There’s a lot of money in motorsports. Some people try to get it winning races, others try the less-than-legal approach.

10.) Talladega’s Stolen Pace Car

When one NASCAR fan found himself lacking interest in the race in front of him, he decided on livin’ things up a bit. What better way to do this than to steal the pace car and do a couple of laps?

Suggested By: Nerd-Vol

9.) Jennifer Jo Cobb’s Stolen Cars

Funny coincidence when deputies found seven cars owned by racer Jennifer Jo Cobb in racer Mike Harmon’s garage. And this was only two weeks after he was arrested for stealing her team’s truck and trailer. Was he obsessed? The courts seemed to think so, ordering him to stay away from Cobb at all times.


Suggested By: Vlan1

8.) Giovanna Amati Kidnapping


Some years before her start in professional racing with Formula Abarth, Formula 3000 and eventually Formula One, Giovanna Amati experienced the misfortune of being kidnapped and held for ransom for 78 days. Because of her high profile and wealthy background, she was an obvious target. Amati was not released until the $933,000 ransom payout was received.

Suggested By: 2ndgear, Photo Credit: Getty Images

7.) 2007 F1 Spygate


F1’s incredibly technical and ever-changing rule book has always made it difficult for the various teams to maintain competitive cars season after season. One of those seasons, several teams including McLaren, Ferrari, and Renault decided to take their R&D a step further by spying on on each other and stealing technical information to improve their own cars. What a mess.

Suggested By: Crossdrilled, Photo Credit: Getty Images

6.) Travis Kvapil’s Stolen NASCAR Sprint Cup Car


It was just earlier this year when Travis Kvapil’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Car was stolen right out from under the team’s noses in their hotel parking lot. Thankfully, the car was later found and recovered right off the side of the road, 25 miles from where it was stolen. Still no dice on the trailer that was taken with it though.

Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane, Photo Credit: Team XTREME Racing via Jalopnik


5.) James Dean’s Missing 550 Spyder


After James Dean’s death in a car accident involving his Porsche 550 Spyder, nicknamed “Little Bastard”, the California Highway Patrol decided to display the wrecked vehicle in an exhibit for highway safety. After the exhibit burnt itself to the ground without explanation, the CHP was transporting the car to another exhibit for display, when on route, the car fell off the transport vehicle. Once the CHP decided they wanted to wipe their hands clean of Little Bastard, it was in transport to George Barris, the original customizer of the car and the then-owner. Mysteriously, Little Bastard never made it.

Suggested By: austin webb, Photo Credit: Getty Images

4.) Fangio Kidnapping


Just prior to the 1958 Grand Prix of Cuba, the Cuban government thought it would be a great idea and international attention-grabber if they secretly kidnapped one of the race front-runners. So they did.

Suggested By: FreddstrExprs, the W108 guy, Photo Credit: British Pathé

3.) Red Bull Trophies


Late last year, a massive theft occurred at the Red Bull Racing factory when a team of thieves drove a car straight through the Red Bull Racing factory entrance and left with over 60 trophies. Little did the thieves know that most of the trophies they stole weren’t even real.

Suggested By: EL_ULY, Photo Credit: Red Bull Racing via Jalopnik

2.) Lola T70 On The Way To Le Mans


After being completely prepped for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the car was stolen before it could get to the track. This reader can tell the story:

In 1969, Roger Penske and Mark Donohue fielded a Lola T70 coupe at the American endurance races. They entered and won the Daytona 24 hours. They then went to Sebring and did extremely well, but dropped out to to suspensions problems. The decision was made to get the car ready for LeMans.

The guys driving the truck transporting the car stopped at a bar for a couple of drinks. When they came out, the truck and Lola were gone. Mark Donohue took the initiative to try and find the car. Based on a tip, Mark and the authorities went to a barn where they found what was left of the car. The engine-a Traco 5 liter Chevy, was installed in a Cobra. The rest of the car was intact and so the car was rebuilt and sold. Sadly, there was no time to get the car ready for LeMans.


Suggested By: JimHallChaparral2F , Photo Credit: Sebring via

1.) Jaguar F1 Diamonds


In an effort to promote the release of the movie Ocean’s Twelve, Jaguar was incorporated into sponsorship deal where two (uninsured) $300,000 diamonds would be mounted to the noses of two of their F1 cars at the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix. On the first lap, one of those F1 cars crashed, and the $300,000 diamond was forever gone.

Suggested By: Rickster3rd, Photo Credit: AP/Getty via Jalopnik

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: an old Sears DieHard Battery ad via JimHallChaparral2F edits by Jalopnik