Million Mile Joe

Ron Russell, Darling's Director of Bangor Operations, was approached at our Honda store last year by a gentleman who wanted to show him his very special Honda Accord. Ron loves talking with customers and he was intrigued by this "special" car, so he gladly took a break from his desk and accepted the invitation. The guy, who we now know as Joe LoCicero, proceeded to lead Ron out into the parking lot where he showed him the odometer of his 1990 sedan. After initially thinking that this aged, but very well cared for Accord had only 93,000 miles on it, Ron was shocked when Joe pointed out that the true reading on the odometer was actually 938,000 miles. Joe then proceeded to explain that he was determined to hit a million miles and he politely suggested that if he was able to reach his goal, Honda should give him a new car. Ron had worked with Honda on several promotions in the past and he knew that Joe would be a perfect spokesman for the brand. The two men shook hands and Joe left with an assurance from Ron that he would reach out to his contacts at Honda and see what he could do. Needless to say, Honda was very excited about the opportunity to work with both Ron and Joe and thus Million Mile Joe was born.

Miles and miles and miles and miles ...

As you can imagine, Joe is on the road a lot and his job as an independent contractor takes him over some of the roughest roads and through some of the toughest driving conditions in the country. His territory covers all of Maine and some of Northern New Hampshire which means Joe frequently drives through snow, freezing rain, salt and sand and over roads riddled with pot holes and debris. When he purchased his Accord, affectionately nicknamed True Blue, with just 74,000 miles on it, he expected that it would last a long time, but it wasn't until he hit 500,000 miles that he thought he had a chance to see the odometer completely roll over.

How Did He Do It

If you ask Joe, reaching a million miles was pretty simple. "Just keep up with the fluids, follow your maintenance schedule and use OEM parts" was the advice he gave at the press conference/parade held to honor his achievement. Of course, he also credits the true craftsmanship and reliability that people have come to expect from a Honda. As a trained mechanic, he does all of his own maintenance and he claims that the car only had to be towed once.

The Party

To celebrate Joe's historic achievement, Honda decided they had to do something special. They told him that they wanted to give him an award at a press conference on the steps of the Saco town hall on October 22nd. Little did he know, they had something much better up their sleeves. As Joe and his wife stood at the podium, being introduced by Ron Russell, a plane flew overhead with a banner that read "WAY TO GO, JOE!". Soon after the sounds of the plane faded and the sounds of a marching band could be heard. As he turned around Joe saw the first wave of the parade heading his way, twirling flags and carrying banners with his likeness. The parade continued with dancing numbers, people on stilts, cheerleaders, bag pipers and a flatbed trailer carrying a giant human-powered, hamster wheel odometer. There was also a giant paper mache version of Joe and his trusty Accord. At the end of the parade, as the streamers and confetti were flying in a bit of orchestrated chaos that was designed to obscure his view, Miss Maine, U.S.A. and a representative from the Accord manufacturing plant in Ohio drove up in a brand new 2012 Honda Accord and presented Joe with the keys. As the two cars, the 1990 and the 2012 sat parked nose to nose, the license plate on the front of the new car read, "True Blue Meet New Blue". It was a fitting end and a great tribute to Joe and his truly remarkable Honda Accord.