CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi local, Justin Kilmer hit a million milestone, after his car's odometer hit the maximum amount of digits it can display on the second weekend of March.
Kilmer drives a 2003 Honda Accord V-6. He said there is a handful of Hondas with four cylinders that have achieved a million miles.
However, he believes his V-6 Accord is the first to go the distance. He reached the milestone after he drove to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
His family flew there, and his friends met them to celebrate the car's travels on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Years before the million milestones, Justin's wife, Lisa, originally purchased the car almost 20 years ago before the couple was married.
"The car's been in the family the entire time. Our girls have grown up with this car," he said. "That's why reaching a million was pretty emotional for us."
Justin first moved to Corpus Christi in 2014 to join the Navy as a pilot. He's now currently a flight simulator instructor in Kingsville.
When his time isn't occupied with lessons of the sky, he switches gears and hits the open road. Kilmer has been working for a courier company since 2015.
He said it started off as a side job he found on Craigslist, but he found himself frequently going the extra mile.
"For a while when I had the route going down to the valley it was like working two full-time jobs. My simulator job is my main job, but sometimes I've worked an excess of 40 hours a week doing this job too," he explained. "It's a lot of time on the road and away from my family and everything."
There is a strong reason he's driven and willing to commute to several locations constantly. Justin said a majority of his deliveries consist of life-saving supplies for local hospitals and several other medical providers.
"For example, then there's the blood center locally. It actually has to send things to Houston for a test. So, a lot of times this car runs to Houston," said the car enthusiast.
He attributes the courier job as the main reason his car racked up a million miles.
He said the car was brand new, off the lot when his wife bought it. By 2015 Justin said it had about 185,000 on it. However, after he started doing deliveries, in the last 7 and a half years the car ran more than 800,000.
Kilmer said it was only a matter of time before it would hit the seven-digit mark. However, the million wasn't displayed on the odometer. It was frozen at 999,999.
"The trip odometer will continue to roll over and keep going but the main odometer freezes at the nines. So, I ended up having to buy a new instrument cluster and put that in," he added.
KRIS 6 News Anchor, Michelle Lorenzo took a quick trip around the block in Justin's car. Before they parted, the reset odometer read 1,290, bringing the car's total miles driven to 1,001,290.
Kilmer is proud of his Honda, but he said it's even more rewarding that the car's long lifespan has helped him provide a service for his community.
"When you think about how many lives this car has probably helped out and potentially saved with medicine it's pretty rewarding.
That's why I'm happy with the car. Yeah, it achieved a million miles but it's also done a lot of good in the world too."
Justin said the car is in good running condition, due to maintenance.
He has a particular mechanic shop he favors and friends who help him with the car's upkeep. The Honda has its original engine. However, Justin plans to swap it out with a new one after he attends a car event in Maryland.
Justin documents his journey with his car on social media, you can continue to follow his story on hisInstagram.