Stories like this are too rare. Skip Wilson, 65, took delivery of his fully restored, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air last Monday. That's not the cool part - he hadn't seen the car in over 30 years.

Wilson's two-door Bel Air (not shown above) was purchased in 1975 for $375, and after years of work on it, was stolen in 1983. The car was recovered, but was missing its engine and transmission. Before the northern California resident had a chance to source a new powertrain, the car was stolen again, not to be seen until it arrived outside his house sporting a new coat of Competition Orange paint and a 350-cubic-inch V8 fed by a Holley four-barrel carb.

It turns out that over the 30 years since it was stolen, the car had seen four different owners, one of whom had completely restored it. There was supposed to be a fifth owner, in Australia, until US Customs inspectors discovered the car in a shipping container in the Port of Los Angeles. After notifying the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which had the car's VIN on record, it was seized by the California Highway Patrol and returned to Wilson.

The entire story, published by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is really worth a read. While Wilson is wondering how his Chevy was registered by four different owners when its VIN was on record with the NICB, he just seems happy to have it back. "Somebody put a whole lot of work and money into that car," Wilson told the Press Democrat. "I imagine somebody in Australia must be awful upset."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      Arturo Rios Jr.
      • 9 Months Ago
      The car was not returned then, it was recovered lets get that straight. With that being said, I am glad the original owner got it back but it bugs me as well how many times this car was supposedly registered with existing vin number known to be stolen.
      Ron Faldik
      • 9 Months Ago
      Now its time for nObama to tax the original owner so high that he can't afford the car and a government seizure will be forthcoming.
      Louis MacKenzie
      • 9 Months Ago
      Move to Texas with it, then you can keep the car safe by actually being able to own a gun, per your 2nd Amendment rights and, guard it,
        Jason Fisher
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Louis MacKenzie
        Good idea! When he wakes up in the morning and finds it missing, he can run and get his gun and protect...oh wait...what is he supposed to do again? Actually, the article didn't mention the different circumstances under which the car was stolen, and it didn't mention whether or not Mr.Wilson owns any firearms, which are legal in California as well as every other state. What was your point? Are you one of those people that thinks someone is going to take your guns? lol
          Jesus!
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Jason Fisher
          Because his gun was sitting outside with his car? Come on now...
      Aurio Salimonne
      • 9 Months Ago
      The real car is not this green on the picture,the green here is a real Bel Air,the stolen was a Chevrolet 210 (not hard top) and the press is making a big deal so people can walk to the showrooms and get some of those truck,there is many of them getting dust and discounts up to $14k my friend is upset he spend 46k on his and now the same can be have for less than $30k,great job!
      Silly Pickle
      • 9 Months Ago
      I guess he never had insurance on it, both times? Wonder if he will now...
        Card13
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Silly Pickle
        How did you come to the conclusion that he had no insurance? Insurance will compensate you for a stolen car. It can't protect it from being stolen or make it magically reappear.
          luvmybeama
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Card13
          If insurance compensates you for the car, upon recovery it will then belong to the insurance company.
          SloopJohnB
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Card13
          Depends on the insurance.
      joe shmoe
      • 9 Months Ago
      it will be funny if it gets stolen from him again
      Mike
      • 9 Months Ago
      A 350 engine with a Holley 4 barrel carburetor? This is not "restored". Yet again a Yahoo writer doesn't know what he is writing about.
      SloopJohnB
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is a good argument for title insurance. Someone/company is bound to ensure a particular car/VIN against the possibility of it turning up stolen.
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