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Stolen Car Returned 30 Years Later And In Better Condition

Three decades after it was stolen, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air has been returned to a Northern California man - in better shape than when he originally owned it.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports Ian "Skip" Wilson was shocked to get a call from the California Highway Patrol informing him that his long-lost Chevy was taken off an Australia-bound cargo ship.

The 65-year-old says the car has had a lot of work done on it since it disappeared from his Lake County home in 1984. It was returned with a monogrammed interior, 17-inch racing wheels, rack-and-pinion steering and a 350-horsepower V-8 engine.

The retired mechanic says the two-door was in sorry shape when he bought it for $375 in 1975 with plans for fixing it up.





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  • 217 Comments
      • 11 Months Ago
      it was like the retired mechanic who took it in didn't even know it was stolen and now he is out of a lot money that he put into the car, but a least the owner got it back.
      RouteUS66Busload
      • 11 Months Ago
      He's now being blessed without spending a dime to restore it. Looks like the Lord has answered his secret prayer? The car looks better than the wife now?
      Mark
      • 11 Months Ago
      No excuse for that to happen as far as I can see with state tax purchase records, yearly registrations, odometer readings, inspections, title transfers I guess as long as the state get's it's sales tax money all is well.
      Jethro
      • 11 Months Ago
      youtu.be/MgQcDLjKOXs You can see me driving my project girly miata on you tube. So cute.
      • 11 Months Ago
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      Jethro
      • 11 Months Ago
      Is it made by Honda or Toyota? Because everyone knows they the best and longest lasting cars. How did he buy a 1977 car in 1975. Please 'splain that one for me. Huh? (Crickets chirping)
        erickamradt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        YOURE DUMB
        geometricsdesign
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        Dude that is got to be the dumbest post I have ever read. A Toyota or Honda could NEVER hold a candle in collectiblity to a classic 57' Chevy. Serious dude??? You obviously are some PUNK making a comment like that!
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        . . . . . . He was able to buy the "77 Chevy in "75 because the Chevy was a '57.
        skip92555
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        its a 1957 car!!!! Duh!!!!!!!!!
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        Show us a Honda from 1957, they dissolve in the rain. Same with the old Toyotas, we can see from your post how IGNORANT you are. LOL. MARC
        merstockgto
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        Back in the day those good ole American cars lasted if one took care of them like I did. I had a 1968 Pontiac GTO for 39 years until I trusted a restorer to fix it up and he stripped my car and others and sold the parts. It broke our hearts as it was our first new car. Those old classic cars are great cars. Nothing like them. We bought a new 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 back in Aug. and the Shelby is quite awsome with 662 hp from the factory.
        switzarch
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        He bought a 1957 car in 1975 for $350 and it was stolen in 1984..
        papawin99
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        Its a 1957 car. Read the article again.
        sadiemae1214
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        You mean the 1957 Chevy that was stolen in 1984? Don't know where you got 1977 from!
        Duane
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        My father bought brand new a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger with a 260 Ford engine in it (stock) in 65 and it's still running fine after all these years. When I inherited it, I replaced the brake lines and all rubber. Other than that the car is original. My grandson is now driving it. With proper care, cars can last quite longer than you would think.
        Perry
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jethro
        It was a 1957 Chevrolet.
      WESLEY
      • 11 Months Ago
      the T V show overhaulin steals your car and restores it, and gives it back one week later, But they do not keep it 30 years.
      Velocity105
      • 11 Months Ago
      If that car has 9 miles on it, it's worth a lot more then $34,000.
      • 11 Months Ago
      you make $27 per hour good for you! I make up to $85 per hour working from home. My story is that I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45 per hour to $85 per hour heres a good example of what I'm doing more detail here.. WWW.DUB40.COM
      • 11 Months Ago
      What a great automobile. I owned one in 1973 and then moved to Forida. I was foolish and let my favorite vehicle go for next to nothing. You must understand that we had put specialized headers on, board and stroked the V-8 engine to 405 cm, placed apprpriate cardorators, 3 2-barrol carborators on board. That was the loudest and most powerful vehicle that I had ever drive until we got into dragsters. Shortly after our introduction to real speed, they shorened the 1/4 mile trach to 1000 feet. What a waste. As though they thought that they would never find drives to meet the challenge of 350+ mph.
      dkp50
      • 11 Months Ago
      When the 57' Chevy was Stolen it was a Very Used Car with alot of Miles on it But It now says only 9 miles on it? Just goes to show you, have Decieiving These Old Cars can be.. Do a Partial Restoration change the Speedometer and Most Can't tell the Difference This Car is so " Dirty" I wouldnt even Buy it for $15k.., let alone $34k.. It's only good for the Body everything else, including the Frame? scrap it and start over.. and do a Frame Off Restoration.. and that will cost at least $50k and to Get maybe $50k to sell it.. Just waatch the Classic Car and Auto Auction shows on HD Velocity and CNBC.. Or Ck Meecum Auto Auctions web site..
      bdgrizcp
      • 11 Months Ago
      Great story. Makes you wonder how many cars are not found.
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