One million miles. That’s the equivalent of going to the moon and back twice. If there was a road that went around the equator, it would take 40 laps to reach that distance. Can you imagine getting there in a … 2007 Nissan Frontier? If such roads existed, Chicago’s Brian Murphy could’ve done just that. And Nissan is keen to let the world know about it.
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Mr. Murphy is an independent delivery driver in Chicago where he started doing deliveries 45 years ago. These days it's his “part-time” job which usually starts before sunrise and ends 13 hours later. The Frontier has been his vehicle-of-choice since purchasing it brand new in 2007; it’s a two-wheel-drive King Cab equipped with Nissan’s venerable four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. That’s right folks – not only did Murphy get to a million miles, he swapped cogs by hand to get there.
Gallery: 2007 Nissan Frontier With 1 Million Miles
The milestone recently occurred on January 27, though the Frontier’s digital odometer stopped counting at 999,999. The trip odometer continues to log miles, however, and the truck is still chugging away. The engine and transmission are all original without any major repairs or rebuilds, though the timing chain for the engine was replaced at 700,000 miles as a preventative measure.
The radiator and the alternator lasted 450,000 miles, and if you’re wondering how many clutches the Frontier went through, that number is exactly one. The original clutch was finally replaced at 801,000 miles. Otherwise, he Murphy changes the oil himself every 10,000 miles, and his local dealership handles larger maintenance issues. So what happens now?
“My truck deserves to rest, but I’ve got to keep busy,” Murphy said.
Apparently, that means there’s still a red 2007 Frontier bumping around the Windy City with a lot of miles on the clock.
CHICAGO – Murphy's Law doesn't apply to Brian Murphy, a Chicagoland delivery driver who set a goal in 2007 to put a million miles on his Nissan Frontier pickup truck.
On workdays, Murphy starts before sunrise and returns home about 13 hours later. He drove about 50,000 hours to rack up the million miles on his pickup — a two-wheel-drive, 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual 2007 Frontier King Cab with a Red Brawn exterior that still has its original engine and transmission. A million miles is about the same distance as two roundtrips to the Moon.
The Nissan Frontier that delivered a million miles (and counting)
"I had no doubt this truck would hit a million miles. It's tough and gets great fuel economy2, exactly what I need to get the job done," said Murphy. "I change my own oil every 10,000 miles and drive carefully. Nothing major has been replaced on this truck, it's really something."
For other routine maintenance, the truck has been serviced at M'Lady Nissan in Crystal Lake, the same dealership where the 62-year-old Murphy bought the vehicle new in June 2007.
"Brian Murphy is the perfect Frontier customer. It's encouraging to hear exceptional stories like this and to know our vehicles are dependably serving customers – let alone for a million miles," said Tiago Castro, director, Nissan Commercial Vehicles.
According to Murphy, the original clutch lasted 801,000 miles, the timing chain was replaced as preventative at 700,000 miles, and the radiator and alternator lasted about 450,000 miles each. Even the driver's seat lasted a half-million miles before being replaced.
The U.S. Department of Transportation3 says males in Murphy's age group drive an average of 15,859 miles per year. Murphy drives, on average, about 77,000 miles per year. The digital odometer stopped tracking at 999,999 miles on January 27, 2020, but the trip odometer kept rolling to prove the truck now has over a million miles.
Murphy began his career as a delivery truck driver 45 years ago in the Chicago area. He "retired" from corporate America 16 years ago and started his part-time job as an independent delivery driver in 2007. He has never used GPS to guide him on his route, and his driving record is free of any moving violations.
"My truck deserves to rest, but I've got to keep busy," said Murphy.
The "Million-Mile" Frontier was built at Nissan Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. The company invited Murphy and his family to an event during the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.