What's the farthest distance that you've ever driven a vehicle over its lifetime? Logging over 100,000 miles on a car or truck is something to be proud of. Traveling twice or three times that distance is quite impressive. But what about turning over a six-digit odometer by driving a car for a million miles? Pretty unbelievable, right? What about doing it twice?
Well, there's a man on Long Island, New York, who is close to attaining a never-before-reached milestone of three million miles on his car. Meet Irving Gordon, a retired schoolteacher who has logged more than 2,965,000 miles on his 1966 Volvo P1800S. He officially holds the world record for highest vehicle mileage, and his car is still running strong (and because his car is so old, his auto insurance premiums are probably incredibly low).
Gordon purchased the Volvo new in June of 1966 for $4,150, which was about a year's salary for him. He even paid an extra $10 for an AM/FM radio, but he couldn't afford to put air conditioning in the vehicle. Today, he's outfitted the red, two-door coupe with a license plate that reads "MILNMILER." There are pins of his mileage milestones on his front bumper, and his trunk is full of spare auto parts just in case he needs them while traveling. The engine in the Volvo is the same one as when it was purchased, although it has been rebuilt a couple of times.
So how did Gordon amass so many miles? Lots and lots of road trips. The now 72-year old says that he and his family would often just pack up their things and head out to an undetermined destination. Today, he hits the open road alone, and has visited Texas, Michigan, and Montreal in June of this year alone. Gordon even claims to have had a cup of coffee in every state in the union.
But the main reason behind the longevity of Gordon's Volvo is his stringently thorough upkeep of the vehicle. He doesn't let anyone else drive it, and he is obsessive about taking care of it. In fact, his car is in such good shape that Volvo Group has actually sent Gordon around the nation to appear in auto shows.
He hit the one million mile mark in 1987 and surpassed two million in 2002. And it appears that he will become the first person in history ever to drive a car three million miles sometime within the next year. All he needs is another 34,000 miles and change -- though he'll have to get some black tar removed from the carburetor before he can get back on the road again.
Loyalty to other people is considered a virtue. But what about the intense loyalty that a man has for his automobile? For Irving Gordon, it was enough to take him on a ride that lasted millions of miles -- and has driven him into the record books as well.
Tags: safauto, safe auto, volvo
Dealer: [answers phone] Hello, Will Takitbach Chevy Dealers, Shea V. Rolay speaking. How may I help you?
Customer: Hi, Shea. I'm calling about the Love It or Leave It Promotion you guys are running?
Dealer: Yes, sir. Now through September 4, when you buy a 2012 or 2013 Chevy car, truck, or SUV, you can bring it back if you don't like it and get your money back. As long as it's undamaged and has less than 4,000 miles on it, you can return it between 30 and 60 days from the date of purchase -- and you'll get a full refund of the purchase price.
Customer: Oh, I know all of the basics. I just have a few questions about the details of the program.
Customer: Well, first off, if I do bring my vehicle back, do I have a state a reason why I don't like it? Like, when I buy a shirt that's the wrong size, or a microwave that won't fit on my countertop….
Dealer: No, sir. We'll take it back and refund your money, no questions asked.
Customer: Great! What about my auto insurance premium?
Dealer: I'm sorry, sir. We can't refund that.
Customer: Hmm. That's disappointing. Also, do I have to deduct the change that fell under my seats from the refund amount?
Dealer: Um… no. That change is yours to keep.
Customer: But what if my hands are too big to reach under the seat? I have very big hands.
Dealer: Well… that's nice… but I guess…
Customer: That reminds me. What about the floormats?
Customer: Yeah. Do I get to keep those? They're really soft and snazzy looking.
Dealer: Er... no, I think we have to take those back.
Customer: Darn it. I really liked them.
Dealer: (uncomfortable pause) Well, sir, if there's nothing else…
Customer: What about the radio station buttons? Do I have to deprogram them before I return it?
Dealer: Uh… I don't think you…
Customer: I've got a pop station, two country stations, a rap station, and a heavy metal station programmed in, although the metal station doesn't come in real well in the underground garage where I park to go to yoga class. But maybe that's a good thing…
Dealer: Sir, we have people who can take care of the radio for you.
Customer: Oh. That's good. Thanks.
Dealer: Okay. Well, we hope to see you in our showroom…
Customer: Will you take the car back if it smells like cheese?
Customer: Cheese. I'm the inventory manager at the Limburger House, and if I had to make a few deliveries before I returned it…
Dealer: That's fine. We have people who clean out the cars when they...
Customer: Do they like cheese? I could bring them a few samples.
Dealer: Mmm.. ah.. I don't know if…
Customer: Oh, and one more thing.
Dealer: (sighs) What is it?
Customer: When I return my Chevy Volt…
Dealer: Oh, you've already purchased from us, sir?
Customer: Yeah. Anyway, before I bring my Volt back, do I have to unplug it first?
Dealer: [long pause] CLICK!
Tags: safauto, safe auto, chevy
Canada, our great neighbor to the North, is visited millions of times by Americans every year. Many of them drive into Canada with their cars... but don't think much about their auto insurance as they cross the border. And maybe they should, because insurance requirements can be very different in Canada, depending on the situation.
Here's the most basic difference: under Canadian law, you have to have car insurance. You might be wondering how that's different from America: the short answer is that not every state actually requires car insurance. New Hampshire, for example, will allow you to get on the road by posting a cash bond with the state. But there are other differences as well, including...
Minimum Requirements Each state in the U.S. has different minimums to cover bodily injury and property damage. This never comes up when you're driving from state to state due to what's called the Comity Clause in the U.S. Constitution: states aren't allowed to discriminate against residents of other states. Canada, obviously, has an entirely different set of laws. And, just like the US, each province has different requirements.
The basic rule, though, is that any motorist on the road needs to have $200,000 minimum in insurance coverage, which can be a pretty sharp contrast to U.S. coverage. Quebec, in theory, only requires $50,000 but that minimum doesn't include bodily injury. States rarely require more than $100,000 in total minimum coverage, although many drivers choose to be covered for more, so you may have to bump up your coverage or buy a special policy during your time in Canada.
Out-of-Country Coverage Of course, all this may be a moot point. Your insurance may not apply to you once you leave the country, depending on your policy. How do you know? You'll be required to apply for a yellow non-resident proof of insurance card. Without this card, you cannot drive in Canada... and it won't be issued if your policy doesn't meet the minimums of Canadian law.
Fault or No Fault? Other insurance issues will kick in if you get into an accident in Canada, and you might, since Canadians drive very differently from Americans. First of all, in the province of Ontario, if you get in an accident and you're not at fault, you can sue the other driver involved for costs relating to injury or economic distress stemming from the accident. But in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, they have "no-fault" systems... meaning you might not be able to sue. Fortunately, if you have international coverage on your policy, you won't have to worry about it not paying out.
The Rules of the Road The most important thing to understand, though, is that you're in another country. The rules of the road and accepted etiquette are just different enough that you need to take a little time to familiarize yourself with them. For example, it's recommended that you be extra careful at green lights in Canada because people blowing through red lights is a bit more common than it is in the US. There are quirks in the local laws, too: while you're on the island of Montreal, for example, you can't hang a right on a red light. Getting used to kilometers may also take you a little while: speed limits are lower in Canada.
Really, the key rule is: when in Canada, drive as the Canadians do. Well, maybe a little more carefully. But if you're a polite guest up North, you'll find they're a wonderful host.
Tags: safauto, safe auto, driving in canada, insurance in canada
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