Wisconsin Man Drives Millionth Mile in '91 Chevy

Frank Oresnik, owner of the 1991 Chevrolet Silverado pickup that is about to cross the million-mile threshold, talks with Robert Siegel from the road.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This afternoon, somewhere between Chicago and Shawano(ph), Wisconsin, Frank Oresnik reached a milestone. Actually, his truck reached the milestone. It's a 1991 Chevy Silverado he drives it delivering steaks and seafood north from Chicago.

And, today, with a camera crew and an ad man for Chevrolet aboard, Frank Oresnik's odometer approached one million miles.

Mr. FRANK ORESNIK (Owner, 1991 Chevrolet Silverado): We're on the Wine(ph) Road just, I believe, it's south of Fon du Lac and we are at 2.1 miles to go, sir.

SIEGEL: Two point one miles. Now, somewhere in driving this car since 1991, I gather…

Mr. ORESNIK: I bought this in 1996.

SIEGEL: Oh, you bought it in '96. How many miles did it have on it when you bought it?

Mr. ORESNIK: It has 41,000 miles, original miles. The original owner had died and it was just too big for his widow. So - but he kept meticulous records. He had it Ziebarted. That, of course, protects the undercarriage. We have copious documentation with my daily logs, 300 oil changes, which record the miles on each oil change as well as the date and the odometer reading. Probably another hundred times that I've had things replaced and have the receipts for warranty purposes. So all those things record the date and the odometer reading when the work was done and they will all correspond with the appropriate date and month of the year involved. So there are no holes in this story.

SIEGEL: Where are we now on the odometer?

Mr. ORESNIK: One half mile to go.

SIEGEL: One half mile to go.

Mr. ORESNIK: We're going to slow down a little bit. We're on a very quiet country road so we can do this. We're four-tenths of a mile away.

SIEGEL: And, over these years, you've never had any doubt that maybe it will be just as well to get a new truck instead of driving this thing to a million miles?

Mr. ORESNIK: No. See, what happened is, when I bought this truck on a three-year note, and by the time I had it paid for, in the last payment, I had over 300,000 miles on the clock, and I hate payments. And I thought, my, I've got to make this thing last. So I took extra care for it and, of course, nobody ever, ever guessed I got to 400,000. Nobody guessed it would go to a half million. Well, it got to half a million one night. We had a caravan of friends, and we stopped and we looked at the odometer and oohed and ahhed.

And then we went, you know, the engine was running good. There was no point in replacing it but I have to tell you that this truck has never left me in a lurch and I don't say that lately. Here we go, we're a tenth away, sir.

SIEGEL: One tenth of a mile from a million miles…

Mr. ORESNIK: That is correct, sir.

SIEGEL: …on your Chevy. Okay.

Mr. ORESNIK: On my Chevy Silverado. Okay, we're just - the nine is half-way passing and we're getting the dawn of a zero coming up in the tenth column. And now, they're starting to come up from right to left, the tenths, and the 10, 20 are - the hundreds rather and then the thousandth is coming up. And then the tenth follows him and that will add all zeros, across the board. And then in a few weeks in Tennessee(ph).

SIEGEL: Does she have a name - this truck?

Mr. ORESNIK: I call it the Old Girl. Do you remember the African queen with Bogey and Kate Hepburn?

SIEGEL: Mm-hmm.

Mr. ORESNIK: Well, he always referred to her as Old Girl. Old Girl, you know? You can tell it's a term of endearment. I do the very same thing for that reason. It's never left me down. I mean, how much more can a man ever want?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Mr. Oresnik, thank you very much for talking with us.

Mr. ORESNIK: Well, thank you.

SIEGEL: I've enjoyed a great deal. Congratulations on reaching a million miles.

Mr. ORESNIK: Thank you very much.

SIEGEL: That was Frank Oresnik in his 1991 Chevy Silverado that hit the one million mile mark today.

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