Every time Ivan Schneider bought a new car, he would think of the one that got away — or rather, the one that was taken from him. Back in 1968, the Manhattan attorney bought himself a Jaguar E-Type convertible, only to have it stolen from right in front of his apartment just six months later.
Though he often thought of the Jag, he never expected to see it again. But after U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found it and four other stolen cars, it's about to be his once again.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Schneider's E-Type was discovered during a cargo inspection at the Port of Los Angeles. A computer search of the cars' VINs indicated they had been stolen. And it was an interesting mix, too: there was the Jag, a 1976 Mercedes 280, a 2007 Mercedes E350, and a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with illegal paperwork.
Back to the Jaguar. The AP quotes California Highway Patrol investigator Michael Maleta:
Tracing the car's history, Maleta learned the Southern California man exporting it to the Netherlands had bought it about three months ago from an owner in the San Joaquin Valley, who himself had it 40 years.
What happened between its disappearance from the concrete canyons of the Upper East Side and its California sojourn — Maleta hopes his investigation will answer that.
Investigators found the original New York stolen vehicle report from 1968 and reached out to Schneider, who now lives in Florida, but he didn't believe them at first. He told reporters he thought the call was a scam, or that his family members would think he had gone nuts.
Schneider said that for the six months he owned the car, he was in love with it, and while he's owned several exotics since then, none were as pretty. (Then again, the bar gets raised pretty high when you buy an E-Type.)
From the Times:
He described waking up before dawn on weekends, pulling back the top and taking it on 100-mph spins on the open highway.
"That particular car was ahead of its time. You had to do something to keep the carbon out of the motor," he said, explaining his high-speed excursions.
He purchased it for $5,000 after winning a big case. The car was painted a shiny gray and shaped like "a bullet," Schneider said, with a sleek body and oversized headlights.
The Jag is in rough shape, but Schneider said he plans to have the car shipped to New York for painting and restoration. Here's hoping he gets back to doing his weekend spins soon.
Photos credit AP
Hat tip to zing!