Irv Gordon owns a 1966 Volvo P1800, and he doesn’t just let it sit in the garage. The car rolled over 2 million miles in 2002, and is just 300,000 miles away from the 3-million mark. He commutes 125 miles to work, takes a lot of road trips, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for “highest certified mileage driven by the original owner in non-commercial service.”
Volvo asked him to give advice to those preparing to take a family road trip for vacation. His response: ditch the fancy resorts and theme parks and take a drive to a small town.
Gordon gets his kicks driving his Volvo on Route 66 and just about every other picturesque highway in the United States. He estimates he has stopped at more than 5,000 small towns in this car over the past 42 years for coffee and conversations with the locals.
“Folks are anxious to have a relaxing, inexpensive summer vacation under the warm sun,” Gordon said. “Make it easy on yourself this year and get off the gridlocked interstates. Take a state highway toward one of our thousands of peaceful small towns. Each small town is a gem, packed with bizarre attractions, important history and plenty of fun.”
Gordon suggested nine towns, none on Route 66. But his descriptions of each are enticing enough to make any roadie want to go. And the point is made: Some of the best obscure gems can be found in small-town America.