Stolen Corvette Recovered More than Three Decades Later

Stolen CorvetteA stolen Corvette? Yikes! To many Chevrolet Corvette owners, possessing the iconic car is like obtaining a piece of history. That’s how George Talley of Detroit felt some 33 years ago. A self-professed Corvette aficionado and former General Motors employee, he proudly drove his 1979 Corvette and couldn’t have been happier.

Then one day in July 1981 everything changed. Parking his car on Jefferson Avenue in the Motor City, he conducted his business there, only to find his car had been stolen while he was gone. There was a thorough investigation done by local authorities, but nothing turned up and it eventually became your typical cold case. 

Stolen Corvette Found

Decades went by. Mr. Talley is now 71 and retired, still living in Detroit. He’s since bought three other Corvettes and hadn’t thought much about the stolen Corvette. That was still the case until last week when the unthinkable happened.

Out of the blue, Talley received a phone call from his insurance company. They told him that the stolen Corvette had been found hundreds of miles away in Mississippi. (Because the insurance company never paid Mr. Talley’s claim, he remained the owner of the car.) It was found because an individual in Michigan tried to register two different 1979 Corvettes under the same VIN number.

At first, he thought it was a joke. But when he received a follow-up call from the Michigan State police, he realized this strange turn of events was real … very real.

Radio Program = Luck

The good news gets even better, and this strange story takes another unusual turn. Talley has been assured that the stolen Corvette still runs and only has 47,000 miles on the odometer. Detroit radio station WJR heard about his story and opted to interview him. During the interview, Talley mentioned he was going to have to figure out a way to get his car back to Michigan.

As luck would have it, guess who was listening to that interview? None other than General Motors Executive Vice President Mark Reuss, who called in to tell Talley that his company would be picking up the transport tab for him.