Skip to comments.Texas Man Finds Stolen Car 42 Years Later (1967 Austin-Healey on eBay)
Posted on 07/12/2012 2:57:31 AM PDT by Libloather
Texas Man Finds Stolen Car 42 Years Later
By ALON HARISH | Good Morning America 13 hrs ago
Bob Russell could not be blamed for losing hope that he would reunite with his 1967 Austin-Healey. Stolen outside his Philadelphia apartment 42 years ago, the British roadster seemed a lost cause.
But thanks to the Internet and some creative police work, Russell has his pride and joy back.
When Russell, then a graduate student at Temple University, returned home the morning after a date with his future wife, his car was nowhere to be found. For decades since, he searched for his beloved ride in vain. On a trip to Washington, D.C., he stared at a parked Austin-Healey for half an hour in hopes of finding a distinctive marking to no avail.
On a recent eBay session, though, his luck changed: the cream-colored car was listed for auction by a Los Angeles car dealer, with a final bid of $19,700. Russell, who now lives near Dallas, knew the car was his because its vehicle identification number (VIN) matched the one on the title he kept since the theft.
"I'm not trying to sound indelicate, but you're selling my car," Russell told the dealer.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Good for him. Somebody took it in the shorts for this, but maybe the police can track the car back and find the thief.
Based on the article, the cops would rather just eat their donuts.
I do believe that if you took an insurance claim for the theft, the car is not his, but rather the insurance companies. Isn’t that how it works?
Insurance was not compulsory then.
It still isn’t for theft coverage.
My question just has to do with the generality. I do believe that when insurance pays for something lost or stolen, they then have legal claim to it.
You are correct and I’m sure that is one of the first hurdles getting it impounded that was not reported on in the story. Wise of you to make the point in any regard.
Don’t mess with Texas. Good on him. I was in the gas station a couple of months ago with my grandson, filling up the tires on my 2001 Corolla when a guy pulled in to get air with a 1967 Austin-Healy. I showed it to my GS and the owner and I got to talking. His was over 45 years old and had 50,000 original miles, mine was 11 years old and had 150,000 original miles.
It would have been nice if the writer had told us how many miles were put on the car while it was missing.
It would also be fun to see how many people owned it. And who was the first guy to buy it after it was stolen and how the paper work was handled.
My '65 Mustang was stolen in '83 (I'd owned it since '79). Allstate paid me, IIRC, $2,500, a generous settlement at the time. If it were located, the insurance company is *supposed* to notify me and give me the chance to repurchase it from them. I'm sure that some cars end up recovered and auctioned without the previous owners' knowledge, though.
I recently found the old registration and VIN after years of thinking I'd discarded them. Yeah, I'm going to look into any subsequent registration of that VIN; you never can tell.
B might be in trouble with the law. Can E sue D?
in this case, at some point a fake title must have been created. Maybe there should be title insurance for classic cars.
Isn’t there a national or state-shared database of VIN numbers of stolen cars? And if someone tries to register a vehicle with that VIN number, the police and owner get notified? Well, maybe not 42 years ago....
Love the line: “I’m not trying to sound indelicate, but...”
The NYPD used to (may still) do one better. They sold my father's stolen Cadillac to a "dealers only" auction house in upstate NY BEFORE they notified him of its recovery. That notification came within days of Dad receiving a check from his ins. co. Since the impound was nearby, Dad went there immediately and was able to recover ALL the property that he had left in the car. The vehicle had sat in an NYPD impoundment for a month before that notification. Seems, according to NYPD, that they were unable to find the VIN on the car so they could trace it and notify the owner (my Dad). The windshield over the one on the dash was cracked making the VIN plate difficult to read. However, the dashboard VIN plate WAS intact.
Real reporters are extinct.
Great story and tagline.
In Mexico, they refer to cars with dubious origin and paperwork as “chocolate cars”.
Any idea why they use that term?