by Bob O’Neill
Bob O’Neill watched and waited as the 200,000 Mile Club inched up to car number 4,000. Just after car number 3,999 was registered, he pounced!
My 1986 Dodge Daytona has 296,349 miles. I am the only owner of the car, though my daughter used it for high school and college. Other than normal repairs including brakes, worn parts replacement, oil changes, etc., there was only one catastrophic issue with the transmission. At 105,000 miles, it exploded due to worn differential bearings. Other than that normal wear and tear work has been done.
There were two head gaskets and one head replacement. But this was not due to any defects; these were my fault. It's not possible to drive these cars even a little distance when they are too hot. The first time I blew a hose which I missed during my maintenance work. It cracked the head. The second time, the same thing. You would have thought I'd have learned.
In 2001, I was looking for something to replace my Chrysler Concorde and couldn't really find anything that I wanted at the time. Then I decided to work a little on the Daytona. At this time it needed the upholstery redone and it needed paint. This car was not kept in a garage, ever, so the elements do take their toll [editor’s note: Bob lives under the hot Florida sun]. So, I went to work and slowly reconditioned the suspension and the body to repair door dings, scratches, and such.
I have driven this car thousands of miles to Carlisle and back home as well, 25,000 miles a year or more to work assignments.
All in all, this car is now as good or better then when I bought it. It gives me in excess of 32 miles per gallon and it's a ton of fun to drive.
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