Going the 433,619-Mile Distance

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Joe Viola has a love for the finer things in life — and when he finds something he loves, he takes care of it.

"I enjoy life, I enjoy people, and I enjoy wonderful things," Viola says.

This week, he celebrated trading in his car of 13 years, a 2003 Buick Rendezvous, to the dealer he bought it from, Goldstein Buick, with 433,619 miles on it. You'd never know by looking at the two-toned gray SUV, that it's been back and forth between Viola's Albany home and his summer home in Kent, Conn., more times than he can keep track of, as well as numerous trips to Cape Cod and Florida for vacations. The Rendezvous accompanied Viola, once the owner of The Golden Thistle antique and gift shop in Connecticut, on many antiquing trips, a hobby of his.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the highest car mileage at 3,039,122 miles. On average, the most drivers get from a car is about 200,000 miles, according to a 2011 Forbes article about high mileage models.

The Rendezvous looks new. The exterior is clean and polished. The interior is spotless and the velvety seats appear as though they've hardly been used.

No scratches, no dents, and with both the original engine and transmission.

Viola, the car's only owner, is the reason behind the car's condition. Viola always strived to keep his car looking like the day he purchased it. He made sure the car was washed and vacuumed every few weeks and kept up with the car's maintenance schedule at Goldstein.

Bumper stickers? No way, says Viola.

That "takes away from the beauty of the detail of the car," he says.

And he knows what people think if they see you drive up in a dingy car.

"How you take care of your car reflects how you take care of yourself," he says.

Alan Goldstein, owner and president of the dealership, says the car is not currently for resale, but has a place in the Goldstein showroom for onlookers to see the number of miles possible.

In 1978 Viola purchased his first car from Goldstein, a 1979 Subaru. Since then, Viola returned for three more Subarus, three Buick Regals, a Skylark, a Century and the Rendevous.

In July, he bought a GMC Terrain.

"I wouldn't call myself a car guy," he says. "I'm going to be 79. I figured I'd treat myself to a new car."

This article originally appeared on Times Union.

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