One of the pillars of Curbside Classic is the survivor car that is still serving its intended purpose after many years or even decades. I wanted to take this premise, and turn it up to eleven, and find the highest mileage vehicles that are still on the road. And not just still on the road, but high-mileage cars that are deemed to have enough life left in them that are considered worthy of our hard-earned dollars.
This is exactly what I did the other day: I went to cars.com, did a nationwide search, and sorted the results descending by mileage. I eliminated Class 8 trucks, which can regularly get over a million miles. I also limited my results to dealer listings, where I could verify the mileage with a free CarFAX report, or to private owner listings with a photo of the odometer.
The results were about what you would expect, but there were a few surprises here and there:
Fifth Place: 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 SLT – 518,474 Miles – $9,588
These I6 Cummins Diesels have a well-deserved reputation for reliability, so it is no surprise to see one on this list.
Dodges justifiably get lots of complaints about their plasticky interiors, but I’ll grant them this: They are durable. This one certainly belies its stated miles. Extra points are also awarded for the third pedal.
These duallys are frequently equipped with a fifth wheel and used for long-haul towing, and the presence of a manual transmission means that this one was almost certainly purchased for highway use.
Fourth Place: 1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD – 558,123 Miles – $7,450
W126 Benzes frequently come up in my searches of high mileage vehicles, so it is no surprise to see one here. These W126 bodied Benzes are like the Dorian Grays of the automotive world. They just don’t seem to age.
There are covers over all the wear surfaces (no doubt because they are suitably worn), but honestly, I’ve seen worse interiors in cars with half this mileage.
Mercedes was doing six-digit odometers back when most of the industry was still doing five-digit odos.
Third Place: 2005 Ford Econoline Van – 574,720 Miles – $5,000
This one surprised me. Most vans typically serve shot haul duty doing contractor work and local deliveries, so it is somewhat unusual to see one with a mileage reading this high. The chrome and paint seem reasonably bright, so high mileage doesn’t have to mean high wear.
This vehicle also has the honor of being the sole gasoline-powered vehicle on my list, being equipped with a Triton 4.6L V8 engine.
Second Place: 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 SLT – 621,369 Miles – $18,900
This is another private seller vehicle, so I was unable to verify the mileage with a CarFAX. At $18,900, this is by far the highest asking price of all the vehicles on my list. While I think the price is a reach, if they get anywhere close to it this vehicle will be the all-time depreciation king in terms of dollars per mile.
The cloth interior is a little worse for wear, but otherwise not much to show for the high mileage.
While there is no CarFAX, the seller did include a picture of the odometer, and honestly, why would someone try to lie about a mileage reading this high?
First Place: 2003 F-350 Dually – 645,257 Miles – $7,800
May I present to you the highest mileage vehicle for sale in America right now: This 2003 Ford F-350. Another diesel dually? What else did you expect?
This is another private seller vehicle, and the owner doesn’t say much more than that the vehicle is “very dependable” (obviously), and that most of the miles are highway miles (also obviously). No word on whether it has the 6.0L or 7.3L Power Stroke (both were available in 2003), but given the troublesome nature of the former I would bet that it has the 7.3.
No interior photos are provided, but the shot of the odometer above confirms the mileage and judging by the exterior photo I have no reason to doubt it. To sweeten the offer, this one even includes a quarter tank of fuel! Still, if you are looking for a ride that has had all the bugs shaken out of it, this is the vehicle for you.
Honorable Mention: 2006 Chevrolet Express 1500 – 733,757 Miles – $1,139
I have some doubts about this one, which I would have otherwise declared the winner. While it certainly looks the part of a high mileage vehicle, it is equipped with a 4.3L Vortec V6, of which I have significant doubts about being able to last almost three-quarters of a million miles.
But on the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, why would someone lie about an odometer reading this high? Could it be an odometer glitch?
Being a 2006 model, this van is also the newest vehicle on my list. At only 13 years old, this works out to about 56,000 miles per year. A lot, but certainly plausible. I was unable to procure a CarFAX (which likely would have settled the matter), but the photo of the odometer seems to back up the claimed mileage. So what do you think? Is this legit?