10 cars that left a million kilometers far behind

When a car has more than 200,000 kilometers we tend to see it as a worn-out car, with potentially exhausted and fault-prone mechanics. We stay away from them in the second-hand market, ignoring that with good treatment and scrupulous maintenance they can be in better condition than a car with half its mileage. The 10 cars that we collect in this special laugh at those 200,000 kilometers: some of them have done them annually. They are the real ones kings of automotive longevity.

We have collected a selection of passenger cars whose mileage has been documented. We have not included commercial vehicles for practical reasons – they play in other annual mileage leagues – and we only collect well-documented cases. If you think we have ignored a long-distance runner in the automotive world, we ask you to leave us a comment, expanding the information in this article. Without further ado, let’s see what cars make a fool of planned obsolescence and the bar counter myths about automotive longevity.

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Scrupulous maintenance, mechanical simplicity and courteous treatment. The necessary ingredients, along with a little luck.

1) Volvo P1800 (1966): 5.25 million kilometers

A retired Long Island professor owned a precious 1966 Volvo P1800. A true road trip junkie, he bought the new car in 1966 and continues to travel thousands and thousands of miles a year. The car has exceeded 3 million miles in 2013, and although its 1.8 100hp engine has already been rebuilt three times, retains its original bodywork, axles and gearbox. The secret has been none other than gentle treatment and scrupulous maintenance to the extreme, using the car’s workshop manual.

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2) Mercedes 200D W115 (1971): 4.6 million kilometers

Another regular of Diariomotor. We have been talking about this for years long-lived Mercedes 200D, box W115. For 30 years, without interruption, it was operating as a taxi in Athens. Its owner – a taxi driver named Gregorios Sachinidis – bought two more engines and rotated them, so that the car would never stand still. After 11 rotations and 4.6 million kilometers without any problem, Daimler bought him the taxi and gave him a Mercedes C 200 CDI from the package. Something tells me it won’t hit 4.6 million again.


3) Volkswagen Beetle (1963): 2.6 million kilometers

Some stories are mere praise for their owners’ persistence, mechanical skill, and careful driving. Albert Klein owned it for 30 years, until the car was donated to a museum in 1993. He had completed a whopping 2.6 million kilometers. In 1987, according to an article in the LA Times, the car had a total of 1.6 million km, with a maintenance expense of $ 38,000. He had “eaten” a whopping seven engines, three gearboxes, 150 tires and about 125,000 liters of gasoline.


4) Lincoln Town Car (1983): 2.1 million kilometers

Chet Belisle is a retiree living in Kansas. In 1983 he acquired a Lincoln Town Car, and until a few years ago, accumulated on its odometer no less than 2.1 million kilometers. Despite being built in a dark age for the American automobile, the car has only required an engine rebuild and a transmission rebuild. The retiree has also benefited from the Lifetime warranty on many of its pieces. Another important detail is a trusted mechanic, who knows the car perfectly.


5) Mercedes 250 SE (1966): 2.06 million kilometers

This Mercedes was originally purchased in 1966, and when its original owner passed away in 1992, it had already racked up a million miles in its gut. His family collected the witness from its original owner, and continued to use the car until about 10 years later, when Ben Clopot acquired it. He has continued using it, going through a few 70,000 km per year in daily use in heavy Los Angeles traffic. Although the engine has been rebuilt four times already, the car is in enviable mechanical condition and has received several awards from Mercedes.


6) Mercedes 200D W124 (1988): 1.9 million kilometers

In the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart there is a Mercedes 200D W124, used as a taxi in Porto for 14 years. A testament to the legendary Mercedes reliability of the ’70s and’ 80s, indestructible cars made to last for decades of abuse and abundant mileage. This saloon is special in the sense that its engine never suffered breakdowns, nor did it have to be rebuilt. In its 1.9 million kilometers it was always maintained in official Mercedes services and the brand keeps all its maintenance records.


7) American pick-ups with more than one million miles (1.6 million kilometers)

There is a multitude of American pickup history with over a million miles on their odometer. The stories are similar and feature several Chevrolet Silverado and a Dodge RAM with a Cummins diesel engine. Perhaps the most impressive is that of a Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD from 2006, which in just 7 years accumulated 1.7 million kilometersAll of them hauling heavy motorhomes up to 12 meters in length, from end to end of the US Scrupulous maintenance and mechanical simplicity is the key.

8) Saab 900 SPG (1989): 1.6 million kilometers

Many of the cars on this list are not performance-oriented, nor do they have high-performance engines. The case of this Saab 900 SPG is exceptional. Equipped with a 2.0 turbo engine with an output of 175 hp – it was the same engine as the European 900 Turbo Aero – in 17 years he traveled almost 1.6 million kilometers. The car needed three head gaskets, but its turbo lasted until the end and neither engine nor gearbox needed rebuilding. Only the bodywork succumbed to the Wisconsin winters. The car is currently in the US museum.


9) BMW 325i E30 Mobil 1 (1989): 1.6 million kilometers

In 1990, Mobil 1 conducted an experiment to test the quality of its new synthetic oils. They bought a BMW 325i E30, and they put it on a dynamometer, running it at about 130 km / h for 4 years: the equivalent of one million miles, approximately 1.6 million kilometers. They only stopped to do routine maintenance on the car. When finished they opened the propeller and they saw that the engine tolerances had hardly changed. They say that this maneuver convinced BMW to equip Mobil 1 oil from the factory.


10) Porsche 356 C (1964): 1.6 million kilometers

Guy Newmark’s father bought a Porsche 356 C in 1964, and they have been in the same family ever since. This little 75hp European classic needed only two engine rebuilds, and in 2013 it had completed 1.6 million kilometers. Newmark still owns the 356, possibly with more than a million miles on its odometer. Curiously, in 2013 the car was stolen by teenagers they couldn’t even rip it off. Within days he had recovered it and continues to drive it daily. A true love story.

10 + 1) Lamborghini 400 GT (1967): 453,000 kilometers

Okay, not a million miles, but it deserved to be on the list. It is commendable that this Italian classic has reached almost half a million kilometers. For many reasons. First of all, because of the reliability of these cars, especially when it comes to their delicate electrical systems. Second, because they are cars that many owners choose to barely use, retaining a greater part of their economic value. An Italian classic from the 60s with more than 453,000 kilometers deserves to be on this list.

Source: High Mileage Club | 9th | Popular Mechanics

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