Press Releases

Irv Gordon's America








Irv Gordon, the first person to drive almost two million miles in the same vehicle,


a 1966 Volvo P1800, offers special perspective of U.S. roadways


NEW YORK (FEB. 6, 2002) -- Few have seen the United States from the same perspective as Long Island native and retired science teacher Irv Gordon, the first person to drive almost two million miles in the same vehicle, a shiny red 1966 Volvo P1800.


On March 27, Gordon will drive his Volvo's two-millionth mile down Broadway in Times Square, New York, as part of festivities to celebrate Volvo Cars of North America's 75th anniversary. While Gordon has driven his record-breaking Volvo in nations around the world, the vast majority of miles were logged travelling America's interstates and highways. The 36-year journey has given Gordon innumerable experiences with the culture, food and amenities of thousands of U.S. towns -- large and small.


As he prepares for the final miles of his quest, Gordon shared a few of his favorite experiences and locations across the United States, being sure to exclude his native New York from the list for objectivity's sake:

  • Favorite state for juicy steaks: "Missouri. There's a of steakhouse just off of I-44 in Rolla, Missouri that has the thickest, juiciest steaks."
  • Cleanest restrooms: "Rest stops and welcome centers are always better than gas stations and fast-food restaurants. I've always thought the Southern states -- particularly Virginia, the Carolinas, Alabama and Mississippi -- had the nicest rest stops. The rest stops in the Western states have the best architecture to go along with their surroundings."
  • Friendliest drivers: "New Hampshire has the friendliest drivers. I'm well out of New York's busy highways by then, and it seems like I leave the stress at the state line. Drivers are courteous. They'll switch lanes with their turn signals, let me merge, and even wave at me. It's just a friendly, beautiful state."
  • Steepest roadways: "I once drove up Pikes Peak Mountain in Colorado. All gravel. All incline. I looked down and saw sky."
  • Best southern cooking: "New Orleans. The jambalaya is authentic and spicy."
  • Best clam chowder: "Cape Cod. They use lots of melted butter, corn and potatoes. I worked four summers in Cape Cod during college, so I'm a bit prejudiced."
  • Best state barbecue: "The style and taste of barbecue varies state-to-state, but with Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis each offering their distinct flavors, Tennessee has the overall best barbecue. And, among the Tennessee versions, Memphis is tops."
  • Smoothest rush-hour traffic: "There are no big cities with smooth rush-hour traffic, but if I had to name one city as the 'least worst,' it would be Portland, Ore. Their traffic flow seems to be in fairly good order there."
  • Best city to drive through at night: "Chicago. It's so jammed during the day, so you never appreciate the beauty of that city by the lake. At night, the Midwest skies are clear and the city looks like a portrait. Minneapolis is not as big, but it's a close second."
  • Favorite small town: "Green River, Wyo. It's an isolated town, off I-80 on the way to San Francisco. Every time I make that drive, I always stop there. I don't know anyone in Green River, but the people are extremely friendly and the town seems like a wonderful place to live."
  • Best cup of coffee: "Nothing gets my blood going like an early morning visit to any roadside Waffle House for a cup of coffee, although I've never had a waffle there."
  • Best interstate view of the Rocky Mountains: "There are so many options, but the I-70 drive between Denver and Grand Junction leaves a lasting impression in my mind."
  • Best part of the Pacific Coast Highway: "The northern California stretch, after you're out of the big cities and the road starts to get rough and windy. There are no traffic lights, just curves and waves breaking against the coves below."



Sören Johansson,

Volvo Cars of North America,



Photographs of Gordon are available for download at


For an invitation to Volvo's 75th anniversary party and Gordon's two million milestone, contact


Eric Davis,


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