Man drives record 3 million miles in the same 1966 Volvo

Irv Gordon has traveled millions of miles — and he has the odometer to prove it. 

In 2002, Gordon appeared on TODAY after putting a world-record 2 million miles on the odometer of his cherry red 1966 Volvo.

On Tuesday, 11 years later, the retired science teacher from Long Island, N.Y., was back on TODAY with another million miles on the odometer and another milestone. If Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800 were a space shuttle, he would have made six round trips between the Earth and the moon in it by now.

“It’s just terrific,’’ Gordon told the TODAY anchors alongside his Volvo in Rockefeller Plaza on Tuesday. “I’m getting used to it. It’s the third time around.”

On Sept. 15, Gordon’s trusty Volvo passed the 3 million-mile mark during a road trip on Seward Highway in Alaska, one of only two states Gordon had not yet visited. Gordon, 74, set a world record in 1998 for most miles driven by a single person in a noncommercial vehicle at 1.69 million, and he hasn’t stopped since.

Remarkably, the car still has the original engine from when he bought it. “It’s got a lot of memories, you bet,’’ he said. “You buy a quality car to begin with, and then you just follow the owner’s manual. The people that wrote the book are the people that built the car.”

Irv Gordon points proudly to the point in Alaska at which he passed the 3 million-mile mark.Today

Gordon bought the red coupe brand new in 1966, reaching 500,000 miles in only 10 years, helped by a 125-mile round-trip commute to work every day. The first two times Gordon hit a million-mile mark came on trips to New York City. The Volvo hit seven digits on a drive to Central Park in 1987, and reached the two-million mark in 2002 on another trip to the Big Apple, which included his appearance on TODAY.

TODAY’s Carson Daly asked how much money Gordon would take for the car right now.  

“A dollar a mile (on the odometer), you can take it home tonight,’’ Gordon joked.

Gordon has also driven in five European countries with the car, and the only state he has yet to drive in is Hawaii.

"The best way to explore America is by car," Gordon said in a news release from Volvo. "I challenge everyone to go out and see as much as possible. Find your own journey and reason to believe because you only have one life to live. No matter how many roads I've been on, there's always one I haven't taken. That's what makes it exciting."