Million-mile cars aren't the unicorns they used to be. Improved engineering, meticulous maintenance, a robust supply of replacement parts, and the sheer stubbornness of some owners have all helped many makes and models cross the seven-figure threshold. It's not an easy feat, though one Missouri man, Jim O'Shea, was quite determined to reach that goal, which he recently did in his 1991 Volvo 740 GLE, according to KNWA Fox 24.
When he was at the West County Volvo dealer 30 years ago to buy the 740, an owner with a one-million-mile 1961 model rolled into the lot. O'Shea can't recall the car's model number, though he didn't forget seeing the owner drive off the lot in a new model. That gave O'Shea an idea – "If he can do it, I can do it," he told KNWA. And he did, though the car has collected its share of battle scars over the years.
The Volvo is on its second engine and transmission, and there is some rust here and there. It's accident-free, though he does admit it has been bumped in the driveway on three occasions – once a decade, on average, which is not so bad. O'Shea attributes the Volvo's long life to how easy it has been to fix. He called it a "mechanic's dream," adding that "the common man" can easily replace bulbs and other parts. Simplicity for the win.
There are more than a few Volvo's out there with rolled-over odometers and thousands of miles of open road ahead of them, but others are beginning to join the ranks. Cars like the Nissan Frontier, Ram 3500, and the Hyundai Elantra have all crossed the million-mile mark. Doing it on the original powertrain is more challenging, though not impossible. There is a million-mile Honda CRX with its original hardware – also a 1991 model – that now occupies a Florida dealership, which is just great marketing.