Car stolen 33 years ago reunited with California owner

'64 T-Bird
'64 T-Bird

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KOVR/CNN) – The song goes, “Reunited and it feels so good…”

That just about sums up a California man’s feelings after police returned his stolen 1964 Ford Thunderbird.

Sweaty palms, knotty stomach, speechless at times, rambling and stuttering at others.

“Man, look how clean that is … wahoo!” Chartrand yells.

Symptoms reminiscent of reuniting with a long, lost love and that’s exactly what happened to Gary Chartrand this morning.

“Beautiful. Just a few bumps and bruises but not much has changed,” he said.

Except for the fact that Gary now has to use prescription glasses when checking under her hood.

That’s because the last time he laid on his ’64 T-Bird was in 1981, about a year after he paid $1,600 for it as a gift to himself when his 10-year marriage ended in divorce.

But – on what he calls, one of the worst nights of his life, his blue beauty was stolen from under his nose — possibly by another classics admirer — while he was bartending in old Sacramento at Fanny Ann’s Saloon in the ’80s.

Fast forward 30 years, and Gary gets a call he never dreamed could come.

Sacramento police tell him his missing Ford was found 750 miles north of Sacramento in Washington and surprisingly in great condition.

“Considering TT’s a 50-year-old car, has been gone for 33-years, who knows where it’s been?” he said.

So where has his love been? Who stole it? What where they doing with it?

“Looks like somebody’s had it and was getting it registered or ready for the road,” he said.

Perhaps as the former lovers get reacquainted, clues from the last lonely decades will continue to unravel.

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