Stolen Camaro returned 36 years later

Illustration for article titled Stolen Camaro returned 36 years later

Keith Williams knew enough about cars to know the 1969 Camaro SS he'd just purchased off eBay was a fake. What he didn't know was the car was stolen in 1975 and that police in California would be able to find the original owner in New Jersey.


An original 1969 Camaro SS is a fairly valuable used classic car, so when Williams bought his off eBay, he checked around to make sure it was what he thought he'd purchased. Convinced it wasn't, he told the local police. They told him not to worry about it.

Undeterred, he went to the California Highway Patrol. Officers there were able to track the vehicle all the way back to a police report for a stolen car in Newark, New Jersey in 1975 and even find the original owner.

When they called the New Jersey woman who originally owned the car she thought it was a prank and hung up on the officer. CHP then asked local police to visit her and let her know it's real. Again, she said it was "just an old car."

Unbeknownst to her, the car had undergone a serious upgrade and the old inline-six engine had been swapped out for a modified 427 V8. Finally persuaded the car was probably worth some money she made arrangements to have it delivered.

Williams had buyer's insurance so he's getting a check for the car he bought, and he says he's grateful for the "good job" the police did. Now everyone's waiting to see if the CHP can track down the original thief.

(Photo: Contributed via Santa Maria Times)

(Hat tip to JRM261!)


turd ferguson

The "old V6 engine" had been swapped out? C'mon guys, this is supposed to be a car enthusiasts' site. No V6 in a '69 Camaro.