I’ve heard from people who want to dump their cars after the clock hits 80,000 because it “just has too many miles on it.” Pish-posh! Tons of modern (and older) cars can last far longer than that with the right amount of attention and even a little luck. Can they make it to one million miles like that Lexus LS400 just did? Perhaps more of us should be trying.
This week the 1996 Lexus LS400 owned by podcaster, YouTube car guy and friend of the site Matt Farah hit his long-held goal—to reach one million miles. The odometer is locked at 999,999 miles, frozen in a moment of invincible glory forever, a lasting testament to good maintenance and Toyota’s insanely great Bubble Era engineering. He bought it at 897,000 miles in 2014, and in its journey to seven-figure mileage it’s become something of an internet hero.
This makes me wonder: What other cars would you be likely to hit one million miles in, if you didn’t wreck it badly and you maintained it properly?
I bet a lot of Toyota Corollas or Honda Civics could pull that off; it’d be boring but they have a tendency to never die, with the right repairs. And we know Irv Gordon, who passed away last year, drove his Volvo P1800 to 3.2 million miles. That’s a lifetime accomplishment and, let’s be honest, a hell of a lot more stylish than doing it in a boring Japanese sedan.
I personally wonder if I couldn’t pull this off in one of my favorite cars, the R107 Mercedes-Benz SL (or its hardtop brother the C107 SLC.) They made these things for almost 20 years and they’re practically the poster child for pre-1990s Mercedes over-engineering. It would probably take a lot more to do this than some humble econobox, but these things are notoriously tough and famous for running well at very high miles—provided they’ve been maintained right.
Hell, a diesel Mercedes might have an even better shot at making this happen, as those are just remarkably un-killable. It’s not at all uncommon to see those for sale running decently with 250,000 miles or more. What’s to stop you from, you know, doing four times that?
What would you make this attempt in? And would you even want to?