- Jun 24, 2004
I thought this might be of interest. Ruthless Interrogation A man and his van: Going the distance Dave Davis and his van have traveled 734,998 miles together. (By Pat McDonogh, The Courier-Journal) By Marty Rosen Special to The Courier-Journal Dave Davis, 71, formerly of Crestwood, now of Jeffersonville, Ind., is on a million-mile quest. On May 6, 1989, he went to Greentree Toyota and bought a blue Toyota van. "I wanted something that would hold up," he recalled. He found it: "Little Blue" is now something of a legend among local mechanics and auto fanatics. The odometer now shows 734,998 miles, with no signs of slowing down. Davis isn't slowing down either. Though retired from his business, Dave's Recapping, he continues to deliver auto parts for Bumper to Bumper and serves as a consultant for the Tire Industry Association -- a job that takes him and Little Blue all over the country. Fortunately, Little Blue was waiting for new bearings this week, giving us a rare opportunity to catch Davis without his foot on the pedal. Does Little Blue still have his original engine? Yes, he does. So far I haven't touched anything on the inside of the engine. I've put two transmissions in it. The first one, if I'd had somebody with common sense, they could've fixed it, 'cause it had to be something simple, 'cause it would shift into every gear perfect but it wouldn't go into overdrive. But I didn't have time to fool with it, so I jerked it out and put an unknown used in it, and it didn't last but about 60,000 (miles), and it went out three or four years ago, and we put another one in it and it's still going. You've been in the auto business all your life. What would happen if everybody decided to get a million miles out of their vehicles? Wouldn't the economy crash? You better believe. But see, so many people don't realize, they go out here and they give $30,000, $40,000 for an automobile and they don't ever change the oil. They don't service 'em. They just keep drivin' 'em and addin' to the oil, and they blow 'em up. But me, from day one I used Mobil 1, that's that synthetic oil, and I think it's the one reason I'm still goin.' How do you use the van? If I don't have anything else to drive, I'll use it for any and everything I need, but if I can keep away from it I don't use it around town. I use it more for the highway than anything. I've driven it to Alaska and to every state in the union except Hawaii, and I'm not sure it didn't come through Hawaii on its way over. I've had it in Mexico and Canada. Are you a road warrior? Do you sleep in the van? Oh, yeah, I've slept in it. I'll just set the seat back and take a nap. Let's say you're out on the road on business to go to Philadelphia, I'll leave here at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and get there at 3 o'clock in the morning, and the shop isn't open. I'll just sleep in the parking lot for a couple of hours. That's about a 600-mile ride. Does your wife like to drive like that? No. … When I tell her I'm leavin', she says, "I'll see ya!"