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St. Louis Man Has Driven his ’91 Volvo 740 a Million Miles - and Counting

Jim O'Shea with his milion-mile 1991 Volvo | Photo: YouTube (Fox 2 News)
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Daniel Rufiange
Reaching a million miles in a car may not be a rare occurrence anymore, but it's still worth sitting up and taking notice when someone does it

In a world where over-consumption is rampant, it's always reassuring to see that some car owners keep their vehicles as long as possible before replacing them.

And with the quality of models improving all the time, it's not uncommon to see products reaching the million-kilometre mark, even the million-mile mark. Still, stories like this still merit sitting up and taking notice.

This particular tale that’s currently making the online rounds stars a Missouri man by the name of Jim O’Shea, and especially his beloved 1991 Volvo 740 GLE. As the years and miles piled on, the car’s owner was determined to get it over the million-mile mark.

But it seems the idea had been germinating for a long time. How long? When he was at the Volvo dealer looking at the 740 some 30 years ago, Jim O’Shea saw the owner of a 1961 model with a million miles come into the dealership. He recalls the man leaving with a new model given to him after trading in his million-mile car. That's when O’Shea first thought, “If he can do it, I can do it”.

The 1991 Volvo 740 GLE
The 1991 Volvo 740 GLE | Photo: YouTube (Fox 2 News)

And he did it, this even though his model has had its share of hiccups over the years. The Volvo is on its second engine and transmission. Rust is starting to attack it, too. It hasn't been in any accidents, however, though Jim O'Shea admits to having three minor fender benders - one a decade. The owner attributes the longevity of his Volvo to the ease with which it can be repaired. He described it as a “mechanic's dream”, an easy-to-maintain car.

And the story isn’t quite over, because this Volvo is still on the road.

All of this brought to mind our recent story on a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that has logged more than two million miles.

Before we know it, perhaps we'll be talking about the first all-electric vehicle to hit such a landmark. When that starts to happen, we’re figuring the million-mile or million-kilometre mark will become a much more common occurrence.

The 1991 Volvo 740 GLE, on the road
The 1991 Volvo 740 GLE, on the road | Photo: YouTube (Fox 2 News)
Jim O'Shea at the wheel of his 1991 Volvo 740 GLE
Jim O'Shea at the wheel of his 1991 Volvo 740 GLE | Photo: YouTube (Fox 2 News)
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists