Terry Dietrich, a 62-year-old accountant from Duluth, Georgia, had reasons to celebrate as she was reunited with her teenage romance – last week she got back her “first love”, a stolen 1972 Corvette Stingray.
The catch is that her passion had been dormant for more than four decades because the Vette’ had been stolen 43 years ago – and the reunion was only possible thanks to insurer Allstate Corp, government officials and a car dealer, which all worked together to trace the car’s past. “That car, I hope, will never leave my sight again,” commented Dietrich. “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 from Forest City, North Carolina, said he purchased the Chevy from a widow in 2014 for $10,000 as he wanted to “tinker and fiddle” – but he became suspicious when reviewing the documents and the vehicle identification number. “It wasn’t a convertible, but the title had ‘CN,’ like a convertible should have,” said Greene. “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.” As he enlisted the authorities for help, they found that Northbrook, Illinois-based Allstate was the actual owner of the car as the company paid Dietrich’s claim four decades ago – and they turned the classic sports car over to its initial owner for an undisclosed amount.
Dietrich acquired the car back when she was just 19, and used as a down payment the money she gained from her first job – incidentally the car was stolen while she was at work.