That’s 78,000 automobiles in one year, and the police had a lot of paperwork to process to file the downpour of complaints. By January 22, 6,620 cars had already been reported as stolen. The date is not random – that day, 27-year-old Alan Poster was among those waiting in line at a police station to inform of his missing 1968 convertible Corvette.
That would be the end of this article were it not for a series of occurrences that would make a Hollywood blockbuster look dull in comparison. In 2005, a routine inspection by the CBP returned a stolen car alert. A shipping container on its way to Sweden was carrying the same 1968 Corvette once owned by Alan Poster.
On December 23, the New York policemen cracked the case and found the owner’s name after reviewing 500 records and 20,000 files. That didn’t end the story, for Alan Poster had relocated to California In the seventies. Tracking him down was a lot easier than linking him to the vehicle in the first place, and one day, his telephone rang.
At the other end of the line, one of the two case detectives asked him straight away, 'You had a car stolen in '69? A Corvette? What color was it?' Mr. Poster replied, 'Blue.' The New Yorker landed his punchline: 'We have your car.' At first, Alan Poster thought it was a terrible joke, and it took the policeman a while to convince him otherwise.
The cruel irony of this 37-year drama is that a night before having his car stolen, in that January 1969 night, Alan Poster thwarted another attempted theft. As he got to the Corvette, he noticed it driving away with a stranger behind the wheel. He managed to pull the guy out, only to let him go unharmed. Poster didn’t even report the incident, but 24 hours later, fate struck back with a vengeance.
In 2006, the media coverage of this fairy tale was extensive (see the second video for a sample), and so were the offers to buy the car. However, Alan Poster declined them all – including a hundred grand from comedian Jerry Lewis. The original owner intended to enjoy his dream ‘Vette to the fullest now that he had it back. Fatefully, he never got to it.
Seventeen years later, Alan Pster, now in his 80s, decided it was time to let go of his nostalgia. His dream Corvette was put up for sale, and it found a new caretaker in exchange for $40,000. Little is known of the car’s 37-year lost history: the police backtracked the vehicle as far as they could go, but the thief was never identified. The ‘vert ‘Vette has passed through several hands, but all the former owners were exonerated, as they didn’t know what they were buying –a stolen vehicle. The Corvette had never been titled after Poster purchased it, and it’s a mystery that it survived altogether.