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Recovered 37 Years After It Was Stolen in 1969, This '68 Corvette Hides a Real Mystery

1968 was the debut of the third generation of the Corvette, the streamlined sportscar inspired by the Mako Shark concept penned by Lary Shinoda a few years before. The model lasted until 1982 – the longest production run of all the eight series of America’s Sportscar – and offered some of the most emblematic Corvettes ever. One example, however, has a story so wild it’s bound to eclipse anything else in the Corvette world.
1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 23 photos
Photo: bringatrailer.com
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The sixties were not the greatest era to possess a brand-new Chevy ‘Vette if the owner didn’t have a locked garage or at least didn’t stay away from areas notorious for car thievery. New York wasn’t the safest place in America regarding car ownership – over 215 cars were stolen every day, on average, during that year.

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.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Photo: bringatrailer.com
However, the National Insurance Crime Bureau database didn’t say anything about the plaintiff – no name, address, or other means of identification. It was December 7, 2005, and the Customs handed over the case to two detectives in Queens. The men spent four days In the microfilm archive room, painstakingly scrolling through all the records. The deadline set by the CBP was January 1, 2006 – if the owner were not found, the car would be shipped to Scandinavia.

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.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Photo: bringatrailer.com
After nearly 37 years, his beloved $6,000 Corvette was back with him. Incredibly, it was still in one piece, very much functional and good-looking, albeit with many modifications. The original Le Mans Blue Poly livery and the blue interior were gone. The ’68 Corvette was grey on red, and the 327-cubic-inch V8 (5.4-liter) motor had been replaced with a 427 (7.0-liter) big-block.

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.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Photo: bringatrailer.com
After restoring the Chevy to its original state – paint and mechanicals – he barely put 100 miles (160 km) over the 60,000 (97,000 kilometers) the car had when the authorities found it. The big-block was pulled out, and an original 1968 327 V8 was fitted to the four-speed manual transmission. The motor wasn’t the factory-installed plant but a period-correct eight-cylinder Chevy small-block. Hear it in the first video attached.

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.

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About the author: Razvan Calin
Razvan Calin profile photo

After nearly two decades in news television, Răzvan turned to a different medium. He’s been a field journalist, a TV producer, and a seafarer but found that he feels right at home among petrolheads.
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