On November 14, 1972, 19-year-old Terri Dietrich drove her brand new 1972 Corvette Stingray to work in Duluth, Georgia, but when she went to the parking lot to go to lunch, the car was gone. 42 years later, she got a call from the police in Forest City, North Carolina, saying that they’d found her stolen car after more than four decades.
Turns out that a classic car dealer had bought the car in 2015 from a local widow, but despite the fact that he recognized the car as one that had been driven around town since at least 1975, once he dug into the details he discovered some discrepancies. The title didn’t match the VIN, and wasn’t even for the same model year or body style.
Getting the police involved, it wasn’t difficult to connect the Corvette to the police report Dietrich filed back in 1972, and because her family still owned the same home, getting in touch with her was as simple as going to her address listed on the original paperwork.
Unfortunately, although Dietrich still had all the insurance claim forms and police reports from back in 1972, the real title for the car could no longer be found, and the North Carolina DMV was no help. Even if she had been able to produce the title, Allstate Insurance had paid out the claim long ago, and the recovered car rightfully belonged to them. Heartbroken, Dietrich said, “If I cannot have the car back, I do not want to see it. And I will have to get over this all again.”
The story has a happy ending, though. Allstate, perhaps realizing that reuniting her with the car was worth more than whatever it might have brought at auction, decided to give Dietrich back her car, and last June she laid eyes on her long-lost Chevy for the first time since that morning in 1972.