Journal: All Car Clubs Should Be More Like Volvo’s High Mileage One

All Car Clubs Should Be More Like Volvo’s High Mileage One

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 5, 2016
10 comments

In my estimation, I’ve driven more behind the wheel of a Volvo than any other marque—anyone who’s driven one can surely attest to how easily they soak up the miles. But I haven’t driven a single Volvo enough to earn one of the company’s coveted High Mileage Club emblems, which used to reward drivers on, rightfully, how far they’d driven in a Volvo. Why doesn’t every car company have emblems like this?

Clever ways of promoting the use of motor vehicles isn’t a new scheme in any way, it’s why a certain tire manufacturer also got into the business of rating restaurants and writing road guidebooks. Since vehicles are made to be driven, hitting a mileage milestone is surely a bigger achievement than knowing your paint is perfect.

Other automakers have offered similar programs, but none seem to have the staying power of Volvo’s—perhaps that’s why the company seems happy to issue a special grille badge every time Irv Gordon, driver of a 1966 Volvo P1800 Coupé, hits a new milestone (which is now at well over 3 million miles).

I should mention that the original Volvo High Mileage Club is no more. Though it was folded, its more than 38,000 members became eligible for what the automaker now calls the Volvo Heritage Club, which rewards people for mileage and/or the total number of years they’ve owned Volvos. (Here’s the form to submit.)

Since I still have my first car (with ownership at more than 14 years strong), perhaps it’s time to finally write in and get a badge…

Source: Irv Gordon, Ebay

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MichelTodd CoxDouglas AndersonMichael SqueoMichael Maddalena Recent comment authors
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Michel
Michel

785.000K miles in my alfa since ’69. Three rebuild engines……….And the adventure continues!

Todd Cox
Todd Cox

I think a great many of you would be surprised to find how many miles NA Miatas tend to have on them. No one really sweats 200k on a stock engine. People really drive these cars, and live with them for a long time. Miata owners (particularly ’89-’97 years) tend to forge particularly deep bonds with their cars.

I bought mine a three years ago with 84k. Today it has 140k. To celebrate those miles, I bought it a Rotrex supercharger. It should easily crack the 200k mark even after adding forced induction.

Douglas Anderson
Douglas Anderson

I missed out on this award.
Sold my 2001 S 60 with 158 plus on the clock. It needed a cat converter to pass NC. inspection , but the part alone cost more than the car was worth , and it was having intermitent electrical issues. Nice car, but about as expensive to keep as my last Porsche.

Michael Maddalena
Michael Maddalena

The Volvo program began in the early ’80s at the request of the Volvo Dealer Advisory Council. If my memory serves me (I was the Sales Promotion Manager at the time), Volvo Dealer Stanley Lazarus suggested it. Coincidentally, Mr. Lazarus owned Volvoville at the time and Irv Gordon purchased his 1800S from them. The original badge was designed by Cook & Shanosky of Princeton, NJ. Let me correct Guitar Slinger for a moment. The original standards were not higher. Your first 100,000 miles got you a badge. Also, Chinese ownership saved Volvo from Ford’s death grip. Ford bled them dry,… Read more »

Michael Squeo
Michael Squeo

You are correct. Although my 72 145E is long gone, I kept the 100,000 mile badge and mounted it above my basement bar. It’s blue with a red center.

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

I bet it costs a lot more in maintenance dollars to achieve those miles in a Mercedes than in a Toyota or old Volvo.

MMK
MMK

Mercedes-Benz does, starting at 150,000 miles there are various high mileage awards. Most of the dealerships certify the mileage and the car gets a grille badge and a certificate. Mercedes-Benz Club of America also felicitates in high mileage awards and awards Silver Star Preservation Awards for originality of Mercedes-Benz that are 25 year or older.

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

Some beautiful shots of what looks like the Pacific NW.
Is Irv related to the late Richard Gordon of IPD fame?

As far as longevity, I remember my dad’s generation bragging about having 100,000 miles on a Chevy. Then along come the Japanese and raise the bar WAY up. Remember the Toyota truck ads with people bragging about super high miles?

thomas_callahan
thomas_callahan

10 years or 100,000 miles is all it takes? That doesn’t seem like very much, my wife’s 11-year old, 180,000 mile V70 easily qualifies for both. She’d kill me if I put a high mileage badge on her car though! Wish Toyota had something like that, recently got rid of a Camry that had nearly 300k in 24 years, just a year short of qualifying for “vintage” car plates. Only one mechanical problem in that whole time, a $100 repair for a cracked distributor coil about 10 years ago. The AC even still worked. Finally started leaking fuel, the low… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Ha ! gotcha both . A photographer friend has some 765,000 on his daily driver Toyota 4Runner . Now THAT’s … high mileage … not some sniveling less than average [ average mileage in the US is 14,000 per annum ] 10 years or 100,000 miles .

FYI ; The original Volvo high mileage clubs standards were a whole lot higher … and all about celebrating the longevity of Volvo … not a Sales & Marketing strategy aimed at promoting Volvo in light of the lost sales due to their current Chinese ownership