Archive for April, 2014

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Photo of Robert, the Suburban and his Grandson

A few weeks ago, I posted a quick Youtube blurb about a man who put over 700,000 Miles on his Chevy Suburban. You can see the video again below. Well, I had to know more, so I contacted the owner and he was happy to talk about his vehicle with us.

Robert Ralummus purchased a new Chevy Suburban 1500 2WD in 2000. It was used mainly for commuting for work(220 miles round trip),  but it also got used for family activities and family trips. Robert has seven kids, so you can imagine how those local trips would start to add up. He added that the car has been driven extensively on  I-16 and I-95 and has been to New Orleans twice for relief trips for hurricane Katrina.

As for repairs, Robert says the transmission has been replaced once at 300,000 miles, and that is the most major repair he can think of. Other than regular maintenance fuels pumped and the like,  the engine has been tuned up three times, and he says it gets around 17-18 mpg.  He also changes the oil and lube every 5000 miles like clockwork.  It has been involved in a small accident and has killed a number of deer, but that is not surprising with a car that has this many miles.

Robert has been thinking of buying a new car, but he can’t justify it with he current one working so well. We at HMC hope he continues to drive it as well. This milestone is amazing and I can’t imagine there are too many other suburbans out there with that kind of history. Well done, Robert. Well done. We are adding you to the Hall of fame.

To start of the week’s news, I wanted to pose a question to the HMC audience.   Aaron L. posed a great question in the comments earlier today. His vehicle has around 185,000 miles and rust is starting to creep onto his car. He was wondering how all of the high-milers out there mitigating the oncoming rust-storm? Do you have any strategies or tips? How to do you handle the eventual repairs? Do you take your car to an expert?  Use the comments down below to discuss rust. I eventually plan to create a list of high-mile techniques that we can use to keep our cars running to a million and beyond.  I plant o put it next to the hall of fame.

Here is an older story that comes to us from HMC reader Paolo. The Daily Mail reports on a 1994 Audi A6 Quattro that has gone over the  half-million mile level. This is certainly the first Audi I’ve seen to hit that milestone. Brian Greenslade from Barnstaple, Devon bought the car in 1994 and took crazy care of it. The vehicle is still on its original gear box and engine. Mr.Greenslade has been  Devon city council for 17 years and uses the car to commute to and from work. He claims he won’t rid himself of the car unless he absolutely has to. I’d like to see if he is still driving it today. I would think he’s up to 6 or 700,000 miles by now.   

Update:   It looks like Brian and his Audi finally packed it in. I found this article  from last year with all the details. Looks like they got 523,000 miles before it was time to say goodbye. Apparently he was giving the car away to someone. Now we just have to find out if the car is still being used, or  has ended up in the great parking lot in the sky.

 

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We have an amazing story for you today. I was recently contacted by Ben Clopot, who had recently acquired a 1966 Mercedes Benz 250se Coupe and promptly fell in love with it. He was shocked when he discovered the vehicle had accumulated 1,283,575 miles or just over 2 million Kilometers over its lifetime. He didn’t think much of it until he found our site. I told him that 1.2 million miles on any car was nothing short of miraculous and that I had to know everything about this car. 

The first thing I need to point out is that this car has had a superb histphoto 1 (2)ory and has been maintained like a newborn baby. Ben found maintenance records going all the way back to the beginning.  I want to document some of the the milestones here.

In 1975, the car reached 200,000 miles and was awarded a badge from Mercedes. Then in 1980, it got an award for 500,000 miles driven. In 1991 it received the 877,000 miles (1 million km) badge.  Sadly,  the original owner passed away the following year. Since 1992, the family of the original owner kept the car, maintained it and put another 350,000 miles on it.photo 2

Ben recently purchased the car from the family and he drives it about 35,000 miles a year. He just got the 1 million mile badge from Mercedes and sent me a photo of it.

As for major repairs, he says, the engine has had the bottom  rebuilt twice and the top rebuilt four times. The transmission has been rebuilt twice. He says that if something breaks, he gets it fixed immediately. Ben uses the car as a daily driver for his business. He is currently a Realtor in Beverly Hills. Ben believes it could be one of the highest-mile gasoline engine Mercedes on the road today. We are inclined to agree with him.

Ben, thank you for sharing this amazing story with us. It’s great that you are keeping the car going after all these years. It has been a real team effort to get the 250 to this mileage. We hope you and the Benz get many million more. You have a beautiful car, and you are now in our top five high-mileage car owners of all time.  Check below for grill and badge photos. Sexy!

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Today’s Youtube short is a Mercedes that has eclipsed the 300,000 mile mark. The driver even gets himself those nifty high-mileage badges. He’s taken great care of his car. I hope we see more from this man and his 1997 E320.  We may see him in the Hall of fame yet.

It’s been a slow news week here at HMC. Not a lot of pings out there in terms of high-mile vehicles. I’m always scanning the net in search of the next super-high mile car, but things are a little dry at the moment. I do have a couple of exclusives in the pipeline, so stay tuned for those.

To keep things interesting, I thought I’d cover the story of a woman who drove her beetle 400,000 miles. Alice Mannion bought a used 1998 VW beetle with 40,000 miles on it, and took it ten times that distance. While it’s an older story that goes back to 2010 and isn’t going to break any records, it’s still a pretty amazing accomplishment. You can find the story here.  There is a lot of sarcasm in the article, but it’s nice to see VWs continue to prove their reliability.

Alice, if you see this story, let us know if you are still driving the beetle. We’d love to hear where you are with it now,

One of the aims of this website is to document and catalog the amazing longevity people have achieved with their vehicles. While it is darn near impossible to get that drunken photo of yourself off Facebook, many news stories start to fade away in time. Eventually, they sink into the deep web where they become increasingly difficult to salvage. I was lucky to pull out one significant story from the webs before we lost it to time.  South Center Volkswagen’s Blog has a great story on Albert Klein and his Beetle, and one that is paramount to our cause here.

Way back in ’63 Albert Klein purchased a Volkswagen beetle 1200 for $1897.97.  In the time he owned it, he kept detailed journals about his car. He tracked mileage, repairs, tire changes, etc.  He continued to drive the car until 1993, then donated it to a museum. The final total was over 1,600,000 miles, however I haven’t been able to get an exact total.  It amazing what he accomplished in a car that many people disposed of after only a couple of hundred thousand miles.

As a bonus I found this story from the L.A. Time on him as well.  Well done, Albert, well done.

A little while back I remember writing the article about Irv Gordon and his super accomplishment and thinking about another driver who had taken his car over 2.5 millions miles. At the time I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t find anything. Somehow, I was able to track down an article that had the info. The story is about ten years old now and that is why it is fading from collective memory. I felt it needed to be mentioned here, solely for the fact that it would be the number two entry in our Hall of Fame.

Way back in 1981, a Greek taxi driver named Gregorios Sachinidis bought a used 1976 Mercedes Benz 240D with 220, 000 miles on the odometer.  He used that car as a taxi until July 2004, when he donated it to the  Mercedes-Benz Museum Collection. Mercedes was gracious enough to offer him a C 200 CDI for his trouble.

It appears he used four engines in the car during his time as a drivers and rotated them. This is not too surprising given the sheer amount of miles driven. Still, even with engine replacement, the total distance of 2,858,307 Miles before it was retired.

I will admit that unlike most car on this blog,  this the car was used strictly in a business sense as  a fleet vehicle and taxi, and simply given the nature of the job was capable of racking up the miles,  but that doesn’t diminish from the fact that it was a Benz 240D and not some long haul semi that was designed for a million miles. This vehicle has earned its rest, and its place on the all-time list.

 

These 700,000 mile SUVs and trucks are starting to pop out of the woodwork. It’s amazing. I need to start getting info from these people. They belong on the Hall of Fame. Today’s youtube find is a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 2WD with a whole lot of miles on it. I’m trying to get a hold of the owner so I get a scoop on this truck. Seven hundred big ones is pretty amazing. On the description of the video, he says that despite the check engine light, everything is good, and he’s still rocking the original engine. Sweet.

Whoa! This just came across my digital desk tonight. This forum, that specializes in Duramax Diesels, has a user named 86burgandyss who says his truck is now over 700,000 miles. He also claims he is aiming for a million. I’m tempted just to sign up to those forums just so I can interview him. We all know diesel trucks go the distance, but this is still quite the accomplishment. He states in signature that the car has had some major work done. But still, looks like all the drivetrain is good to go. Rodger, if you see this post, let us know about your truck. We want to know badly!