How can you get a new free car? It’s easy. Just drive 1 million miles on your old car. At least that’s what Joe LoCicero did, and was awarded a brand new Honda Accord for his efforts.
LoCicero, a damage claims inspector based in Maine, puts a lot of miles on his cars. So in 1996, he was looking for something reliable, not flashy, to drive. He picked out a 1990 Honda Accord that at the time had a paltry 74,000 miles on it. LoCicero was determined to get some good use out of that car.
To be fair, it should be mentioned that LoCicero is a car buff and worked as a technician for 18 years. He knows a little something about how to get the most out of a vehicle. “I adhered to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and I do use a secret oil formula when I change the oil every 5,000 miles,” said LoCicero. He also kept a daily log of his mileage and tested different filters, tires and oil to find out what worked best with his Accord.
LoCicero drives about 55,000 miles a year — his territory includes all of Maine and northern New Hampshire — so having a reliable car is serious business.
When he reached the 450,000 mile mark on the Accord, LoCicero wrote a letter to Honda. “I wrote to them to tell them I had driven almost half a million miles in this little Accord, and they sent me back a form letter,” said LoCicero.
But LoCicero kept telling everyone he knew about “the little car that could” and about the 700,000 mile mark when he reached that. “It became a challenge. I really wanted to see how far this car could really go.”
In the entire time he owned his car, LoCicero had to get it towed only once.
”I used to brag about my car a lot. It kind of drove my family crazy how often I talked about all the miles on it and how it never failed me. So when the fuel pump went kaput, and I had to get it towed home … they were all on the porch laughing and waving when I pulled in with the tow truck,” said LoCicero.
As LoCicero approached the 1 million mile mark he talked to a Honda sales manager in Saco, Maine, who wrote a letter on his behalf to some Honda executives who found the feat sufficiently miraculous to award LoCicero a brand-new car.
Even with a brand new car in his driveway, LoCicero can’t quite bear to part with his old car. “I’m still driving it.”