12 June 2006

Returned Vette Restored

Like many other enthusiasts, Alan Poster showed his completely restored Corvette at the Corvettes at Carlisle Show, in Carlisle, Pa., on August 25. The unusual thing about Poster’s car was that the last time it looked so good was in January 1969, right before it was stolen from a New York City parking garage. Poster, a California resident today, lived in the “Big Apple” back then.

The car – now nicknamed “Reunion Blues” after a line of classical musical instruments that Poster makes – became famous last January as the long-lost Corvette that got back to its owner after 37 years.

U.S. Customs discovered the missing-for-decades sports car while checking an international shipment at a port in Long Beach, California. The car was on its way to a buyer in Sweden. According to authorities, the man selling the car was not aware it was stolen. As Poster didn’t have enough money to buy theft insurance in 1969, he was never reimbursed for the loss and, legally, the car was still his. It took the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Customs Service and New York Police Department to track him down.

When discovered, the car was not in good shape. It had been repainted and was no longer Metallic Blue. Some parts were missing including the fuel tank.

After the car was returned to Poster, Corvette parts supplier CorvetteAmerica.com offered $15,000 worth of parts to restore it. A restoration shop named California Classics did the work and installed the new parts.

Experts say the car is now worth a minimum of $20,000 and possibly as much as $60,000. It seems to be worth a lot more than that in terms of publicity, and Poster says he will use the car to help promote worthy causes.

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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