DETROIT (AP) — The last time George Talley saw his beloved 1979 Chevrolet Corvette was when he parked it on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit in 1981.
That was 33 years ago, and Talley had believed the sports car was long gone until a surprise June 13 phone call from auto insurer AAA telling him his Vette was at a police station in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about 840 miles southwest of Detroit.
"It was a lucky day to hear that my car had been found," Talley said Tuesday in a release. "They told me it was running, had 47,000 miles on it and was ready for me to pick up!"
GM Product Development Executive Vice President Mark Reuss heard the story and offered to ship the car back to Detroit where it was delivered Tuesday morning to Talley at the automaker's world headquarters — about three miles from where it was stolen.
"George's story brought a smile to my face," Reuss said. "As a longtime Corvette owner myself, I know the passion the car inspires. I also knew that car belonged home in Detroit, with its rightful owner, and we could make that happen."
Talley, 71, has owned three other Corvettes, but the 1979 model was his favorite, according to GM.