A Georgia woman was happily reunited with her beloved car after it was stolen 43 years ago.
In 1972, Terry Dietrich, then 19, bought a blue Corvette Stingray, but it was stolen six months after she received it, and had not seen it since.
“I enjoyed it, loved it, and enjoyed every minute of it for six months,” Dietrich told TODAY.
The classic sports car was insured through Allstate, which fully compensated her for the loss. The car ended up in North Carolina, where it was found last October, but since the cost was covered by insurance, it no longer belonged to Dietrich.
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But her former insurance agent came out of retirement, and with the help of Allstate, gave Dietrich the surprise of a lifetime. The insurance company arranged for the agent to hand deliver the vehicle on her 62nd birthday.
“That car, I hope, will never leave my sight again,” she told Bloomberg Business in phone interview. “It needs a lot of love and attention. I want to restore that car, I want to bring it back to life.”
Gary Greene, a used-car dealer in Forest City, North Carolina, had apparently purchased the car from a widow last year for $10,000. But after reviewing the documents for the car he bought and its vehicle identification number, Greene felt something was amiss.
“It wasn’t a convertible, but the title had ‘CN,’ like a convertible should have,” he said in a phone interview. “And then, I looked at the year model on the title, and it said 1969. Well, that body had not been modified at all, and that was a ’72 model car.”
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He contacted authorities, who told Greene that Northbrook, Illinois-based Allstate was the car’s rightful owner after paying Dietrich’s claim years ago, according to the company.