Cars, Motoring News, sports cars, volvo

Multi-million km man shares his distance tips

  • Five-million kays in 50 years
  • One mission, one motor oil
  • Credit shared by 1966 Volvo P1800S
FIVE-MILLION KM VOLVO: Image: Motorpress / Castrol
FIVE-MILLION KM VOLVOMAN IN SA: Irvin Gordon (76) at a Johannesburg Volvo franchise with a Volvo P60 similar to the unit he’s driving to daily distance records. Image: Motorpress / Castrol

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Irvin “Irv” Gordon (76), holder of the world record for kilometres racked up  with a single car, has been in South Africa to record a video about people, their wheels and how to keep them running.

His visit was sponsored by oil giant Castrol, so you can guess whose product he’s been using during the 50 years that it has taken him to clock more than five-million km in his 1966 Volvo P1800S.

His sponsorship from the Castrol company – so named when castor oil squeezed from the seeds of the castor-oil plant was added to a lubricant originally produced by the Wakefield Oil Company way back in 1899 – was renewed in 2015.

FIVE-MILLION KM VOLVO: Image: Motorpress / Castrol
FIVE-MILLION KM DRIVER: Irvin Gordon, 76, and his Volvo jacket chats about 50 years of record-setting. Image: Motorpress / Castrol

Irv, a New Yorker, is a retired science teacher and the world record-holder for the most kilometres driven by a single owner of a non-commercial vehicle. He and his 1966 Volvo P1800S have covered well over five-million km.

He bought the car new and its sump was filled with Castrol motor oil – the product used for every service and top-up ever since.


The Volvo still has its original engine and gearbox after travelling the equivalent of about 125 laps of Earth’s equator or nearly seven round trip to the Moon.

David Bouet, Castrol Africa’s MD, told The Corner in a media release: “Irv has reached some incredible milestones using Castrol products. Castrol GTX aims to extend engine life; in Irv’s case it’s delivered. Irv has been a great supporter of our brand and we look forward to continuing the journey together.”

The long-distance driver said: “I’ve thoroughly driving all over the world in this car over the past 50 years. Castrol has been with me for every curve in the road. It’s terrific stuff.”

READ MORE Volvo features on Carman’s Corner

In his South African video he speaks to like-minded South Africans to find out what maintenance and car care means to them.

“I’ve had a great time in South Africa. It’s been wonderful talking to people who love and take special care of their cars because they want to keep them longer.”

Over the past 50 years Gordon has:

  • Used more than 427 300 litres of petrol
  • Poured in 3293 litres of oil
  • Performed 907 oil changes.
  • Driven more than 170 000km a year since retiring in 1996

His Volvo’s odometer, when the video was made, stood at 5 111 268km but Irv says he has no thought of slowing down.

FIVE-MILLION KM VOLVO: Image: Motorpress / Castrol
FIVE-MILLION KM VOLVO: The super-long-distance Volvo with the plate it wears back in its native New York. Image: Motorpress / Castrol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s