Almost 50 years after it was stolen, a 1967 Jaguar and its owner are finally being reunited. According to 13WMAZ, the vintage car was recovered from a shipping freighter off the west coast of the United States, apparently en route to Europe.
The Jaguar XKE convertible was discovered as stolen after a routine customs check in Los Angeles in August. Investigators found that the current owner of the car had sold it to a person in the Netherlands, which is where the car was being shipped. The current owner only owned it for three months; the owner before that had it for 40 years.
The car’s original owner, 82-year-old Ivan Schneider, told CBS News that the car was stolen in March 1968, and he discovered that it was missing when he left his Manhattan apartment for work. He had owned the car for only six months. He told CBS News, “Never in anybody’s lifetime did I think I’d see that car.”
Investigators still do not know who originally stole the car, but Schneider might get the car back as soon as this week.
So what are Schneider’s plans for the car after 46 years of being parted with it? He wants to have it restored to the condition it was in when he last saw it.
This story has a happy ending, but it’s pretty lucky that the car was being shipped — the car was missing for 46 years before being recovered, and had officials not checked that shipping container, the car may not have been found at all.
“Before handing over any money for the purchase of a car, do a background check on the buyer, determine the legitimacy of the sale, and make sure the car can be owned by and legally sold by the seller,” advizes Jim Brown, Vice President of Customer Service for Dependable Auto Shippers.
About 15,000 cars are sold online each year on sites like Craigslist and eBay, which may be how the Jaguar was sold. Car shipping is a popular choice for cars bought online, since buyers are often geographically distance from the seller — in this case, an ocean away. Shipping is typically also the least expensive option to move a car and, like in the case of the stolen Jaguar, the only way to get it where it needs to go.