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Longest Lasting Car On The Road

carlvr1carlvr1 Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Ford
I thought I would start this topic title for us to
discuss what is the longest lasting car on the
road (with the original engine and transmission) in
terms of miles. I think this is the ultimate
tribute to an automakers success and commitment.
Too often it is just brushed off to Hondas and
Toyotas but are they really what they are made out
to be? Perhaps, but can they or others not only
exceed 150k or 200k but 300k miles? The longest
lasting car I've had was a 1987 Ford Escort with
167,000 miles on it when the water-pump seized and
the timing belt snapped. It was running quite well
up to then but the body was gone so I did not fix
it. Perhaps I could have passed 200k but I don't
know. My dad's 1993 Ford Escort just passed
140,000 and he has vowed to keep it forever so I
guess I'll see if maybe his will pass the 200k+


  • amoraamora Posts: 204
    Pop's '74 Chevy Cheyenne pick-up. Went 377,000 mi before engine replacement with newer '77 Z28 engine. Still owns vehicle. '77 engine was bored
    .030 6 mos ago. All new parts..i should be so
    lucky with my '00 Chevy 2500.
  • Bought new in 1976 an Olds Cutlass Supreme 350 V8 with the 4 barell carb. Drove it 17.5 years and 238,000 miles before got rid of it. The motor needed no work and the transmission had new seals at about 100,000 miles. The two universal joints in the drive shaft lasted - 150,000 miles for one and the other 225,000 miles. (and at $19.95 each plus labour it was deal)Rust problem at 5 - 8 years solved with a complete body job and Rust Check application in Canada. great car!
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I've got a 95 t-bird that's just a hair over 163,000 (A LOT of miles for a car that new). I'm aiming for 300,000 out of that car.
    My last car died at 122,000, but it was 22 years old. (1978 Grand Marquis with 400M engine and FMX trans) The engine still runs, but barely, but the transmission is as dead as Elvis. I still have that car, looking to do some major ressurection work on it after college. Maybe eventually it'll get to 300K ;-) (though not w/the original trans.)
  • johnlwjohnlw Posts: 28
    My Brother in Law has a 1986 Chevette with about 160,000 hard miles on it. He does the maintenance himself. It is the ugliest car I have ever seen. He deserves this award because one Chevette mile equals 7 normal car miles.

    I asked him why? They are quite wealthy. He says, "Anyone can get 150,000 miles on a Taurus, but a Chevette?"

    He has had, in the past, a twenty five year old Corvair that had the floor literally rot away, and a CHEVETTE DEISEL(!) that he also got many, many miles on it. I would like to add he drives slower than molasses in January.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I bought my '68 Dart in 1992 with about 253,000 miles on it. It currently has about 338,000 on it. The engine runs fine (it was rebuilt at around 240,000) but the car has a lot of body problems. Typical Mopar rust in the rear quarter panels, and leaks around the front and rear windows. It was also hit twice on the front right fender (once by new Dodge Ram, and once by a new Toyota Tacoma... they both lost...miserably!) Someone also pulled a hit-and-run on the driver's side fender and door in a parking lot, and someone else backed into it on the street, hard enough to push the fender into the door so that you get a nice loud groan when you try to open that door! Still, it runs good and strong, and only needs ball joints (currently on order) to get it roadworthy again.

    My next high-miler was a 1979 Newport that I bought from the junkyard in 1996 for $250. I thought it only had 130K miles on it, but when I received the old title, it stated the previous owner bought it in 1986 with 105K miles on it. So I'm guessing it was more like 230K. It needed a new tranny, but after that lasted to about 250K miles, and I finally got rid of it after the water pump went and I wanted something newer. I remember the speedometer was off by a wide margin. I got clocked once doing 88 mph, but the speedometer only read 73! This car had no problem burying the speedometer needle and then some. By the margin it was off, 85 mph was actually 102. And, for having as many miles as it did, it had no problem passing the emissions test. In fact, the numbers were so low that it would've almost passed by current (1997) standards! Say what you want about 70's cars, but if your typical modern American car was built as sturdy as this Newport, you'd be hearing about the Asians struggling to catch up to us in quality, instead of the other way around!

    Currently, I drive a 2000 Intrepid that already has 30K miles on it. At the rate I'm driving, it'll be a high mileage car in no time!
  • I'd like to see statistics on the number of specific makes and models with high mileage. A cousin of mine had a Toyota pickup truck with over 300,000 miles and had the engine rebuilt at that point. It had about 335K before he sold it and it's still on the road. He had very few problems. My 1990 Toyota Camry V6 had 180,000 miles on it when it was wrecked - my daughter did the honors - but it did not burn oil between changes to speak of. I had virtually no problems with it in all those years except the A/C compressor last summer.

    My wife had a 1988 Taurus we bought off a friend with 100K miles a several years ago and we gave it to my son with 195K this summer. It used a quart of oil at oil changes - 4K miles. It always started and ran well, but the previous owner had the transmission fixed at 60k and I had some electrical problems that were a nuisance, replaced the alternator and had the heater core replaced 3 years ago. The last straw was that the A/C went and we did not want to put the money into it. That car should go well over 200K.

    My daughter, the one who did the Camry in, has a 1986 Camry with 240K miles on it. She's had it almost since new. All she ever did was have the clutch replaced at 225K miles - last year. It burns oil but that's because she never took care of it until recently. She's now feeling the challenge to see how long it will go before it dies. Also, she's married and does not want a car payment. The car keeps on going despite her lack of care.

    We favor Toyotas. My wife and I have a 2000 Sienna we use for our business, and a low mileage 1996 Avalon we got to replace the 1990 Camry. We also got an excellent deal on a low mileage 1993 Sable wagon to replace the Taurus wagon. I expect to get well over 200K trouble-free miles on each of these vehicles, especially the Toyotas.

    You hear of some old American cars with unbelievable miles on them but they are rare. I expect that you'll find more and more newer high mileage cars (American and foreign)on the road today than ever before. They are generally made better, in my estimation, and the lubricants and filters are outstanding. Paint jobs are much better (remember the horrible GM cars of yesteryear?), rust protection is superior to anything before and there are many more maintenance-free items on a car - 100K mile plugs, electronic ignition, no mechanically connected distributor, etc.

    Happy driving.
  • I have 87 camry with 220,000 miles and going strong. Minimum maintenance done at home. My daughter wrecked, repaired and works okay.
  • We have a 93 Toyota Corolla five speed. I have done most of the maint. myself. Changed oil every 5K (commuter car) tune ups and belt change. Car runs like a bat out of hell with no oil burning and still gets 35/42 MPG with 205,000 on it. Putting a can of restore in the crankcase every other oil change has helped over 200%. Clutch is factory.
  • Have a '92 Sable wagon; purchased as program car from dealer in '92 with 18,000 mi. Still own it. Now 229,000 mi. Burns no oil; nothing major in repairs except AC three times - different component each time. After last AC breakdown (compressor), said, "phooey"! Driving it without AC. Wife says I should sell it before major repairs. Any advice? retrev
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome to Town Hall!

    There are a couple other discussions here that may have some help for
    you. Check out the "Board Search" at the top left of this page. Look
    for sable problems and also airconditioning (no space for that last
    one!) and you'll find at least two discussions here on the Maintenance
    and Repair Board that may have some helpful comments.

    Good luck and again, welcome!

    Pat/Roving Host.
  • My '92 Previa has 240,000 on it and is still going strong. Routine maintenance and a quart of Marvel Mystery oil every oil change forever. Only repairs have been a new starter and an oxygen sensor. It uses no oil and runs like a champ. My 'oo Sienna (32,000 mi.)is in the shop right now -- it started missing and check engine light came on. They found and replaced 2 injectors, I drove it 10 miles and the check engine light came back on so took it back in.
  • I have to give the award to a friend of mine that has a '95 Toyota Corolla with 148,000. The car had it's first brake job at 130,000 and is still on the original timing belt. Never had engine or transmission work done on it except the usual fluid changes and tune-ups. It's killing me since I have a Q45 that goes through a set of belts and brake pads every 40K.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    yea, but...

    would you rather be driving the corolla or the Q?

  • My uncle has a Volvo Wagon Turbo that has over 270K on the clock. All he's really done was to replace the turbo. It uses a quart of oil every tank of gas. Most of that is going through the trubo seals and into the intake. not by the rings. Time for another new turbo.
    My personal Honda CRX has 180K on the body. the timing belt let go at 120K and I put a junkyard engine in but still have the old block and it would run if the head were rebuilt. the pistons are fine. maybe someday...
  • I have a beautiful (blue) '86 245 that has just a hair over 250,000. The car has had no big repairs besides normal maintenance. It was first a family car (read: trips to Cali, dogs, car seats), the interior still looks almost new, and now it's a teenager's car, (read: lead foot, hard turns, some light rallying on the wkends). The car has nary a scratch (strong strong paint), the engine burns no oil, and leaks no oil. It's safe as a tank, can haul half an Ikea store, and IMHO looks pretty slick (tinted rear windows, alloy wheels, perfomance Yokohamas). We also have a '92 940 Turbo that's approaching 90,000...when it's wet that thing will spin it's rear tires up to 70mph, even with a rolling start at 30. VOLVOS FOREVER!
  • Purchased an '87 Topaz GS Sport 2.3L w/ ATX 3 spd.Automatic new. Put 220,000 miles on it before I sold it in '96. It is still being driven on the original engine and trans. Neither the engine nor trans has been rebuilt. It was a good car for the price, I replaced tie rod ends about every 70K a fuel pump at 130K and an ignition control module, both half shafts and a tansmission mount at about 150K, other than that, no unshceduled maint that I can recall. At the time I sold it, it did not use any oil, but the a/c had a slow leak.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    My stepdad had one of these, purchased brand new. I think it had about 160,000 miles on it when they traded it on a '91 Stanza. It was still running on the original engine/tranny, but I know they'd had to put a lot of other work into it.

    I believe the 2.3 4-cyl they used in the Tempo/Topaz was basically just a Falcon inline 6 with 2 cylinders sawed off, so the basic engine dated back to around 1960 or so...plenty of time to get it right!

    I used to hate that car with a passion, mainly because it was a Ford and I thought it was ugly and small, plus it was my stepdad's, and I came from a mostly GM family...but I have to admit, it held its own over the years. BTW, the Stanza only lasted to 120K miles, and needs a new transmission and enough other work done to it to exceed its highest blue-book value.

  • 216,000 when I sold it for $1000! No major engine or drivetrain defects. Put a clutch in it and a slave cylinder for the tranny (hydraulic clutch) at 145K. It did need 3 batteries, a starter, and an alternator but that aint bad for that kinda mileage. Other than that....gas, tires and oil. I went to hell and back in that UNBELIEVABLE PICK UP! Long live Nissan! (I still love German for passenger cars though:)
  • You might check if it's the torque converter - some cars made in July and Aug. (including mine) got a bad one that causes the check engine light to go on. Toyota will replace, and everything's fine now. The diagnostic sends back an error code (P007 I think) indicating some other minor problem - there's a Toyota Service Bulletin with all the info. If you get that error code, you might just make sure the service dept. is aware of the TSB. Good luck!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Hey gang,

    I remember reading somewhere, awhile back, that a Canadian cabbie with a '62 Fury (forget what engine, but it was one of those "downsized" ones for 1962 that didn't sell too well) set the record for highest mileage on an original engine.

    The guy was in an accident which totaled the car. And he didn't even think anything of the mileage at the time, but when converting kilometers to miles, it was discovered that this thing had broken some kind of record. Anybody know anything about it? I heard about it over a year ago, but can't find any info now.

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I found this little gem in the Guinness World Record website:

    Highest car mileage

    Who: Irvin Gordon
    When: 1999
    Where: East Patchogue, United States
    What: 1,690,000 miles

    The highest recorded mileage for a car is 2,719,800 km. (1,690,000 miles), for a 1966 Volvo P-1800S, owned by Irvin Gordon of New York, USA, as of February, 1999.

    Irvin Gordon bought his red Volvo P–1800S for $4,150 from a Volvoville dealership in New York, USA, one Friday in 1966. The following Monday, he was back for a 1,600-km. (1,000-mile) service! When he reached the 2.6-million km. (1.6-million mile) mark in 1998, he said the Volvo “still handles like a new car. It's never been garaged.” The retired teacher – who used to make a daily 201-km. (124-mile) round trip to work – does his own car maintenance. While clocking up his record-breaking mileage, Gordon traveled through 48 US states, Canada, and five European countries. The P-1800S, a two-seater touring car with a sweeping hood, went into production in May, 1961, and was made until June, 1973. The car was made famous by the TV series The Saint, in which one was driven by Roger Moore.

    Guinness World Records are governed by certain rules and regulations. There are general rules and regulations that apply to most records and specific conditions that apply to particular records.
  • mhall02mhall02 Posts: 38
    I have a 1978 Ford F-100 with a 300 c.. (4.9 I) incline six with 201,000 and still going strong. My Dad ordered it from Ford in the Spring of '78 and I took it over my Junior year of high school (Dec. of '86) with about 50,000 miles on it. Drove it to and from college and still drive it to and from work each day. It has been a pretty good truck all in all. Factory parts are great, it still has the original alternator, liters were replaced not long after I took it over and that is about it for the engine work. Uses some oil but I use 20W50 in summer and 10w30 in winter (maybe a quart every 1,000 miles?). My wife had a '91 Dodge Shadow with a 2.2 and 5 speed. We put 183,000 miles on it, used no oil just dripped some, then sold it to and bought a 00 Jeep Cherokee Sport. The Shadow is still going with over 190,000 miles. Changed the oil every 3,000 miles on both and kept on top of other maintnece issues (plugs, filters, cap, rater (ps?), check all fluids, grease etc). I hope the 4.0 liter Jeep will hang tough as it is supposed to.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    My grandfather, a carpenter by trade but also a skilled mechanic and electrician, pushed an 86 Accord to 250,000 miles with normal maintenance before it finally began to gasp its last breaths. His '89 Toyota work truck still runs like a champ at over 100,000 miles and will soon be traded in on a nissan frontier. One thing about early Toyota trucks... the engine feels like it might run forever, but the body started rusting out years ago. Holes in the bed I can fit my fist through.
  • I'm the original owner of a '88 Accord LX, bought in January '88. Driven essentially daily since then; currently at 274,000 and still running well with original engine and trans (other than the carb is unhappy first thing in the morning when it's cold). Uses less than a quart of oil in 5,000 miles, and much of that seeps past a seal that's begun to leak a little in the past year. Dealer maintained every 30K; I do oil changes every 3 - 5K. Great gas mileage, handles beautifully, upholstery not showing any wear, cheap to license and insure. Unfortunately, I will probably sell it when our new Odyssey arrives-- if it ever does. It's in No. California; if you're interested, make me an offer by e-mailing .
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    which has 151,000+ miles on it and it still runs great. This was my first Toyota (first foreign car). It still runs great with original engine and trans--although new clutch. I'm getting nervous about it's high mileage and was thinking about getting a new car. Hmm, might have to rethink this! If Toyota's last as long as it's reputation, perhaps I can wait? I'll see how it does come inspection/emission time in May. I put on 25,000 miles a year so it will be fast approaching 200,000 miles very quickly.

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    no one has mentioned an old VW Beetle or Toyota Tercel.
  • I put 300,000 on a 89 5th Avenue. Had a lean burn 318 with a 2 barrel carb. Only replaced voltage regulator,water pump,smog pump, radiator,u-joints
    and brakes.
  • joecugjoecug Posts: 15
    I perform emissions tests on cars at a
    central test station so I see numerous
    high mileage cars coming in for tests.
    Without a doubt the Volvos have the best
    track record for high mileage vehicles.
    I see many Volvos with 250-300K miles
    that pass the tests no problem. I sure
    this is due in part to the good care their owners give them. Surprisingly,
    one of the best cars are GM cars (mostly
    Buick and Pontiac) with a 3.8 liter V6
    engine. This engine has been around for
    decades and most of them still seem to
    run well. And you can get them used cheap!
  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    I bought in in 88 with 60,000 something miles,all original, for $1,000 and sold in 97 for $1,000 with 287000 miles on it. the only repair was a rebuildt starter at 159000. Otherwise just oil changes and tires/brake pads. It was the go cart of pick ups. I can't begin to remember the number of oil change jockeys that offered to buy it and extolled the virtues of the Toyota 20R engine.
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