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Surprise Parade Honors Million-Mile Honda Driver

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2012 Honda Accord

author photo by Nick Palermo

Joe LoCicero drives a relatively ordinary car, but he's no ordinary driver. He averages 62,000 miles per year on the 1990 Honda Accord he bought in 1996, when the blue sedan's odometer showed just 74,000 miles. Ordinary drivers would be happy to get another 74,000 miles out of a six-year-old used car, but Joe expected more. He rolled over 300,000 and decided to start keeping close track. He began meticulously recording his mileage while continuing to diligently maintain the vehicle. His goal: drive the Accord one million miles.

As the mileage climbed, Joe's Accord became less and less ordinary. He posted updates online so fans could follow "Million-Mile Joe." Finally, the odometer rolled back to six zeros as Joe drove past the million-mile mark. Recognizing his accomplishment, Honda invited Joe to a press conference in Saco, Maine, where he was awarded an oversized key to a new 2012 Accord.

But, as if this was too ordinary for such an extraordinary feat, the event was interrupted by a surprise parade with marching bands, floats and costumed characters moved down Saco's streets, celebrating Joe and his special car.

Bands from nearby Westbrook High School and Saco Middle School provided the music, while Westbrook's color guard twirled flags picturing Joe's face. Students from another nearby school, Biddeford High School, built floats, including one with six giant people-powered "hamster wheels" assembled to look like an odometer. An airplane pulling a congratulatory banner flew above the parade. Joe left with the brand new 2012 Accord, Honda's award for the extraordinary accomplishment.

To help his car reach this milestone, Joe maintained his car with exceptional regularity. Service was performed at the intervals listed in the owner's manual, with fluid checks weekly and oil changes every 5,000 miles. Joe uses Honda oil, air and fuel filters. He keeps the gas tank full, too.

Aside from normal maintenance, Joe repaired just a few items over the years. The fuel pump and both cooling fans were replaced, and Joe installed a new radiator twice.

While Joe's accomplishment is a clear endorsement for the reliability of Honda automobiles, it took a special driver to take this car to the million-mile mark. Joe spent almost two decades as an auto technician, but it was the careful attention he devoted to this once-ordinary Accord that helped him reach his ambitious, parade-worthy achievement.

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Surprise Parade Honors Million-Mile Honda Driver