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Having one’s car stolen can be quite an ordeal. Beyond all the paperwork and insurance matters, it’s the loss of a prized possession that can leave one heartbroken. On a few occasions however, an owner and their can can be reunited, creating the potential for an interesting story if the disappearance occurred some 40 years ago.

Bob Russell felt like the luckiest guy in the world when he paid almost £2000 for 1967 Austin Healey 3000 back in 1968. A present that was meant to woo is now wife Cynthia after he graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, it was unfortunately stolen from him at the parking lot of their second date, leaving him distraught for years.

Fast-forwarding 42 years, Mr Russell is now a resident of Texas and was still looking for his car. Perusing through eBay, he one day found a familiar face selling for a modest $19,700. Wanting to make sure that it was his he contacted police to determine what he could do next. While he had the keys as well as the license registry for the car, Los Angeles Police couldn’t do much since the car wasn’t registered as actively stolen in their database. However, after a great deal of correspondence he finally got the car impounded and was finally reunited with his Austin Healey after paying a $600 fee.

While a few parts needed replacing, the car was nearly in identical condition to how he saw hit. Reporters from the Associated Press noted that “The fact that the car [could still exist was] improbable. It could have been junked or wrecked.”

Police have noted that with increasing interconnectivity with websites like eBay as well as social media, finding one’s lost property can be a lot easier now than ever before. Even with something a lot smaller like an iPhone, all one has to do is track it through the iCloud and report to the police. While a car is much more precious and harder item to hide, even 40 years later it’s quite possible to locate and gain possession of your stolen items.