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History Stolen 57 Chevy found after 30 years headed for down under

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by steel rebel, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Not sure if this has been covered before but It just came out in our local rag. One of my club members just got his 57 Chevy back after 30 years and better yet it has been restored. It was taken off a container in Southern Cal. headed for Australia.
    Wondering if anybody knows the buyer in Australia or the seller in the States.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  2. King Karl
    Joined: Sep 27, 2007
    Posts: 384

    King Karl
    from N.C.

    That would be a shocker after 30 years. Then to see that it had been restored. I'll bet he almost shit his pants!
    Great to see one make it back to the rightful owner.
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

  4. 4 banger 4 life
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 301

    4 banger 4 life
    from ohio

  5. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


  6. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,547


    He's HAPPY the buyer is probably beside himself and out some cash! What happened to the THIEF? Couldn't read the article's small print.
  7. oldsjoe
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 2,547


  8. aircoup
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 900


    very cool indeed glad its a local too im in lakeport!!!
  9. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,040

    Pete Eastwood
    from california

    Over thirty years ago my buddy's 56 F-100 was stolen.
    About three years ago it was recovered & he got it back.
    The people who had it, sued him for the "improvments" & won !
    He had to pay them $10,000, or surrender the truck !!
    Don't you just love our legal system !?
  10. seriously ?????^^^^^ that sucks.......
  11. HemiHater
    Joined: Jan 27, 2014
    Posts: 2

    from New York

    Amazing! I had a car stolen here in New York in the early 60's that I would love to get back. I wonder if this guy had insurance on it? I would think if he got paid for the car it would not go back to him.
  12. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man

    That's "Left Coast politics" for you!!!!
  13. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,191


    They'd get the opportunity to sue me again, :eek: for their medical bills.........
  14. aircoup
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 900


    theres somethin awfully screwed up about that , i believe in old fashioned karma whether it comes around naturally or induced <<<,,,,
  15. metal man
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,949

    metal man

    Probably a similar situation to the '57 Chevy....The thief wasn't the one who restored it. The person who bought the vehicle and restored it likely was unaware that it was ever stolen. They are victims of the theft too,not just the person it was originally stolen from.

    I'm not saying I agree with the law suit, but I feel for both parties.
  16. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,837


    If it were in a shipping container headed for Australia then it would of had to have a title. How was the car titled if it was stolen?
  17. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,969

    from Phoenix,AZ

    This story actually made the ABC News with Diane Sawyer tonight,glad he got back his '57 you could catch the story on their website.
  18. PushnFords
    Joined: Dec 2, 2011
    Posts: 52


    Old enough the VIN or title number wasn't in a database...went to a different state, etc. Here in KS the only thing required to get a title for an antique is a bill of sale & a vin inspection. The vin inspection just checks for current theft reports...if it was years ago you'd never know until the cops came to get your pride & joy.
  19. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,336

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    I'm really happy for the owner. He was a young Man when the car was stolen.
    From the article;

    "He said the state Department of Motor Vehicles told him that the car had been through four owners but that the serial number had never caught attention because the first character had been left off."
  20. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,920


    To get it into the country and get an import approval, issued by Federal Govt, you need a Title or Bill of Sale along with supporting documents and photographs. Will be interesting to see how this develops. No permit etc and car can't be registered legally.
  21. 80WTI
    Joined: Sep 16, 2012
    Posts: 319


    If the car was stolen with out motor and box shouldn't it get returned the same way, otherwise it in fact has parts on it that he has taken from the person who restored it (not the original thief).
  22. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,674


    With all of this PR I bet it will get real interesting.
  23. fleet-master
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,774


    IF ,the original owner got paid out by insurance then he in fact no longer owns it. IF he didn't then it's my opinion that he ought to do the right thing IMO and hammer out a deal with the guy who restored it in good faith ,all along believing he had rightful ownership. It sounds to me like the car engine/trans, upholstery, tyres,wiring...etc.

    Maybe they could work out a 'free lease' kind of deal ,where when the original owner passes on the car is left to the guy who rebuilt it...?

    I agree with all who've said...this could get very interesting, I'm sure insurance companies and legalese will be watching this one.
  24. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    I feel sorry for the people who spent a lot of money and lost it. On concern did the person who the car was stolen from write his loss of on his taxes?? If they go to court this could change the way the law is interpeted. The person who spent the money can have a large tax deduction for a causity loss. As so the original owner may owe taxes for a net gain.I would have a hard time living with my self keeping the car if I was the original owner. But I do not have a dog in this fight.
  25. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,267


    From what I'm "making up" it was a school project that took a little longer to finished than originally thought. It was the prototype for "OverHaulin" and the student's was a C. Foose!
  26. I can see every one that's involved with the car losing out on this..... JW
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  27. I almost shit my pants looking at your avatar
  28. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    the catch is the law looks as a person with stolen property as being guilty , weather its bought or given , and is also considered a accessory to the crime ( recieving stolen property ) . ignorance is not allowed in a court of law , they purchased the vehicle without checking the vin vs the registration IMO the State is partially at fault too .
    but legally a missing charachter on a vin vs a title make the title void as its not for the vehicle in question if they want to get technical about it the numbers and letters and there positions are the only true match of identification of ownership .and it has to be exact . ( I had a problem with this with 2 vehicles with sequentail vins and the paperwork got messed up and when a officer did a roadside inspection when crossing back out of Canada we had alot of explaining to do when he did the vin check lucky for us we had the paperwork in the office )

    things like this are why more states are making the vin be verified by a official before allowing registration , and going to the title registration route . this is why some states will not accept BOS or titles from companies like broadway title or From certain states , my BIL moved here (Illinois) from Maine and all his cars have to be inspected BY SOS before the state will issue a title on them , and this includes his newer ones too .
  29. Super Streak
    Joined: Nov 22, 2011
    Posts: 270

    Super Streak
    from Florida

    I like Fleet-Masters train of thinking. It would eliminate a lot of hassle.
    The police department should go back through all the previous owners to see I they can get the shit bag that stole the car originally.
  30. engine138
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,051

    from Commack NY


    Stolen '57 Chevy comes back to owner 30 years later

    Justin Hyde

    By Justin Hyde 4 hours ago Motoramic

    0 shares Done

    Stolen 1957 Chevy returned to owner


    View photo

    Ian "Skip" Wilson with his 1957 Chevy Bel Air

    If you're unlucky enough to have your car stolen, there's roughly an 80 percent chance that your car will be found. Those numbers paid off for a retired northern California mechanic when his stolen 1957 Chevy Bel Air was recovered by law enforcement &#8212; 30 years after it went missing, and in far better condition than when it was snatched.

    As first reported by the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, Ian "Skip" Wilson got a call three weeks ago from the California Highway Patrol asking after the Bel Air he reported stolen in 1984. Wilson told Yahoo Autos he had paid $375 for the car back in the '70s on the East Coast, and had driven it daily for years before someone swiped it in 1982. Wilson had gotten the car back that time without an engine, and was working on it when it was stolen again.

    "I always figured somebody local took it, cut it up and put it on the fairgrounds racetrack," Wilson said. "I never imagined it could end up in Los Angeles."

    Yet the car that rolled back into his garage had been restored, repainted and rebuilt throughout, with a new 350 V-8 engine, custom leather interior and show-quality chrome. It had also somehow been legally bought and sold four times despite Wilson's theft report. The car was a couple of days from being shipped from Los Angeles to a new owner in Australia when U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents discovered its criminal history, seized it from a shipping container and turned it over to California officials to reunite Wilson with his car.

    Wilson says after calling him, the authorities took some convincing before they would believe the car was his. In addition to retrieving the 30-year-old copy of his theft report, Wilson had to describe the car in detail &#8212; and succeeded only when he mentioned how it had a hole in the floor from the days when it was used by the previous owner to smuggle cigarettes. Even then, it took weeks of working through red tape before it landed in his driveway &#8212; the first time he laid eyes on it since it went missing.

    "My friend who picked it up said 'Oh you're going to be happy when you see this,'" Wilson said.

    Related video

    In recent years border agents have seized a growing number of stolen vehicles heading out of the country, beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement. Wilson says he feels for whomever was supposed to own his Bel Air, for which he has now paid an additional $900 in hauling fees, and plans to let his grandchildren enjoy it as well. "I&#8217;ll never drive this car unless it's a beautiful sunny day," he said. "It&#8217;s just unbelievable."

    Photos: Christopher Chung, courtesy Santa Rosa Press-Democrat

    Crime & Justice
    Society & Culture
    Chevy Bel Air
    California Highway Patrol

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