27 February 2006

Stolen Vette Ready for Restoration

Alan Poster not only had his stolen Corvette returned after 37 years, he’s now going to get all the parts needed to make the car look like it did when new. Chevrolet and GM Restoration Parts have donated $2,500 in genuine parts to help Poster restore his Corvette ragtop.

Poster made the national news wires last month when U.S. Customs and the Department of Homeland Security checked the car’s vehicle identification number while it was being shipped from California to a would-be buyer in Sweden . Both the seller of the car and the overseas buyer had no idea it was stolen in 1969, just a few weeks after Poster purchased it used.

The Corvette was returned to Poster in good shape, but it was missing several parts including the gas tank, carburetor and original transmission. Its International Blue factory paint was repainted silver. Poster said he was going to restore the car for his 17-year-old daughter.

GM Restoration Parts heard of the stolen Corvette being returned and decided to help Poster. GMRP is a program through which General Motors offers more than 25,000 high-quality parts to vintage car restorers. Many of the program’s licensed parts are produced from original GM tooling. According to GM, approximately 2,000 parts are available for Corvettes.

Alan Poster was surprised by the gift during an interview with Cruise Control Radio, a national automotive talk radio show. Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles called to congratulate Mr. Poster on having his Corvette returned and informed him that GM Restoration Parts and Chevrolet were giving him $2,500 credit to use for genuine Corvette parts. 

“We’re happy to help Mr. Poster restore his long-lost love,” said Charles. ”We understand what it’s like to fall in love with a Corvette and to get it in your blood. Corvette enjoys a 70 loyalty rate, meaning 70 percent of people who buy a Corvette purchase another one.”

As it turns out, Poster had just purchased a 1974 Corvette prior to having the stolen ‘68 convertible returned.

"Any time you have a chance to put a great piece of American automotive history back on the road you have to try to make it happen,” said Cruise Control co-host Fred Staab. “I’m glad to have had the opportunity to bring Mr. Poster and GM together."

John “Gunner” Gunnell is the automotive books editor at Krause Publications in Iola , Wis., and former editor of Old Cars Weekly and Old Cars Price Guide.

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