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Discussion Starter #1
In this article "LA Man Gets Long Stolen Mustang Back" http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080321...ang_reunion;_ylt=AqwK9rmkc1N58aPo5fMvJjms0NUE

it says that some girl received it as a gift back in 1970. Her dad bought it from a used car lot apparently months after it had been stolen. This part confuses me... It said that she only discovered that it was stolen when she went to sell it and they ran the VIN. Well, it should have been registered annually for 38 years. And for at least some of those 38 years, it had been reported stolen. So how did the DMV not notice sooner?

I'm wondering if she ever legally registered it. If not, I'd be very skeptical that she was unknowing.
 

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It said on the news here last night that there was two VIN numbers on it, she discovered the second one while she was restoring the car

The guy should have let her keep it, she obviously has more time and money into it (that she now loses, so she is getting robbed too), and I am sure he has long since moved on
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It said on the news here last night that there was two VIN numbers on it, she discovered the second one while she was restoring the car

The guy should have let her keep it, she obviously has more time and money into it (that she now loses, so she is getting robbed too), and I am sure he has long since moved on
That was my impression of "I am going to cry when he comes to take it" too but then I recalled that her intent was to sell it in the first place. That sounds like she's crying over not getting to sell it and keep the money more than something sentimental. And while it sucks to think you've got some equity and then find out you don't, it's still a car she drove for free for 38 years. I'm sure her dad paid it off 33 to 34 years ago.

Here's another thought. I bet his insurance company paid a claim back in the day. That's got to be sorted out now that he received the property. In fact, he may have to sell it and give them the money or return the payout he received earlier.
 

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Not sure it was exactly free, it sounds like she spent money fixing it up over the years, not to mention maintenance.

They should sell it and split the money
 

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It said on the news here last night that there was two VIN numbers on it, she discovered the second one while she was restoring the car

The guy should have let her keep it, she obviously has more time and money into it (that she now loses, so she is getting robbed too), and I am sure he has long since moved on
I dunno. Having had a vehicle stolen, I'd pretty much be out to completely f*ck whoever they found with it regardless of how they ended up with it.
:mad:
 

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I dunno. Having had a vehicle stolen, I'd pretty much be out to completely f*ck whoever they found with it regardless of how they ended up with it.
:mad:


If you are still pissed off that bad about it after 38 years I'd suggest you see a shrink ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not sure it was exactly free, it sounds like she spent money fixing it up over the years, not to mention maintenance.

They should sell it and split the money
Okay, "free" is not technically correct but "without a car payment". We all maintain our cars. And we all "fix up" our 38 yo cars. :) I'm just saying that she didn't have a loan on this car for many many years and I'm not too sympathetic that finds out now that she's forfeiting whatever equity a 38 yo car with over 300k miles is worth. Surprising and disappointing, sure. But I would be able to sleep after taking it back.
 

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It said on the news here last night that there was two VIN numbers on it, she discovered the second one while she was restoring the car

The guy should have let her keep it, she obviously has more time and money into it (that she now loses, so she is getting robbed too), and I am sure he has long since moved on
I've been there - on the possessing a "stolen car" side.

Thirty years or so ago, I bought a Corvair. After doing a bit of work on it, and getting ready to register it, I noticed that the rivets holding the VIN plate to the dash were the wrong type (obviously not something the average person would notice, but I had been dealing with Corvairs for a bit). The guy that I had bought the Corvair from had spent a lot of money fixing up the car (performance suspension, wheels, tires, etc.).

I contacted my brother (a cop) and he arranged for a buddy of his on the CHP that specialized in stolen cars to come and check out the car. Sure enough, he checked the "hidden VINs" and they didn't match the one on the dash.

Some investigations determined that someone on the other side of the country swapped the VIN with a junk yard one in some kind of insurance fraud. The result was that I got to keep the car, and apparently the other state went after the guy that swapped the VINs.

Now, I got to keep the car because it was already written off by the insurance company and they weren't going to return it to the guy that had committed the fraud. I could have gotten in trouble with the law for "possessing stolen property", but since I brought it to the attention of the law (and through friends/family at that) I didn't get into trouble.

The state of California issued me a new VIN and all was well. I sold the Corvair to my sister a few months after the whole mess.


Now, in this case, the guy that had his car stolen should get it back. It wasn't his fault that it was taken. The fact that someone else spent money on it, again is no concern of the original owner. The original owner should have been more careful and checked out the car better when they bought it. Too bad that an innocent person lost their money/car, but it's not the responsibility of the original person in any way. Just like I could have easily lost the money that I had spend in acquiring the Corvair. :shrug:
 

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Okay, "free" is not technically correct but "without a car payment". We all maintain our cars. And we all "fix up" our 38 yo cars. :) I'm just saying that she didn't have a loan on this car for many many years and I'm not too sympathetic that finds out now that she's forfeiting whatever equity a 38 yo car with over 300k miles is worth. Surprising and disappointing, sure. But I would be able to sleep after taking it back.
So if she had just spent $15k to restore the car you would still be able to take it back? Even if you originally bought it for $2500(?) back in the 60's?

My dad bought my Elan for me ($2k), I don't have a loan on it but I have since put around $35k into it. I would be seriously pissed if (hypothetically of course) I found out that it was stolen and the original owner wanted it back, especially if that person only lost the original cost of the new car which was $5600. I would be getting screwed far more than he did and I certainly would not give it back without a fight


Now, in this case, the guy that had his car stolen should get it back. It wasn't his fault that it was taken. The fact that someone else spent money on it, again is no concern of the original owner. The original owner should have been more careful and checked out the car better when they bought it. Too bad that an innocent person lost their money/car, but it's not the responsibility of the original person in any way. Just like I could have easily lost the money that I had spend in acquiring the Corvair. :shrug:
It wasn't her fault the car was taken either. And why would you expect someone to take the car apart to look for alternate VIN numbers when they bought the car from what they thought to be a reputable dealer and the car had a VIN that did not appear to be fishy? You said it yourself that in your case the average person wouldn't have noticed the fake VIN.


I would agree with you if only a few months or a year had passed and you still had the chance of getting your money back from the dealership (who is the one responsible for checking that the car is not stolen), but not 38 years when the value of the car has changed so much and the dealership is gone. She stands to lose more financially than the original owner did. At worst, she should have to give him the original purchase price of the car.

If I was that guy, I would have told her not to worry about it since I long since forgotten about the money
 

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Seeing as she rebuilt the engine twice, and presumably replaced tires etc. Does she get to keep the stuff she added to the car? Seems sad either way.
 
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