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Think Your Car Has High Mileage? Check Out This Mercedes!

Australia is known for its vast distances between cities and towns, but sometimes it’s the shorter, frequent drives that can significantly increase a car’s odometer reading.

This is exactly the case for a Mercedes-Benz 240D operating as a taxi on the small Spanish island of Gran Canaria, part of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa.

This particular Mercedes, a 1986 240D ‘Lang’—the designation for the dedicated limousine body of the W123-generation model—has reportedly clocked over seven million kilometers, according to local outlet Tenerife News.

If the claim holds true, this equates to around 30,000 trips around the 45km-wide island, or about nine round trips to the moon. The car began its service on August 30, 1988, with a driver named Domingo, who became locally famous as “Dominguito”.

Under its hood, the 240D originally housed a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 53kW of power and 137Nm of torque, paired with a four-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. Remarkably, the engine has only been replaced once with an identical unit from the same model.

In 2008, Dominguito retired, passing the taxi on to his son. That same year, a mechanically-inclined driver suggested restoring the Mercedes to serve as the company’s flagship vehicle, a proposal that was approved.

At the time of restoration, the car had already covered 3.8 million kilometers. The restoration team aimed to keep the car as original as possible, although they did replace the driver’s seat and steering wheel. The passenger seats were reupholstered and covered as well.

To handle the wear and tear of constant use, the body was reinforced to prevent fatigue fractures, and the brakes were upgraded to those from a more modern Mercedes. Today, the car operates in three eight-hour shifts daily, carrying up to seven passengers per trip and covering approximately 700km each day—amounting to around 5000km weekly.

Such extensive use necessitates up to 52 oil changes annually, along with scheduled maintenance that includes a thorough engine inspection every million kilometers. Although the car is on its second engine, the taxi company has another replacement engine ready for future use.

Looking ahead, a major celebration is planned in the city of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria when the Mercedes reaches the milestone of 10 million kilometers. This remarkable vehicle stands as a testament to the durability and longevity of the Mercedes-Benz brand, proving that with proper maintenance and care, even a 1986 model can endure the test of time and mileage.

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