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Joseph Vaillancourt’s 1.6 million mile Plymouth Fury

Vaillancourt record mileage taxi (Plymouth Fury)

Joseph Vaillancourt's 1963 Plymouth Fury, driven as a cab since the mid-1960s, reached 2,609,698 km (1,621,591 miles), when it was struck and totalled by a truck. Vaillancourt was unhurt, and a Quebec actor, Michel Barette (who drove a Prowler at the time) spent roughly $20,000 to restore the Fury, the highest mileage car in North America. That included buying the taxi dome light, a beacon to the riding public for over 35 years, from the Diamond Taxi Company.

million mile taxi

Elton McFall wrote:

I have admired that car since 1991 when I first saw a full report on it in the Montréal Gazette. I was even able to take a ride with it with Joe 7 years later!

This photo was sent to me by the curator of the car museum it was in (Musée du Domaine), back in 2005. I wrote an article about this car that year for the Old Autos Canadian newspaper (not sold in stores).

Joseph Vaillancourt 1963 Plymouth Fury taxi

That car went through at least five or six 225 slant six engines. The [TorqueFlite] transmission, by 1991, had only been opened once. Joe would change the oil on the Fury every week and washed the car every day. He even went as far as to remove all the doors in the spring to let the humidity out!

Michel spent over $30,000 to restore that car, which included two parts cars. He had mentioned to me in interview that when he got the wrecked car (paid $10,000 for it), the floors looked like one of those flaky snack cakes.

As beautifully restored as this car was, Michel left the interior original. That was for people to see what a car looks like when over 800,000 people have rode in it!

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