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Stolen classic car returned 30 years later in pristine conditions (57 CHEVY)
upi ^ | Feb. 21, 2014

Posted on 02/22/2014 7:44:26 AM PST by JoeProBono

LAKEPORT, Calif., A California man whose non-working 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was stolen 30 years ago said it is back home with significant upgrades including a new engine.

Ian "Skip" Wilson, 65, a retired mechanic in Lake County, said the engine and transmission of the classic car were removed by thieves when it was stolen in 1983 and hadn't been replaced when it was stolen again the following year, the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat reported Friday.

However, the car was in significantly better condition when it was recovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection two weeks ago from a Southern California shipping container bound for Australia. The California Highway Patrol contacted Wilson and arranged to have it shipped back to him.

He said the car now sports a 350-horsepower V-8 engine and has only 9 miles on the rebuilt odometer.

"Somebody put a whole lot of work and money into that car," Wilson said. "It was all disassembled and put back."

Wilson said he found out the car has gone through several owners since it was stolen, and he feels bad for the seller and buyer, who likely did not know it was stolen property. He said he does not know how the previous owners were able to register a car that had been reported stolen.

"I imagine somebody in Australia must be awful upset," he said.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: 57chevy
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1 posted on 02/22/2014 7:44:26 AM PST by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono

Thanks for the pictures with the post. I went to the link first to see if there were pics and was pissed there weren’t.

Wondering out loud: Does he have to claim the improvements on his taxes? /s


2 posted on 02/22/2014 7:52:59 AM PST by logi_cal869
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To: JoeProBono

Where’s the shot of the interior? It’ll be a shame if it’s all that for an automatic.


3 posted on 02/22/2014 7:54:49 AM PST by LouAvul (In a state of disbelief as to how liberals destroyed America in a mere 40 years.)
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To: JoeProBono

Wow, there is a Chevy fairy!


4 posted on 02/22/2014 7:55:40 AM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: JoeProBono

Now THERE is an engine a guy could actually work on !


5 posted on 02/22/2014 7:56:15 AM PST by tomkat
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To: logi_cal869


6 posted on 02/22/2014 7:56:27 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

That one car contains more personality than all the cars on the market today - combined.


7 posted on 02/22/2014 7:56:41 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: LouAvul

It better have Muncie M-22 rock crusher or it is all for naught...


8 posted on 02/22/2014 7:58:20 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

9 posted on 02/22/2014 7:59:46 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

Now look what a mess the engine compartment has become, progress? Same horse power. The old v/8 i can fix myself. The new one I pay a "certified" mechanic 100 bucks an hour to change plugs. This is advancement? Granted the old v/8 gets 10 mpg on a good day, but one repair I make myself the money I save buys a whole lot of gasoline.

10 posted on 02/22/2014 8:05:58 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: JoeProBono
Wilson said he found out the car has gone through several owners since it was stolen, and he feels bad for the seller and buyer, who likely did not know it was stolen property.

How in the bleep did a clear title get passed along to several buyers without DMV flagging the VIN as stolen?

11 posted on 02/22/2014 8:09:19 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: logi_cal869
Wondering out loud: Does he have to claim the improvements on his taxes?

If he sold it, he would have to pay capital gains taxes on it based on whatever he paid for it. If he could document the improvements (obviously impossible), he could use them to offset his profit. If he received any insurance payment when it was stolen, he might have to pay that back.

His best option is to keep it until he dies. I certainly would! Whoever ends up with it would have its value at the time of his death as the cost basis.

12 posted on 02/22/2014 8:09:24 AM PST by Fresh Wind (The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.)
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To: JoeProBono

I bought a 1967 Mustang project car and towed it home. I only had it three days when I came home from work to find a bare shell sitting in my driveway. Thieves had dismantled the car right there in full view of my neighbors.


13 posted on 02/22/2014 8:10:36 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Yo-Yo

Motor vehicle theft (sometimes referred to as grand theft auto by the media and police departments in the US) is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a car. Nationwide in the US in 2005, there were an estimated 1.2 million motor vehicle thefts, or approximately 416.7 motor vehicles stolen for every 100,000 inhabitants.[1] Property losses due to motor vehicle theft in 2005 were estimated at $7.6 billion.[2] Since then the number of motor thefts nationally has declined. The most recent statistics, for 2009, show an estimated 794,616 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide, representing property losses of nearly $5.2 billion.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_theft


14 posted on 02/22/2014 8:15:19 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

Guy is probably on cloud 9 with that car, that would be sweet.

That car, more specifically that body shape, even on a bastardized common chassis from some other model, re-released today in maybe a 15/16 scale, would sell respectable numbers.

Ford did somewhat less than decent with their re-release of the 2-seater T-bird, IMO because the sticker on that car was absurdly high for nothing special other than the retro look. They tried to make it a $50K car, it could have done well closer to $32K.


15 posted on 02/22/2014 8:25:57 AM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

The 2003 Thunderbird combines the attractive features of the original 1955 T-bird with the modern refinements that 2003 engineering has to offer.


16 posted on 02/22/2014 8:35:18 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

So, sometimes crime actually DOES pay...even if you’re the victim!


17 posted on 02/22/2014 8:40:14 AM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: JoeProBono

There is a cause of action in California called “unjust enrichment” that the seller of the car could possibly use to get the value of the improvements back from the true owner. It applies where one, through no fault of his own, has mistakenly done something to enhance the value of property of another. I’m not 100 percent sure it applies to this situation, but I think it probably does. The true owner, whose car did not have an engine when it was stolen, may have to pay something to the guy who improved it. Interesting question, would be good for the law exam.


18 posted on 02/22/2014 8:43:56 AM PST by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: Yo-Yo
How in the bleep did a clear title get passed along to several buyers without DMV flagging the VIN as stolen?

Good question. Maybe it was taken to another state at some point, false bill of sales created and a claim of a lost title made. If it was kept out of California's system, it would not have been caught, until California checked the VIN when it was on its way out of the country.

Other possibility is that California is so incompetent that when someone applies for a replacement title on a VIN that CHP knows is stolen, DMV doesn't have a computer system that shows the VIN as stolen. Or at least, in 1983, didn't have such a system.

19 posted on 02/22/2014 8:50:47 AM PST by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: JoeProBono
1955 vs. 2003 TBird; apples and bananas...

1955 Red TBird Convertible photo 175_Ford_1955_Thunderbird_Convertible_zps34bd6f2a.jpg

20 posted on 02/22/2014 8:53:24 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: logi_cal869

Hey! I have a 57 Bel Air! Not in great condition, but working on it. I’ve seen some that are legitimately worth $150k, just to die for.


21 posted on 02/22/2014 8:58:09 AM PST by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: Yo-Yo

My guess is the VIN did not actually match the title. And no-one noticed it, how?

A true car guy can recite the VIN of his vehicle on command.


22 posted on 02/22/2014 9:03:21 AM PST by Clay Moore ("To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize." ~Voltaire)
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To: DaxtonBrown


23 posted on 02/22/2014 9:12:12 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono
Good article Joe...Dad had a '56 Chevy and was delighted when there was a new guy at the filling station, who would search for the gas filler cap....[in the 55,56,57 models it was hidden].

After a minute Dad would get out and show the kid it was behind the light...

24 posted on 02/22/2014 9:13:21 AM PST by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Defiant
Good question. Maybe it was taken to another state at some point, false bill of sales created and a claim of a lost title made. If it was kept out of California's system, it would not have been caught, until California checked the VIN when it was on its way out of the country.

National Crime Information Center

From the article, it wasn't the state of California or CHP that caught this vehicle, it was U.S. Customs.

NCIC information that Customs most likely used is also available to all state DMVs.

25 posted on 02/22/2014 9:24:33 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: virgil283

26 posted on 02/22/2014 9:24:58 AM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: JoeProBono

Incredible feature! :)


27 posted on 02/22/2014 9:27:00 AM PST by thecodont
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To: Defiant

I am going to go out on a lim...err no.

I am going to sit safely by the trunk of the tree and assert that not having run the vehicle identification number through to make sure the car was not stolen ends any hope of whoever did the work recovering that investment.

I


28 posted on 02/22/2014 9:37:38 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: JoeProBono

Beautiful car to bad it’s red the only red thing on a car should be red are tail lights.


29 posted on 02/22/2014 9:43:25 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: central_va

“Same horse power”

Not at all. Torque and horsepower charts are radically different, the gas mileage is probably tripled, pollution output 1/10,000th, tolerances 1/5th, and reliability 10 fold.

Today’s engines are vastly superior to yesterdays.


30 posted on 02/22/2014 9:45:35 AM PST by CodeToad (Arm Up! They Are!)
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To: JoeProBono

Back in 1969 when I was 16, my Brother’s Best Friend had a 57 Chevy Coupe for sale.

I went to look at it and the passenger side quarter panel was bashed in and the entire Car need paint. Can’t remember if the drivetrain was in it or not.

I looked at the Car and told the Guy, I can’t believe you would rip off your Best Friend’s Brother. He wanted $150 for the Car.

I did end up with a 55 Two Door Chevy Wagon. I paid $100 for it. Had to replace the Front Clip, cost me another $25.

I won’t even go on about the 69 Shelby Mustang that got away back in 1974. 40 Years later and it still upsets me. LOL


31 posted on 02/22/2014 9:47:56 AM PST by Kickass Conservative (Nobody owes you a living, so shut up and get back to work...)
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To: Clay Moore

“My guess is the VIN did not actually match the title. And no-one noticed it, how?”

I read this on another car site and there was a number mission in title. The CHP officer was checking container shipments overseas and caught the difference. This one was going to a buyer in Australia.

I bet there are a number of tee’d off people and one happy one.


32 posted on 02/22/2014 9:48:07 AM PST by Parley Baer
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To: tubebender

ping


33 posted on 02/22/2014 10:02:58 AM PST by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: Yo-Yo

“How in the bleep did a clear title get passed along to several buyers without DMV flagging the VIN as stolen? “

It was the DMV. . .after all. . .you know, those dedicated and professional public servants striving to provide the best customer care possible.


34 posted on 02/22/2014 10:12:31 AM PST by Hulka
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To: JoeProBono
That's a beauty Joe. Here's mine, when I first got it. It had no brakes, backfired out both ends, had a bullet hole in the backseat window. It has come a long ways from there. Give me another couple years. That's my 67 Camaro convert under the tarp.


35 posted on 02/22/2014 10:13:34 AM PST by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: CodeToad

“reliability 10 fold.”

My 57 Bel Air is still on the road. Easy to re-engine for $1500. I can do a tranny for less than %1000 (no, not that kind of tranny!). Name a new car that will still be around in 57 years. Maintenance becomes prohibitive after the warranty runs out.


36 posted on 02/22/2014 10:21:14 AM PST by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: DaxtonBrown
Hey! I have a 57 Bel Air! Not in great condition, but working on it. I’ve seen some that are legitimately worth $150k, just to die for.

I don't understand the reply to my comment, but hope your classic runs (mine is in perpetual storage mode right now, midst of restoration). I almost wish someone would steal mine & come back to me with all the metalwork done, with a few thousand $$ of add-ons to-boot...

37 posted on 02/22/2014 10:25:35 AM PST by logi_cal869
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To: logi_cal869

Depends on what NSA has on him.


38 posted on 02/22/2014 10:28:14 AM PST by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: logi_cal869

What I’m saying is that while reliability of the new engines has gone up, those figures are misleading. I am doing old cars not just for my health, but have done my spreadsheet homework on long term economics. If you aren’t driving the crap out of a car (like a company car), the long term costs are pretty decent for keeping the old cars running. The new ones cannot really be back-yard repaired and certainly not inexpensively. I can get all the parts I need for the 57 - overall cheaper maintenance.


39 posted on 02/22/2014 10:41:26 AM PST by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: DaxtonBrown

Lots of cars could be around in 57 years. Nothing prohibits that.


40 posted on 02/22/2014 11:19:43 AM PST by CodeToad (Arm Up! They Are!)
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To: MrEdd
I have bought many, many cars during my lifetime, and not once did I ever feel a need to run the cars title through any kind of database. If it has a title and current registration, and it is signed over to you, and you send it to the DMV, and they send you a new title in your name, you are not a participant in some 3 decade old theft. Whether you are on a limb or not. You are what is known in the parlance as a "good faith purchaser for value."

If you have some reason to believe the deal is not on the up and up, that is different. I have not seen any indication that the "improver" who spent all the money restoring this vehicle was not a good faith purchaser.

41 posted on 02/22/2014 11:41:27 AM PST by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: Yo-Yo

Thanks for pointing that out. It could well be that California DMV is just that incompetent.


42 posted on 02/22/2014 11:42:07 AM PST by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: JoeProBono

Hmmm... that Gas Monkey guy has a way of getting vehicles cheap, rebuilding and selling to foreign “investors”. Just sayin’....


43 posted on 02/22/2014 11:50:10 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Yo-Yo
Wilson said he found out the car has gone through several owners since it was stolen, and he feels bad for the seller and buyer, who likely did not know it was stolen property.
How in the bleep did a clear title get passed along to several buyers without DMV flagging the VIN as stolen?
I investigated to see if a ’57 vehicle even had a VIN number - and the answer turns up that the VIN started in 1954, but wasn’t standardized until after ’57 so each manufacturer used its own format. Still, it seems like an open question. The real question seems to be, what is the owner doing now to keep the car from being stolen again?

44 posted on 02/22/2014 11:57:28 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ("Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: Defiant

http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/images/vr/regcard_w_arrow2.jpg

You have sent in registration forms that did not include the VIN?
I never have.
Where I grew up, people found out they had bought a stolen car fairly frequently when they went to register it.

The guy who fixed this car up lost it while trying to ship it to another continent.

I suspect he knew it would be discovered if he tried to register it.


45 posted on 02/22/2014 1:53:18 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: CodeToad
Today’s engines are vastly superior to yesterdays until you have to pay to have them repaired.
46 posted on 02/22/2014 2:01:58 PM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

I have a feeling that 50 years from now there’ll be more 100 year old cars still running than 50 year old cars.


47 posted on 02/22/2014 2:09:21 PM PST by Tony in Hawaii (Freedom!)
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To: Tony in Hawaii

Cars cost twice as much as cars made in the 1960’s adjusted for inflation, and last half as long.


48 posted on 02/22/2014 2:11:40 PM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

Why pay? They really aren’t that much more difficult. They have a few more expensive parts but back in the day so did those older engines.


49 posted on 02/22/2014 2:15:07 PM PST by CodeToad (Arm Up! They Are!)
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To: CodeToad

There was not much I couldn’t fix on my old ‘68 firebird that a nail file and a screwdriver couldn’t handle.


50 posted on 02/22/2014 2:19:07 PM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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