Last week, we told you the story of George Talley, a 71-year-old Detroit man who had just received a whole heap of good news. Talley was informed by AAA and the Michigan State Police that his stolen Chevrolet Corvette had been found... after 33 years. While that's well and dandy, getting the car from where it was found – Hattiesburg, MS – to Detroit was a challenge for the retiree. That's when General Motors Executive Vice President Mark Reuss stepped in after hearing the story on a local news station, and offered to have the car shipped back to Detroit so Talley could be reunited with it. And today, that's exactly what happened.

Autoblog was on hand for the presentation at General Motors' Renaissance Center headquarters in downtown Detroit this morning and spoke with Talley and Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano.

Talley owned his Corvette for two years before it was stolen from Detroit's Jefferson Avenue, just down the road from GM's current headquarters. It was returned running, and with just 47,000 miles on the clock.

"I'm excited and thankful and grateful and excited," an understandably emotional Talley told Autoblog. The 1979 Vette, which GM returned in the condition it was found in at Talley's request, will be heading off for a restoration. While GM footed the bill to get the car to Detroit, it won't be covering the restoration – we're told that an unnamed third-party will be handling that. While Talley estimates that process will take "a month or so," he already knows where he's going once the car is ready for the road.

"I think I'm going to cruise Belle Isle," Talley said.

"Corvettes are really special cars, they have a special place in their owner's hearts," Mike Albano told Autoblog. "There's something serendipitous about this whole thing, the fact that yesterday was the birthday of Corvette and right now, just a day later, we're kind of giving George a gift back."

"George's story brought a smile to my face," GM's Mark Reuss said in a statement. "As a longtime Corvette owner myself, I know the passion the car inspires. I also knew that car belonged home in Detroit, with its rightful owner, and we could make that happen."

We've got a short video of Talley and his car at today's unveiling, as well as photos from the event. The former is available below with an official press release from GM, while the latter can be seen up top. Take a look and let us know what you think of this truly great story.
Detroit Man Reunited With His Stolen Corvette After 33 Years
Show full PR text
Detroit Man Reunited With Stolen Corvette After 33 Years

DETROIT – George Talley and his prized '79 Chevrolet Corvette were reunited at General Motors' world headquarters today, just three miles from where the car was stolen from him 33 years ago.

Talley, 71, last saw his Corvette when it was parked on Jefferson Avenue in 1981. On June 13, more than 30 years later, Talley received a call from AAA informing him his car had turned up in Hattiesburg, Miss.

"It was a lucky day to hear that my car had been found," said Talley. "They told me it was running, had 47,000 miles on it and was ready for me to pick up!"

Talley - a Corvette fan since he saw his neighbor's first-generation 'Vette in the 1950s - was fortunate to own three more Corvettes, but the '79 was always his favorite.

Talley's luck continued when Mark Reuss, executive vice president for GM Product Development, heard his story on the news and offered to ship the car home to Detroit.

"George's story brought a smile to my face," said Reuss. "As a longtime Corvette owner myself, I know the passion the car inspires. I also knew that car belonged home in Detroit, with its rightful owner, and we could make that happen."

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Months Ago
      Stop the BS GM and focus your time and $$$ toward making a decent product. The old GM is alive and well at the new GM...
      • 5 Months Ago
      Glad to read a post like this, they've both seen a lot of miles in 33 years. I hope he enjoys it immensely.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Kudos to Mark Reuss for stepping up, and getting George's car back to Detroit. Sure it was a PR move, but since it got George's car back without him having to pay the hundreds in shipping charges, who cares? Hopefully he'll be able to keep it secure after the restoration, so this doesn't happen again. Gee, how about adding a security system with an immobilizer and a pager?
      Todor Angelov
      • 5 Months Ago
      The thief heard about the huge recall of GM and decided to get it back. :)))))))))))
      • 5 Months Ago
      Just in time for recall.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Great PR move. Tons of free coverage for the cost of a transporter from MS back to Detroit.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Oh god... a 1979 Vette? Ugh. Shame it couldn't be restored into a 1973 Vette. Still, happy for the owner.
      Avinash Machado
      • 5 Months Ago
      Quite a touching moment.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Who found this car? Police? Or GM?
      Dr Zoidberg
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'd sure be getting it refurbished. How many farts has that driver's seat seen? :p
      • 5 Months Ago
      It definitely does not look like a 47,000 mile corvette.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Who put on the most miles, the police department or the thief??
    • Load More Comments