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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > 37 Years Later, Woman Finds Out Her Mustang is Stolen

 

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motortopia

M
Lincoln, Nebraska
United States

 

37 Years Later, Woman Finds Out Her Mustang is Stolen

By motortopia

Judy Smongesky's father gave her a 1965 Mustang as a graduation present when she was 18. Thirty-seven years later, Judy found out the car was reported stolen two weeks before they bought it.

Just drove the car for 20 years, rebuilt the engine once, and painted it twice. In the 1990s, a neighbor noticed the car had different VIN numbers on the door and under the hood. Judy called the police, they checked it out and said everything checked out okay.

But just recently, Judy started restoring the car. Before dumping a lot of money into the restoration, she decided to have the VIN numbers checked out again. She called the police, and this time they discovered that the VIN on the driver's side door was from a 1964 Mustang. They ran the VIN under the hood and found out the car was reported stolen 37 years earlier.

Police have located the original owner, Eugene Brakke of Los Angeles, and told him they have found his car. Legally, the car is his and he can just go pick it up.

Judy spoke to Mr. Brakke, and he wants to see the car but hasn't told whether he wants it or not.

She said he did not seem happy or excited that his car was found, but instead, he seemed dismayed that the car had been repainted from gold to blue.

Legally, Brakke can just get in the car and drive it away. Judy still loves the car and wants to keep it, but she still feels she did the right thing, no matter what the outcome is.

Judy hopes she and Brakke can come to an agreement, but knows that may not be the outcome.

“I'm hoping he says, 'You can have it,' but it's his car,” she said. “I will keep it if I can.”

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 10 of 13

sykestudio’s Profile Photo
sykestudio
Mar 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm
Too right. If the insurer paid out, the original owner has no claim on the car. However ... the insurer probably does! Question is, will they bother. My guess is the ba****ds will - they'll scratch for every penny!
 
lowersplash’s Profile Photo
lowersplash
Mar 23, 2008 at 2:41 am
wow , JerryandMary , are right you should find out if he had insurants if he did and got payed 4 it illeagly it's your ....he got payed and 37 year later find out it's stolen .. you should be able to keep it cuse he most likely got payed .....hope ya get to keep it ...keep us in formed how thing Go
 
garageman1965’s Profile Photo
garageman1965
Mar 22, 2008 at 11:14 pm
I see what you are all saying, BUT what if it was YOUR car that went missing for 37 years??? I bet you would want it back, I know I probably would!!
 
69firstgenerationbird’s Profile Photo
69firstgenerati
onbird
Mar 22, 2008 at 8:06 pm
Judy,
Our wishes are for you and the guy will be a nice guy and let you have it. It's been a long time and he might just let bygones be bygones. There are a lot of creeps out there but there are a lot of good people out there too. Good things can also come to honest people. So we'll keep our fingers crossed for you.
 
alwaysakid’s Profile Photo
alwaysakid
Mar 22, 2008 at 9:58 am
How is it that Judy was able to title and register the car with the state of California (this was in California, wasn't it?) and nobody from the state discovered it had been reported stolen? No wonder so many cars are stolen in California if it's that easy to simply register it to yourself after it had been stolen, and then keep renewing that registration without ever being found out! I say shame on the state of California.
Having said that, I believe Judy should give the car back to Eugene (she got her money's worth out of it regardless), but by the same token Eugene should let Judy keep it simply because she has shown she is taking better care of it than most car owners would.
 
BigNuttyPaul’s Profile Photo
BigNuttyPaul
Mar 22, 2008 at 9:42 am
i hate to see people get nailed to the cross for doing the right thing. but we all know that is what is going to happen. like Joe said thank you very much now where are my keys.
 
drcarter’s Profile Photo
drcarter
Mar 22, 2008 at 6:17 am
One thing to remember is that he probably collected the insurance money on it when it was stolen. He should make compensation if he takes it if he has any morals!
 
JuniorCar’s Profile Photo
JuniorCar
Mar 21, 2008 at 8:56 pm
Well, it sounds like he's not entitled to the door. He should have to leave the paint too.
 
JerryandMary’s Profile Photo
JerryandMary
Mar 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm
Well, there is no statue of limitations on ownership, only the crime. Honestly, I think Joe called it on this one. She will pay, or see the ride going down the street. They might get an appearance on the tonight show if they worked it right, who knows.

Jerry
 
JoeBane’s Profile Photo
JoeBane
Mar 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm
Dumb A$$. I wouldn't have said a thing. He's going to come and say: "Thank You" and drive HIS car away.
 

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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > 37 Years Later, Woman Finds Out Her Mustang is Stolen

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