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Stolen Corvette found — 37 years later ‘It’s a miracle,’ owner says after car discovered en route to Sweden
LOS ANGELES - A Corvette sports car stolen when it was brand new in New York 37 years ago has been recovered in California and will be returned to its rightful owner, authorities said.
The 1968 car, which vanished from Alan Poster’s garage in the borough of Queens on Jan. 22, 1969, was identified as stolen as it was being loaded on a container ship for Sweden last November, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Mike Fleming said.
The car had recently been purchased for $10,000 by a man in Sweden who was unaware it had been stolen nearly four decades earlier, Fleming said. Since Poster’s insurance at the time did not cover the Corvette’s theft and he was never compensated, he is entitled to get it back.
“When the California Highway Patrol contacted him, he said ‘it’s a miracle.’ He’s very excited about it. He’s flying in tomorrow,” Fleming said Monday. He said Poster had since moved to California and long ago gave up hope of seeing the car again.
The Corvette, which was originally painted blue with a matching interior, is now silver with a red interior. It is missing the gas tank, has a new engine and transmission and no longer runs, Fleming said.
California Highway Patrol officer Joe Zizi said investigators had determined the Swedish man purchased the car from a man in Texas, who in turn bought it from someone in New Mexico.
None of them was involved in the theft or aware it had been stolen, Zizi said.
He said that after the Corvette was found to be a stolen car, detectives in New York were contacted and spent a month sifting through about 10,000 archived stolen car reports to find the original owner.