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Man Finds His Car for Sale on eBay 42 Years after It Was Stolen

In 1970, Bob Russell’s ’67 Austin Healey 3000 disappeared after a date with the woman he’d eventually marry. But he never gave up on her and kept searching for the beauty for 42 years. Suspecting that the rare collectible car would be sold multiple times, he scoured online auctions for it. Finally, one morning, he saw his car for sale on eBay.

That was only the beginning of Russell’s struggle. Next, he had to convince the dealer that it was indeed his Austin Healey and that the dealer had to give it back to him:

Russell said the car’s vehicle identification number matched that of his Healey. In addition, he still had the original key and car title, as well as signed affidavits from friends, including the original owner, indicating that Russell had never sold the auto.

But one legal roadblock remained: He didn’t have a copy of the stolen-car report he filed back in 1970. [...]

Turns out the original stolen-car report he filed in Philadelphia wasn’t showing up at the National Crime Information Center because one VIN letter was entered incorrectly into the FBI’s computerized index of crimes.

But thanks to persistent detectives in Philadelphia, Russell said, the report finally was located.

Once he got his hands on a copy of the report, Philadelphia police were able to reactivate the file. That enabled the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to impound the car.

Russell and his wife, Cynthia, drove to LA on June 16 and took possession of the car two days later after paying roughly $600 in impoundment fees.

Link -via Jalopnik | Photo: Michael Ainsworth/AP


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