1987 Grand National stolen twice in 24 hours

A classic hot rod stolen from a dealer in Mankato Monday is on its way home after being recovered in the Twin Cities, but the story isn't as simple as it sounds. (Photo: KARE)

A classic hot rod stolen from a dealer in Mankato Monday is on its way home after being recovered in the Twin Cities, but the story isn’t as simple as it sounds. (Photo: KARE)

 

MANKATO, Minn. – A news story with a “twist” from our friends at KARE 11 News out of the Twin Cities.

On Feb. 9, a 1987 Buick Grand National, valued at nearly $40,000, was taken from Unique Specialty and Classic Cars in Mankato after three men broke in around 4 a.m. The crooks stole the Buick and a Corvette, which they abandoned just down the road from the dealership. A handful of classic vehicles were also damaged when they were rolled out of the way of the Grand National and crashed into other cars.

Minneapolis Police got a call around 8:30 p.m. from someone who had seen the story of the stolen car on KARE 11 News or kare11.com, saying it was parked on a street in north Minneapolis. Police responded, called a tow truck and had the Buick taken to the city’s impound lot.

That sounds like the end of the story, but it’s not. Around 6 a.m. Feb. 10 someone stole the Buick from the impound lot, crashing it through a gate and into a barrier. The good news, is that it wasn’t gone for long. Early that afternoon someone from the Target Campus West Building off I-394 and Penn Avenue called police saying they had seen the story of the stolen classic car on kare11.com, and it was parked in the parking lot outside the business tower. Police responded and took control of the car again.

It looked a long way from the pristine classic pictured on Unique Specialty and Classic Cars’ website as it rolled onto the flat bed tow truck with a few more miles, and a busted-up front end from crashing through the impound gate. Truth be told, however, dealership owner Jeremy Thomas is thrilled to get his car back and into the fleet.

“I’ve been in the car business for over 20 years. I’ve never seen anything like it. Never heard anything like it,” Thomas said the morning of Feb. 11, recalling the details of the last 48 hours.

“Out of the 1980s it was one of the coolest cars you could ever get,” Thomas said of the car. But he can’t help but wonder; what is so important about that Grand National? “We’ve joked about you know if Jimmy Hoffa is in the trunk, we don’t know,” Thomas said.

 

 

 

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