The Longest Running Car Has Travelled the Distance to the Moon 13 Times! Here’s How Irv Gordon Keeps His Car Running…and Here’s How WE Do It
Irv Gordon, now a retired school teacher, fell in love at first sight with his Volvo P1800 the moment he saw a photo of it in Road & Track in 1966. After buying it new, he only had US$50 left to his name. He certainly has gotten mileage out of the US$4,150 he plonked down for the stylish touring car: as at 7 May 2018, the car has travelled 3,250,257 miles, the longest any car has ever done.
And when you start with a car you really like, you’ll take care of it. When interviewed by The Telegraph for maintenance tips, Gordon said, “If there is the one activity that will extend the life of your car’s engine, this is it.” And that “it” is changing the oil and filter regularly. He changes the oil of his Volvo P1800 every 3,500 miles—which he has done every two weeks in the last 10 years, and often by himself—while the rest of the service still follows the owner’s manual.
Gordon also added that using the same oil “assures uniform quality”. HOWEVER, we must point out that he is sponsored by Castrol, so follow this piece of advice at your own discretion. It certainly wouldn’t harm your engine to use oils of different brands, as long as they adhere to the grade/specs listed in the owner’s manual.
Spend a few minutes a week checking under the hood, Gordon recommends. Even if you are “mechanically challenged”, you should be able to check fluid levels and state of belts and hoses. If there are funny noises, get it checked immediately because “the longer you wait, the greater the potential for damage.”
Gordon has rebuilt the Volvo’s engine twice: the first was at 680,000 miles in 1978 and the second at 2.7 million miles in 2011. Both times were more a preventative measure than real necessity, and was serviced by the same dealer who sold him the car. The parts, Gordon claims, showed no tear. A good relationship with both dealer and mechanic is important; Gordon describes them as “partners in the long run.”
Besides that, Gordon advises using petrol from busier stations (so that the petrol has not been stored too long), regular washing and waxing, and using original parts.
Here is where we segue into another additional tip from us to extend the life of your car. As we learn from Gordon’s example, the secret to the longevity of our vehicle is really not so secret: regular maintenance. But, to be honest, even we cannot keep up with Gordon’s level of dedication.
So, to help us, we need an added dose of “vitamins” to the regular maintenance. Our sponsor, X-1R, has formulated a treatment that contains Injector Cleaner, Power Booster, Valve Protector, Upper Cylinder Lubricant, Carbon Eliminator, Moisture Eliminator and Fuel Stabiliser, plus Strong Detergents and Deposits Control Agents. These “vitamins” in a bottle will clean and keep clean the entire fuel delivery system and combustion chamber. Here’s how:
To find out more about X-1R’s Fuel Treatment products, visit the company’s webpage here:
What do you do to keep your car running for longer?