Video: Stolen car returned 37 years later

By Roger O’Neil Correspondent
NBC News
updated 1/17/2006 7:58:20 PM ET 2006-01-18T00:58:20

True love is hard to find — unless it drives fast, attracts girls, and is called a “’vette.”

But Alan Poster found when it comes to that '68 blue Corvette he spent his last nickel to buy, love is fleeting. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, you'll understand why after 36 years, the California transplant from Brooklyn is smitten again.

“This thing has come back to me for whatever reason,” Poster says, “and I'm going to figure out why.”

The saga of his stolen and finally found Corvette starts in Manhattan.

Poster’s “egocentric muscle car,” as he called it, went missing from a parking garage that is now a bank. It was just one of 78,000 cars stolen in New York in 1969. Fat chance it would ever be found.

And it wasn't — until last month, on the docks of Long Beach, Calif., when a customs agent routinely checked the ID number of an old Corvette bound for Sweden.

Bingo!

The National Insurance Crime Bureau in Chicago said it's a “hot car” and the case was turned over to two New York detectives. It was needle in a haystack for sure, but Cliff Bieder and William Heiser had to try. The two sleuths started looking through old — very old — stolen car reports. Three days and 10,000 files later they shocked other cops who bet them steak dinners they'd never find the guy who owned the stolen 'vette.

Hair may turn gray, but once Corvettes get in your blood, they stay in your blood. Come to think of it, old guys are about the only ones who can afford ‘vettes these days.

Poster, who's 63, doesn't intend to sell his. But FYI, a mint '68 could fetch $100,000.

“I’m keeping it,” he insists.

You just can't sell true love, once found.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments