Most of us drive about 13,500 miles per year. We expect our cars to do a lot, but it’s no surprise when they start needing more trips to the repair shop around the 100,000-mile mark. But some people have pushed well past this limit.
We looked at the American Automobile Association website to find the cars that have driven the most miles. We’ve included the total mileage, the owner of the car, and a little history of each epic vehicle.
Let’s check out these automobiles (plus one motorcycle) that really went the distance.
1963 Plymouth Fury
Mileage: 1.62 million miles
Owner: Montreal taxi driver Joseph Vaillancourt.
Joseph Vaillancourt’s 1963 Plymouth Fury was on the verge of greatness when it hit 1.63 million miles. Vaillancourt was going for a Guinness World Record in 1999. He was just 264 kilometers short of setting the record when a truck ran a red light and hit him.
It was certainly not the end he’d hoped for, but at least Vaillancourt wasn’t hurt in the accident. Unfortunately, the car was totaled.
1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Mileage: 1.61 million miles
Owner: Albert Klein
Albert Klein certainly got his money’s worth on this 1963 Volkswagen Beetle that he bought for less than $2,000. The cost of the car didn’t really rack up until the California man started aiming to put some record-breaking mileage on it.
Over the years, he’s needed 150 tire changes, seven new engines and three new transmissions. Klein has said he’s spent more than $38,000 on maintenance alone.
1976 Mercedes-Benz 240D
Mileage: 2.85 million miles
Owner: Greek taxi driver Gregorios Sachinidis
Another taxi driver has made the list, this time hitting almost three million miles. Sachinidis used his car both for his work as a driver and for his own personal use.
Mercedes-Benz noticed Sachinidis’ stunning mileage. When he hit this mark in 2004, they gave him a C-Class and placed his car on display in Mercedes-Benz’s personal museum as an emblem of the brand’s stunning potential.
1976 Volvo 245 GL
Mileage: 1.63 million miles
Owner: Finnish company S.E. Makinen
There’s no set owner for this hard-working Volvo. It was a company car at S.E. Makinen and obviously got a lot of use in that capacity. According to the company, all the car needed to reach this impressive mileage mark was “proper care.”
What is S.E. Makinen? Apparently a Finnish logistics firm. We don’t know much about why they needed this car to handle so much mileage, but we’re impressed all the same.
1991 Chevrolet C1500 Silverado
Mileage: 1.29 million miles
Owner: Frank Oresnik
This addition to the list is unusual because it’s a pickup truck. Frank Oresnik bought the truck in 1996. It already had 41,000 miles on it, but it was about to do many, many more.
Oresnik racked up those million-plus miles delivering steak and seafood between Chicago and Wisconsin. According to Oresnik, rust-proofing the undercarriage and continuous care is all it took to get this vehicle to keep on truckin’ for so long.
1983 Lincoln Town Car
Mileage: 1.3 million miles
Owner: Chet Belisle
When Chet Belisle of Kansas bought his town car in 1983, he planned to keep that car for a lifetime. He’s made good on that, putting more than one million miles on the town car.
His secret? According to Belisle, it’s buying replacement parts that come with lifetime warranties. That has helped him keep the cost of repairs down even as he’s had to change the engine and transmission to keep his car on the road.
1991 Harley-Davidson FXRT
Mileage: 1 million miles
Owner: Dave Zien
The million-mile motorcycle man is none other than Dave Zien, a former state legislator. He hit the milestone in 2013, making himself the only person to put one million miles on a motorcycle. A lot of folks might claim they’ve accomplished this feat, but Zien is the only one with the documentation to prove it.
Zien says he never travels in cars as they’re too confining. He’s traveled to Sturgis, Reno, Glacier National Park, even Key West.
1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE
Mileage: 1.28 million miles
Owner: Ben Clopot
Ben Clopot may have reported this Mercedes-Benz when it hit 1.2 million miles, but he didn’t actually put most of those miles on the car himself. He bought it from a family who drove it for 877,000 miles. When the original owner of the car died, the man’s family pushed the car over the million-mile mark before selling the vehicle to Clopot.
The car has needed four top-end engine repairs, two bottom-end engine repairs, and two rebuilt transmissions.
2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Heavy Duty
Mileage: 1.22 million miles
Owner: Hugh and Tammy Pennington
You would not expect a big, gas-guzzling truck like this to go over one million miles, but Hugh and Tammy Pennington’s long-distance hauler achieved it. The pair mostly used the truck to help with repairs after Hurricane Katrina, transporting needed supplies.
The couple changes the truck’s oil every 5,000 miles and washes it after every haul. That’s apparently kept away rust and damage.
1966 Volvo P1800S
Mileage: 3.25 million miles
Owner: Irv Gordon
Here’s the true champion of this list. This Volvo holds the Guinness World Record for highest mileage at an astounding 3.25 million miles.
How did it get there? By 2014, owner Irv Gorden had hit 3.04 million miles by taking long-distance drives across the country. When he passed away, the odometer read 3.25 million miles. Gordon said all he did was get regular oil changes, keep the car clean and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Could Your Car Do One Million Miles or More?
Americans spend a lot of time in their cars, but the drivers on this list truly took it the extra mile. Most of them say the secret is just regular maintenance and oil changes.
Do you think your car, truck or motorcycle could hit this kind of mileage if you kept it in shape? Or are these stunning mileages beyond what most folks could accomplish? Whether it’s luck, maintenance, or some combination of both, these vehicles have surpassed what most believe is possible.