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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cash reward for the finding and the return of my car - '57 Bel Air F.I.
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coupe - black with silver and black interior .VIN# VC57T182111 .Pennsylvania tag - 57-JJM . Stolen from Union Blvd.Bethlehem,PA Ready for the catch - here it comes - taken in 1969 .Yeah, I know its a real long shot but I'd like to solve this mystery before I pass on .If you have time on your hands here is a part-time job.This is not a joke - cash paid -no questions asked .Just to prove it here is my number - 610 533-6393 and its in my pocket - always.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Just because the statute of limitations has passed and the thief no longer has to fear criminal prosecution, that doesn't mean that the person it was stolen from wouldn't still have a legal claim to the vehicle.

As much of a long shot as it is, I don't blame the person for trying to find a fuelie '57. I'm not sure about plastering the VIN all over the Internet as you risk the person seeing it and finding some 'alternative paperwork' for what is likely a six figure car. If I was really determined, I'd probably keep quiet and try to get that VIN run in as many countries as possible and see what happens. Any money spent is likely an investment without return, but I wouldn't blame someone for trying.
Sorry but most if not all will not accept the VIN for searches as they are set up for 17 letters and numbers.Also most states including mines no longer have records going back very far.Thanks for the thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Anecdotal side bar. A vehicle with a bogus VIN is traded in to a dealership, dealership in turn sells it at auction. Both the dealership as well as the auction have verified the VIN and proceeded, as the vehicle checked out. A third dealership specializing in used older cars buys car at said auction. The car is brought back to the dealership, cleaned up and put out on the lot. (This all took less then 3 weeks time) A buyer enters the picture, falls in love and buys the car on the spot. They have a beautiful relationship that lasts 25 years. In that time the car is transformed. New everything including a new chassis. The old chassis is sold and the buyer of that chassis cleans it up and uses it on a long term restoration. During that restoration the chassis is cleaned up and a serial number that is different then the one on his bill of sale appears.

Police are called, chassis is impounded, they even wanted to impound the body that was sitting next to it but cooler heads prevailed and the chassis and body did not share the same VIN and all documents checked out. During the investigation the police go to the person that sold the chassis. They want to see the car it came out from under. He cooperates, they verify the vin as not matching the chassis but not actually matching anything other then the registration and title the owner posses and he even shows 24 previous expired copies of it. (This guy keeps everything) An investigator for the highway patrol takes down all the information and leaves.
After many months a letter arives in the mail from the CHP stating that the VIN is in fact not valid, that the DMV had made an error and the car should never have been able to be registered. The original dealership, the auction house and even the used car lots are all gone. The investigation ends there, except for that pesky VIN number on the chassis. The CHP stated that a certified letter would be sent except they have no address or known information at all about the poor person the car was stolen from.

That chassis, the one that was impounded... It came back to the person that had bought it, they even waved impound fees and the tow truck company produced a invoice for $125

A new Vin has been assigned to both the car and it's old chassis.

Perhaps the story would have been completely different if the victim had been available.
That ending of the story would be great for me as I'm still kickin.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I don't see anything over 50 years like you ask, but there have been a number of cars returned after long periods of time and multiple owners.

40 years - Stolen ’64 Chevrolet Corvette Returned to Owner after 40 Years
27,18, 37 years - Cold-Case Classics: Cars Stolen Long Ago Find Their Way Back (Published 2007)
42 years - Texas Man Finds Stolen Car 42 Years Later
33 years - VIDEO: Stolen car returned after 33 years
36 years - https://newjersey.news12.com/nj-woman-reunited-with-car-stolen-36-years-ago-34876871

This is just a 2 minute Google, not serious research by any means.
So it can happen ......So much for the naysayers .Happy Thanksgiving
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Call the PA DMV enforcement division. They're responsible for all vehicle and title fraud, etc. There's a national database that can be searched for all stolen vehicles. And, they should be able to trace if the car is still in existence and registered anywhere in the US. Of course, be prepared to provide proof that it was yours and was stolen (do you still have the title)?
Not much proof it was stolen - did report it back in the day .But I still have the title - you never know .........
 
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