Police in Livonia, Michigan were recently called to investigate an abandoned vehicle. While this isn’t too unusual, the vehicle in question was a 1981 Corvette that had a few secrets of its own.
After being towed to the police department, officers ran the Corvette’s vehicle identification number through the Law Enforcement Information Network. Instead of showing them the owner, the VIN came back as “improper.”
This was pretty suspicious, so the department had a detective with specialized training in auto theft investigations look at the vehicle. Detective Hall determined the VIN plate had been modified, so he started searching for a secondary “confidential” VIN which was hidden on the vehicle.
He eventually found the second VIN and was able to confirm the car was reported stolen in 1981. That suggests the Corvette was taken when it was brand new and that had to be disheartening for its owner.
After being stolen in Pontiac, the car apparently had a forged VIN installed in an attempt to hide its identity. This worked for nearly four decades, but it appears the vehicle didn’t get much use. Detective Hall told Fox 2 Detroit the Corvette has less than 11,000 miles (17,703 km) on it and is in “fair condition for almost being 40 years old.”
The department is now trying to track down the original owner, but the story might not have a happy ending. If the owner filed an insurance claim on the Corvette, then it’s the property of the insurance company. As a result, they could miss out on a reunion 38 years in the making.