Bob Russell: Texas Man Finds Stolen Car 42 Years Later

Bob Russell of Southlake, Texas got the surprise of his life when he did a routine search of eBay, finding the 1967 Austin Healey 3000 that was stolen from him 42 years before.

Yahoo News reports that Russell was just doing a routine search, something he had done for years in a most likely fruitless attempt to find the car that was taken from him 42 years ago when he was a graduate student at Temple University in Philadelphia. Bob returned home from a date with his future to wife to discover his beloved Austin Healey was nowhere to be found.

The Global Post reports that Russell, 66, discovered the eBay listing on May 11th, with a final bid of $19,700. The Global Post reports that the retired sales manager stated:

“The fact that the car still exists is improbable. It could have been junked or wrecked.”

But luckily for Bob Russell, the find was not impossible, and he set out right away to recover the car. He made sure that the VIN number matched the one on the title he kept for the past 42 years, then contacted the seller, saying, “I’m not trying to sound indelicate, but you’re selling my car.”

Fox News reports that, despite finding the car, Russell still had a few hoops to jump through–namely getting the stolen car report re-activated in the police database. Once that was completed, however, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was quick to impound the car, and Russell, along with his wife, drove out to California to retrieve the 1967 Austin Healey 3000.

Russell stated that:

“We were probably out $1,500 plus six days of travel and hotel costs. I’m not complaining about any of that. I couldn’t get the credit card out of my pocket fast enough.”

Now that the 1967 Austin Healey 3000 is back in Bob Russell’s possession, he is excited to begin restoring it back to its original glory. He stated of the car that, “It still runs, but the brakes don’t work well. We’re going to put it back the way it was.” He went on to say:

“I had a hobby car but got rid of my Porsche 911 a year ago. I used to have an antique Corvette and a couple of motorcycles. Now I have a grandpa (Toyota) Camry.”

Now that he is retired, Bob Russell will have all the time he needs to restore the classic to its original shape.