Classic car owners, including people that have muscle cars, street fishing rods, hot fishing rods, older binoculars and vintage trucks, are facing uncertain times as car thefts are on the rise, and actions from thieves are becoming more bold and brazen.

Not long ago i came across an account published by a man who owned a Daytona Blue 1963 suzuki blind van Corvette Coupe with all matching numbers. The all-original classic sport car had an immaculate dark blue interior where only the carpet had lots of people replaced. The 327 engine was said to generate a rhythmic loping that not only brought a smile to your face, but got you day fantasizing of having this beauty parked in your own garage. Then disaster strikes and you’re snapped away from your dream and into his nightmare!

Who owns this beautiful bit of American history took his valued car as to what he called a small “backwoods” show that a friend and he decided to go to in the spur of the moment. As owner John Morgan, of Bakersfield, LOS ANGELES described, “The event was an annual but alternatively unofficial gathering of classic car lovers and I was thrilled to bring my car down. Unfortunately, the part of Florida that the event was being held was extremely dry due to drought. About three or four hours after arriving, a man who owned a red GTO (I could not tell you the year because somewhat I did so not care afterward) decided to start up his ride for the race fans. It was just one backfire but it was enough to start the dry lawn ablaze–and guess where my Corvette was parked?

Nearly 40 classic cars were consumed by the blaze started by that backfiring GTO and my Corvette was one of them. Of course I had your car properly insured but they just aren’t making 1963 Corvettes any longer and the only person I could find that was similar cost $10, 000 more than my policy’s payback. I guess if there is a meaning to my sad tale, it is to avoid forests car shows without exceptions because they are unregulated, disorganized, and extremely dangerous to classic cars like my beloved 1963 Corvette Coupe. inches

This isn’t always your traditional way of losing your valued classic car, muscle car, street fishing rod, antique car, vintage truck or other collectible old vehicle, but it does drive home the purpose that we need to exercise care in even the most innocent surroundings like a car show! Nut accidents like Mr. Morgan experienced can and do take into account many losses to enthusiasts : not just theft or vandalism.

Sadly though, theft isn’t a rare thing and the methods are becoming more weird. Guy Algar and I have had pieces ripped off off one of our own vehicles that we were towing back to our shop while we stopped for a quick bite to eat! We’ve had a good number of hubcaps taken over the years. And, we actually had the brake lights cheated one’s car hauler while we were in a parts store one day picking up parts for a customer! We’ve had one customer tell us the story where he previously taken his wife out to dinner and had carefully parked his 1969 Corvette at a local restaurant, under a big bright light, and in what were a “safe” area, and then come out 45 minutes to an hour later to find all his insignias and trim taken next to your car! Thieves have been known to take the entire car hauler (with the classic sitting on top) next to the pull vehicle’s hinderance ball and transfer the hauler to their own pull vehicle when people are on the road, at a car show, or some other type of event. These are bold moves by people who do not fear the consequences.

Other thefts that are reported around the country have included:

Medical professional. Phil just had his ’57 Chevy Belair convertible ripped off from the Burbank mechanic shop he previously brought it to for repairs.

A 1937 Buick, valued at over $100, 000 was extracted from a gated community parking garage in Ft Worth, Florida.

Mary of New Mexico reported the theft of two of his collector cars to Hemming. Mary owns about half dozen collector cars altogether, and to store them all, he hired out a storage unit. Unfortunately, when he went to check on them recently, for the first time in about six months, he found that two were missing : a 1957 two-door Chevrolet Belair and a 1967 Mercury Cougar GT.

There was also a written report of a man from Jefferson City, Missouri, who actually hauled his personal ripped off car, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro that had been ripped off 16 years before, after seeing it in a Google search!

In a Los angeles suburb, a lady came home to a garage empty of her valued 1957 Chevy Bel-Air which had been valued at more than $150, 000. The beautiful convertible had been featured in several magazines and Broadcast tv and won dozens of awards at car shows around the country. A the next door neighbor’s security camera caught what of the thieves and revealed that the Bel-Air was pushed across the street by a vehicle which had pulled into her front yard just minutes after she had left. The thieves likely loaded it onto an awaiting movie trailer. It’s thought that the thieves recognizing your car at one of the car shows, followed it home afterwards, then waited for the possibility for steal it.

A Seattle collector was the victim of a targeted “smash-and grab” from the storage place where he kept his cars. The thieves apparently ransacked the building and owned off with a 396/425 four-speed 1965 Corvette Stingray; and a 20, 000-mile 396/four-speed 1970 Chevelle SS.

A 1959 Chevrolet Impala was ripped off during a Cruise Night. The master got good news-bad news when the police followed down because while they did recover the classic car, he previously put in a claim for the theft together with his insurance policy after the theft many months before, so the car went to the insurance company rather than being returned to him. Apparently detectives hauled the Impala from a chop shop nearly eight months after it was ripped off, repainted and modified.

Hemmings News also reported of a reader whoever 1970 Honda Maverick was ripped off from his home in Missouri. Your car was found and returned, but the investigation apparently revealed that the burglar had been watching the master for 2 years, with the plan of taking it and deploying it to race with. Chill thing to find out.

A 1979 Buick Electra 225 Limited Edition was ripped off out of a grocery store parking lot in suburban Detroit with the burglar getting away with an urn inside the shoe that contained the remains of the master’s stepfather!

After saving for over 40 years, a man from Virginia bought your car of his dreams, a 1962 Dodge Lancer. Buying his dream car, he began his restoration project, which was about 60 percent complete when he relocated to Florida. Without a garage to keep it in after his move, he stored it in a 24-foot filled movie trailer along with a 1971 Dodge Colt he planned to turn into a race car, and kept the movie trailer parked at a storage lot. At the end of This summer, the movie trailer and everything in it faded.
The last story actually has a happy ending because it was hauled due to alert shop owners being suspicious of person wanting to sell a Lancer for only $1, 500 including the many boxes of parts. After some research, the master was reunited together with his car. Guy and I have been greeted on numerous occasions by people wanting to sell their vehicles. Some have trouble stories and the callers are willing to sell your car for a real bargain. We’ve always walked from these offers, primarily because we’re not in the business of buying and selling cars (we’re not dealers or re-sellers), but also because we’re cautious of a “too-good-to-be-true” price. One contact particular did make us very suspicious, as the woman mystery caller was adament that the sale must be completed by Thursday (she called our shop over the weekend) and the price was extremely low for a rather rare model Mustang. Alert shop owners can be a key component in assisting in the recovery of ripped off classic cars.

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