Bob Russell never gave up hope of finding his 1967 Austin-Healey after it was stolen from outside a Philadelphia apartment complex in 1970, and 42 years later he has been reunited with his beloved sports car. The 66-year-old retired sales manager, who now lives in Texas, occasionally surfed the Internet to look for the car and finally spotted it on eBay, being sold by a dealer in California, reports the Dallas Morning News. The vehicle identification numbers matched and the dealer said he had bought it from a man who claimed it had been in his family since 1970.
After weeks of haggling with the dealer—who offered to sell the car to Russell for $24,000—Russell contacted law enforcement authorities in Philadelphia and Los Angeles and managed to unearth the original stolen car report. Police impounded the car and Russell traveled to Los Angeles to take possession. He now plans to restore his prized car, which was stolen the morning after he used it to take his future wife out on their second date. "It still runs, but the brakes don’t work well," he says. "We’re going to put it back the way it was."