Possibly witnessing the end of the Camaro (as far as new production goes) gets one thinking about this sports car. It’s been around since 1966 and cost only $2,466 back then. And over time, it has become a beloved icon. As such, it’s seen its share of thefts.
Some owners have never seen their stolen cars again. But one man recently reunited with his Camaro after it was snatched more than three decades ago. Here’s the incredible true story.
How this Camaro’s saga began
The Chevy Camaro seemed to be a popular vehicle among car thieves years ago. While one man was reunited with his after it was stolen 17 years earlier, another cropped up in the news. However, in this instance, the vehicle was found 33 years after it went missing, Cleveland 19 news reported.
Ron Reolfi, the Camaro’s owner, bought a 1968 model for $600 in the 1980s, Jalopnik reported. He was a student at the University of Akron at the time. He spent a year or so working on it with his father before it went missing.
During that time, they fixed it up with new paint and worked on the interior. They even upgraded the engine and put on a new fender. Reolfi drove the newly refurbished car for about two weeks before the fateful night.
What happened to the Camaro, and how was the owner reunited with it?
One night, Reolfi drove the Camaro to work. He parked it under a specific light and went inside to begin his shift. When break time rolled around, he went outside to sit in his car to get some schoolwork done.
Cleveland 19 reported that he then went back inside the store for about 20 minutes. When he came back out, he went to the same light he had parked under and noticed the car was no longer there. He spent months after that driving around looking for his car. But it was nowhere to be found.
Eventually, the owner moved on. Fast-forward 33 years, and he got a phone call he wasn’t expecting. The police said they had found a car, in Delaware, with a vehicle identification number that matched the same one stolen from him years before.
When he finally reunited with his car, he noticed it was in better shape than when he had last seen it. He explained that someone somewhere along the line had completely redone the car’s underside, from the brakes to the engine.
Is this car a thief magnet?
Though we’ve heard of a few stories of people getting their stolen Camaros back after several years, it appears thefts have slowed a bit. According to ourautoexpert.com, the Chevy Camaro is one of the lowest-rated vehicles for thieves.
Our Auto Expert lists the top 2019 vehicles stolen. The Camaro ties for last place with only 351 cars stolen. Compare that to the number one on the list, the Ford F-Series, and it doesn’t even come close to the 1,767 figure.
Nowadays, vehicles like the Dodge Challenger and Charger are landing in the top spots for car thefts. It stands to reason that either the Camaro isn’t as noteworthy as it once seemed to be, or Chevy installed a better theft-deterrent system.
The takeaway from this news story? It might take a few years or even decades, but there’s still a chance stolen cars could return to their owners someday.