The Baltimore Sun has a really great article/interview with Stamatios “Tom” Krimigis, one of the two principal investigators of the Voyager spacecraft program, regarding the uncanny longevity of the two Voyager satellites.
It was announced just last month that Voyager 1 had reached the edge of the solar wind, and thus, the edge of the solar system, but its instruments were never expected to last this long. The article in the Balitmore Sun goes into a little more depth about the engineering behind the Voyager satellites and their launch window. (Voyager took advantage of a once-every-175-years planetary alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.)
Krimigis still works on the Voyager project and the data that it sends back. From the article: “I suspect it’s going to outlast me.”
The spacecraft have been functioning for so long that Voyager 2 even has its own Twitter. (And check out this Metafilter thread regarding how we could actually retrieve Voyager.) Check out the full article at the first link above.