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4,000 cars with over 200,000 miles each

by David Zatz on

Not long ago, most cars sold in the United States didn’t even have a sixth number on their odometer.

Today, in a testament to how far automobiles have traveled on the road to quality and durability, the Allpar 200,000 Mile Club claimed its 4,000th new member. The club is exclusively for high mileage vehicles, including one van still going strong after a million miles.

Car number 4,000 was registered on March 9, 2010 by Robert O’Neill, an IT trainer in Florida. The 1986 Dodge Daytona is his daily driver, getting 32 mpg with 296,349 miles on the original engine.

The cars are a testament to their owners, many of whom do their own car repairs. Club leader David Zatz observed, “Using the right fluids and parts helps prevent big-ticket repairs and can keep costs down. Doing the work also adds to the owners’ pride of ownership, which keeps people from trading their cars in for newer models.”

Dr. Zatz, an organizational consultant, has only reached 101,000 miles on his 2000 Chrysler 300M – so far. His lifetime high was 165,000 miles on a Plymouth Valiant. “I flit from car to car more than I should,” he said. But what were once high numbers don’t qualify him for a club whose membership is growing less exclusive by the day.

The Allpar 200,000 Mile Club has a searchable database at http://www.allpar.com/.  It only includes Chrysler Corporation brands, including Dodge, Plymouth, and Jeep; a similar club run by toyoland.com (for Toyotas) has just over a thousand entries.

The average car on Allpar’s list has 260,000 miles; the most popular years are the 1990s.

Dr. Zatz randomly verifies entries, and checks every car with over 350,000 miles. When owners cannot provide evidence, the entry is deleted. Extraordinary entries are profiled by social historian Jessica Eustice.

Dr. Zatz started out by manually retyping information from emails; after a thousand cars, he automated the system, but each car and truck is still approved by hand.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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