FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAFE AND RELAXING WINTER DRIVING TIPS....
...FROM THE GUY WHO’S DRIVEN ALMOST 2.5 MILLION MILES
Irv Gordon, owner of the record-breaking 1966 Volvo P1800, suggests plenty of planning, knowing your car and listening to the Man in Black among keys to winter driving
EAST PATCHOGUE, NEW YORK (Dec. 7, 2005) –– Walking in a winter wonderland is fun, but driving in it is downright treacherous. Whether it’s commuting to your job or road-tripping to visit family, consider the winter driving advice of Irv Gordon, the only person to drive more than 2 million miles in the same car: “It takes plenty of planning, a true understanding of your car, and the right music to make your winter driving safe and relaxing.”
Gordon, who has done more winter driving than just about anybody, is a 64-year-old retired science teacher from Long Island who gained worldwide notoriety for being the first person to drive more than two million miles in the same car, a shiny red 1966 Volvo P1800. Now at 2.4 million miles, Gordon takes delight in driving his Volvo to Philadelphia for lunch, Montreal for dinner or California just for the fun of it.
“In the snowy states and in some sunny states, winter driving is as inevitable as that crazy, belligerent uncle visiting for the holidays,” Gordon said. “Sooner or later, you’re just going to have to deal with it.
“While you can’t control the elements around your car, you can control what you do with your car when it’s 12 degrees, you’re cruising on I-90 and a blanket of ice forms on the road,” he added. Gordon offers these winter driving tips:
Professionally winterize your car
“I like to have a qualified mechanic give my car a full winter physical – checking tire inflation, treads, battery, brake wear, fluids, etc. Get the cooling system flushed. Have him check all hoses and belts for cracks, bulges, soft areas and leaks. Inspect the brakes, rotors and the action of the emergency brake. The last thing you need on a cold morning is a frozen emergency brake because you failed to make sure all the linkages where free of road dirt and salt. And, for the love of Pete, put winter blades on your wipers!”
Warm it up and fill it up
“Is it a myth that you need to warm up your car or keep your tank full in the winter? Who cares? Don’t gamble. On cold days, warm your car a few minutes to get its heart ticking. And, always try to keep the gas tank at least half full ––– lest water, condensation, dirt and debris find their way in there. And remember, don’t warm up your car and fill it up at the same time, okay?”
Get proper grades on your oil
“You really are supposed to use different grades of oil over winter months. Check your owners’ manual and make the adjustments.”
Do all four snow tires
“Instead of all season tires, try four genuine snow tires. And, buy the best snow tires you can afford. It’s still cheaper than paying for what happens after you skid into your friendly neighborhood light pole.”
Bring great tunes for the ride
“Before heading out on a snowy day, grab your favorite records to play in your car; you’ll have plenty of time to listen while sitting on the highway. My preference for the winter drives is Johnny Cash. Listening to Cash and driving in snow go together like a cup of hot, black coffee and a shot of fine, rich cream.
AWD is great, but an AKD (All-Knowing Driver) is better
“Some drivers swear by front-wheel drive for winter driving. Others attest to all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. None of these will help anyone who will not help himself. Being patient, driving at proper speeds and being completely aware of your surroundings is the most critical drive system you can have.”
Pretend there are six invisible cars in front of you
“On icy roads, you can’t control a tailgater, but you usually can control the distance of the car in front of you. I allow at least six car lengths in front of me on snowy days. That sometimes makes the guy behind me insane, but it gives me nothing but peace of mind.”
Know the ABC’s of ABS
“Anti-lock braking systems are blessings for winter driving, and these traction control systems on newer cars are miracles. But what good are they if you don’t know how they function? Ask your service technician to review the systems with you. And, no matter how high-tech your brake systems, always keep a safe distance back, as they are not intended to shorten your stopping distance; their purpose is to help you maintain control.”
Pull over a block from home to wind down
“Did a snowy evening commute turn your otherwise 15 minute drive into a two hour nightmare? The last thing you want to do is carry that stress into your home to your family. If possible, pull over a block from your house and spend a couple of minutes taking deep breaths and unwinding. It’ll make your abbreviated evening a lot more enjoyable.”
“It’s the most important thing you can do on the road in the winter, or all year round for that matter. Plus, a Volvo employee named Nils Bohlin created the modern three-point safety belt, so I’m partial to this one.”
Gordon purchased his P1800 in June 1966 from a neighborhood Volvo dealership for $4,150. His 125-mile daily commute to and from work, his passion for driving and his meticulous car for his car enabled him to clock the miles. In 1998, The Guinness Book for World Records honored Gordon’s car as the vehicle with the “highest certified miles driven by the original car owner in non-commercial service.”
Gordon breaks his own world record every time he drives his celebrated car. Some time in 2006 –– the car’s 40th anniversary –– he’ll mark his 2.5 millionth mile, in hot pursuit of turning three million miles by decade’s end.
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Haberman & Associates
Volvo Cars of North America
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