It may have taken 47 years, but Irv Gordon has officially become the first person to drive 3 million miles in the same car and, in doing so, has set a world record that will, in all likelihood, never be broken.
Gordon's pristine cherry red 1966 Volvo P1800 passed the remarkable milestone (equivalent to 4.8 million km) on the Seward Highway - Alaska Highway 1 - along the Turnagain Arm, quite fittingly known in the US as The Last Frontier.
Gordon's journey began the day he took possession of his beloved Volvo. So enamored was he with its looks and performance that after driving it off the dealership forecourt on a Friday afternoon he spent so much time behind the wheel that he was forced to return to the garage again the following Monday because the car was already due for its initial 1500-mile service.
Since that first weekend, Gordon and his faithful four-wheel companion have traveled the length and breadth of the US. By 1976 the odometer had already reached the half-million-mile mark, and by 1988 Gordon had driven the Swedish coupe into the record books for the first time for hitting 1.69 million miles in the same car.
And as the records have continued to fall, the attention the two receive has begun to grow. So much so that at the beginning of 2013 Volvo North America launched the 3 million reasons to believe web portal to track Gordon's progress and to encourage others to share their own driving memories, inspiration and photographs.
"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 of the achievement. "I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo."
Nevertheless, Gordon chose Alaska as the venue for setting the new record as it is one of only two US states he had yet to visit. He hopes his story and the media coverage it has generated will inspire others to hit the road and have their own adventures. "The best way to explore America is by car," Gordon believes. "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."
And, as for what the future holds, Gordon says the only certainty is that he will continue driving his P1800: "Not much will change. 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."