned to reach the three-million mark within two years. With Alaska being one of just two states the Long Island native hadn't visited, Gordon chose the scenic landscape to drive his three-millionth mile.

"The best way to explore America is by car," Gordon added. "I challenge everyone to go out and see as much as possible. …No matter how many roads I've been on, there's always one I haven't taken. That's what makes it exciting."

Gordon says not much will change as he plans to continue driving his P1800 to car shows and cross country trips, "but whether I drive four million miles is more up to me than it is the car. The car may be able to take it, but I'm not so sure about me."