Gary Chartrand got the surprise of his life recently, when police called to tell him they’d found an old friend. Not a missing person, but his 1964 Ford Thunderbird that was stolen from the Sacramento bar he was working at in 1981.
The car was picked up 750 miles away in Washington State, apparently when someone tried to register it, Chartrand says, but exactly who took it, and where it’s been all these years is still unknown.
In fact, the case is so old that the Sacramento police have yet to dig up the original theft report.
Chartrand bought the car for $1,600 in 1980 as a “divorce present” to himself after ending a 10-year marriage. He says the blue hardtop looks pretty much the same as he remembers it, with only a couple of new bumps and bruises.
The story is similar to another that we reported here in June, when a Chevy Corvette stolen in 1981 in Detroit was recovered in Mississippi during a police investigation into a phony VIN number and returned to its very happy original owner.