SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento man says he feels like he has won the lottery, now that his beloved 1964 Ford Thunderbird is back at home in his driveway after it was stolen decades ago.
‘Wow. Thirty-three years, huh?” said Gary Chartrand, the owner. “Man, look how clean that is. Wahoo!”
Sweaty palms, knotty stomach, and stuttering: all symptoms of being reunited with a long-lost love. Those were the symptoms Chartrand had Tuesday as he waited for his long-lost car to be delivered.
“Beautiful. Just a few bumps and bruises, but, boy, not much has changed,” said Chartrand.
The last time Chartrand saw his 1964 T-Bird was in 1981, about a year after he paid $1,600 for it as a gift to himself when his 10-year marriage ended in divorce.
“I don’t even remember how to get into the glove box,” he said.
On one of what he calls the worst nights of his life, his blue beauty was stolen from under his nose — possibly by another classics admirer — while he was bartending in Old Sacramento at Fanny Ann’s Saloon./
Fast forward 33 years, and Chartrand got a call recently he never thought would come.
“It’s just nice to have it back,” he said.
Sacramento police told him his missing Ford was found 750 miles north of Sacramento in Washington, and it was in surprisingly good condition.
“Considering it’s a 50-year-old car; it’s been gone for 33 years; you have no idea where it’s been,” he said.
So where has his love been? Who stole it? What where they doing with it?
“Looks like somebody’s had it and was getting it registered or ready for the road,” he said.
Perhaps as the former lovers get reacquainted, clues from the last lonely decades will continue to unravel.
Since the case is so old, and it took police so long to track Chartrand down, they are still trying to locate the initial police report from when the vehicle was recovered.
As of now, there’s no word on any suspects or arrests in the case.