Car clocks up 507,759 miles
Buy this photo » Roy and Doreen Dyson say cheerio to their old Golf, on the right, and hello to their new one, on the left
VETERAN driver Roy Dyson has finally traded in his trusty Volkswagen Golf – after it clocked up 507,759 miles.
Now the German firm is to put the car on display to show off how tough the engine is.
Roy, 70, of Ashton Keynes, travelled more than half a million miles in the resilient little car since he bought it in 2001, and has now said an emotional goodbye as he traded it in for a newer model.
Roy and his wife, Doreen, parted with the Mark IV Golf 1.9tdi at Swindon’s Inchcape Volkswagen dealer as they took delivery of a new 12-plate Golf GTD.
As Doreen does not drive, Roy, a retired wholesale food supplier, has been behind the wheel for every one of the 507,759 miles, as the car has taken them on journeys to see family in their original home county of Lancashire and near Cirencester, after they moved to Torquay in 1998.
Roy was determined to pass the landmark when he noticed the car had done hundreds of thousands of miles, and had a brief scare a few months ago.
“When we got the Golf it just mounted up the miles so quickly,” he said.
“I thought I have got something special here, let’s see what it can do. It was around the 350,000 mile point when I wanted to see how far I could push it. I would not let anybody else have it.
“I did have a scare three or four months ago when we were approaching 500,000 miles.
“We were on the motorway and the temperature gauge started to rise. I thought, this is it, I am not going to make it.
“Luckily it turned out to be a faulty sensor gauge, so it was fine. It has never let me down, which is just unbelievable.”
The couple achieved the milestone two weeks ago while driving through Somerset.
“We were in Worley when we did it,” Roy added.
“On our way back from Fairford we were approaching Lechlade-on-Thames and we could see we were getting close. I thought we should get to a country road so I could stop and take a photo.
“We got onto a quiet road and went backwards and forwards along the road until the meter passed 500,000.”
Roy and Doreen have not been abroad in 15 years, and travelled the equivalent of more than 20 times around the globe up and down stretches of the M5 and M6 motorways.
“We had an aunt living near Southport who we thought the world of, but we had always wanted to go and live in Torquay,” said Roy. “We were a bit worried about mentioning it to her, as she was in her 80s by that time, but we promised to come to see her every two weeks.
“She lived until she was 91, and we never missed a visit. We would also make the 600 mile journey to Lancashire to see our son and his family every few weeks, as well as our other son in Cirencester. We have been here, there and everywhere.”
The couple moved to Ashton Keynes last year, but the fortnightly trips to Lancashire continue to this day.
The old Golf was fully serviced at a friend’s garage, with oil and filter changes every 6,000 miles, a cambelt change every 60,000 and apart from a few shock absorbers, two clutches and about 70 tyres, the car has survived the last 12 years without any breakdowns. Hamish White, salesman at Inchcape Volkswagen in Swindon, said he had never seen anything like it.
“It is quite exceptional,” he said. “I have been with Volkswagen for nine years and I have never seen one do anything near that sort of mileage. They have really looked after the car and I think that is key.
“For any car to do half a million miles is astounding. We have had it out the front of the dealership for a while to show people how long these cars can last.”
Volkswagen UK will now be taking the Golf and using it to showcase the engine and build quality, at events, shows and at the head office in Milton Keynes.
l The Dysons’ car still had a way to go to have a chance of matching the Guinness World Record. In July American Irvin Gordon of the USA passed the 3,000,000 mile mark in his 1966 Volvo P1800S.
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