Missing Ferrari Recovered After Nearly 30 Years

Not much sucks quite so bad as having your car stolen – especially once it becomes a well-kept classic. Just ask the guy whose 1981 308 GTSi was jacked from an Orange County, California consignment lot in July 1987. But sometimes, fate delivers an epic checkmate.

Earlier this month, US Customs and Border Protection officers at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport complex intercepted that stolen ride, still looking just as great as it did back then, sans the additional 45,000 miles (not a lot, considering it’s been MIA for nearly three decades).

Currently valued at upward of $50,000, the car was headed to Poland when Customs agents ran a check of the VIN and found that the same car was listed as having left the US for Norway via Germany in 2005 

"This VIN discrepancy is what 'raised a red flag' and prompted further scrutiny," CBP LA/LB Seaport Port Director Carlos Martel said in a statement. Turns out the thieves had lifted the '81 VIN, and changed it to an '82 VIN. The true VIN was identified through secondary numbers. A call to the California Highway Patrol and the National Insurance Crime Bureau proved suspicions of theft.

Unfortunately for the previous owner, there’s no glorious reunion in store. Because he accepted an insurance payout for the car, it now belongs to the insurance company. No wonder the guy wants to remain anonymous. Tough break!

Have you had a car stolen that might today be a gorgeous classic somewhere? Post your stories and pics on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.


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