GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A North Carolina man’s long-lost 1967 Mustang coupe was found after being stolen 21 years ago.
Detectives in Guilford County, and the owner of the car, were also surprised to find the vehicle was still in decent shape.
“Twenty-one years. That is unbelievable,” David Tucker said.
The blue Mustang was Tucker’s dream car. He and his son even formed a bond during the boy’s childhood, riding together in the coupe.
“Riding in it with my son … he was in a car seat in the back,” Tucker said. “He finally got out of the car seat and was able to sit up front with me. Just riding around with him, and seeing the look on his face. That’s the best.”
In 2002, Tucker decided to sell the car. He left it sitting at a friend’s house in Oak Ridge, where it might have more visibility for potential buyers.
But somebody decided to just take it.
“I can’t even describe the sadness,” Tucker said. “That was like my baby, you know? A member of the family just got gone. I never thought I would see it again.”
For years, Tucker worked along with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office to try to find it.
He checked in on his VIN number every year.
“The VIN number had been changed on it,” said Detective Sergeant Ryan Seals with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. “The initial VIN number … came back to a vehicle that had already been scrapped.”
But a few weeks back, deputies said that VIN number eventually led to a crack in the case: The car was found states away in Florida — and only a little worse for wear.
In addition to a little bit of damage on the inside and outside, the car, too, had been painted white.
“It’s nowhere near what it used to be. It’s going to take some work,” Tucker said.
Tucker is currently trying to figure out how to get the car back to North Carolina.
“It means a lot, there was a lot of memories.” he said. “That was my dream car, and my son loved it. We rode in and all the time. So I’m just anxious to get it back and maybe get it back to where it was when it got stolen.”
Tucker is also working with DMV to get his title back. He says it could still take several weeks or even months to get his car back to North Carolina.