Monday Longevity Champion: Long Live The Leylands!

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
monday longevity champion long live the leylands

Last week there was a 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 430,000 miles on it.

I thought to myself, “Well this isn’t news. The quartet of GM/Ford trucks, Honda Cars, and Toyota everything is still cleaning up the charts. I won’t write about it this time”. So I waited…

This week the mileage champion out of 6,945 vehicles was a 1999 Toyota 4Runner with 344,400 miles. The enthusiasts among us are probably a bit Toyonda Chevorded out at this point. So this time, let’s focus on longevity.

This 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham was once owned by Kermit the Frog. It was later purchased by the guy who invented Nickelodeon’s world famous slime and has most recently been on the set of the Incredible Hulk movie. Sad to say, the scene where it was scheduled to be destroyed was cut due to a protest engineered by our own TTAC alum Paul Niedermeyer.

So now it sits with 32,973 miles.

Old Caddies are rarely a surprise at the auctions. What did surprise me this time?

Try two 1977 MGB Roadsters available at the same auction. The miles are 47,959 and 49,048 respectively. Two more garage queens. These happened to reside in Nashville, Tennessee, Elvis country, where the rust is minimal, and the classiness of car decor is often somewhere between decals that portray the act of urinating and world famous truck testicles.

These sheepskin covers aren’t so bad. In fact, I think they would be the perfect fit for the marque that finished fourth and fifth on the longevity list.

These were followed by two Mercedes diesels. The second of which was a daily driver that displayed an impressive 308,052 miles. This is doubly impressive since old Mercedes odometer clusters have a tendency to give out at a certain point. I wouldn’t be surprised if this daily driver had more mileage than the Toyota 4Runner.

Finally, we have another surprise. A 1982 Fiat spider. Just showing the picture of this model with 137,939 miles would not do it justice. So I have arranged for a Youtube video to accompany your Monday morning.

The seats for this model were protected in a more conventional way than the MG twins.

There you have it. The six elder statesmen out of 6,985 vehicles. All of them still run… or at least limp along the road with loose bladders.

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4 of 33 comments
  • Corntrollio Corntrollio on Apr 29, 2013

    Elvis country, nice -- a Sopranos reference?

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Apr 29, 2013

    I love old cars, but having gone to loads of car shows, I'm more impressed by mileage than age. You can keep any car around indefinitely. I'm glad to hear Paul N. kept that Caddy from going to the crusher.

    • Hummer Hummer on Apr 29, 2013

      That always concerns me, yea it's something cool to have minty fresh 19XX car with 100 miles that is perfect in everyway. But then you don't get to enjoy the perfection, but on the other end, how many 300k mile Chevelle w/e Matching 454 and 4 speed, do you see? Especially low production number vehicles, you want to keep the miles low, but at the same time you want to enjoy what you worked hard to earn instead of looking at it. But is just keeping it maintained everytime an imperfection shows up worthwhile/enough?

  • Sooper Toyota already has no new vehicles on their lots; they are just another used car dealership now. So why introduce another model when Toyota appears to be going out of the new vehicle business?
  • Tassos There is nothing 'weird' about Finland's fine system. A few other nations have it too. Switzerland maybe, I am not sure.But you do not specify WHAT was that clown's income that required him to pay $120k for a speeding ticket?I am sure that for somebody like ELon Musk, $100k will barely operate his megayacht ONE LOUSY Day.
  • Bkojote On paper, GMC is supposed to be the understated, more sophisticated member of the GM truck family.In actuality, GMC is total garbage in the truck world - by the time they're on their second owner they're decked out with amazon wheel spacers, pizza dish wheels, punisher stickers, and really angry opinions about any president who's won the popular vote in the past two decades. And man, these things are ugly as sin too.That's because GM trucks as a whole are kinda the also-rans in the truck category. Yeah, they do sales, but they aren't anyone's first choice. Not as extreme as the Ram, not as category defining as the Raptor, not as well engineered as a Toyota, so you end up with owners who compensate big time to distract others from the endless repair bills. The only owners I know who are worse are the rollin' coal lifted Super Duty drivers. Like you bought a GMC because the guy who sold you your wife's acadia is less scary than having to grovel for a Raptor and you take the Ford guys making fun of you personally.
  • Tassos The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I have mentioned this before, and it applies here again.Go to the U of Michigan College of Engineering parking lot. How can you say what car the $300,000 a year (ACADEMIC year of 9 months, mind you, summer pay is extra, and consulting a whole lot on top of that) and what does the $50,000 a year secretary drive?Hint: Teresa was out chair's secretary, started a year ago. She had to resign in just a few months because her 75 mile EACH WAY from her home in Lapeer MI to ANn Arbor MI just KILLED HER when gas prices rose.What car did Teresa drive? Take a wild guess. An F150? A Ram pickup? A Silverado? One of these. In a fee months she had to resign and find a lesser job in the whole lot lesser U of M Flint (but why would she care? she's just a secretary), which halved her commuting distance to a still significant 75 mile round trip every damned day.So the poor keep buying pickups and get poorer, and the rich keep NOT buying them and get richer.
  • Cprescott It is ugly enough. But why? You refuse to build enough of your products for your consumers.