Mysteries are solved every day. Whether it is who killed Miss Peacock in the library with the candlestick or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop.
When it comes to finding answers to the questions that still surround ‘Miss Belvedere,’ the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere buried under the Tulsa County Courthouse lawn more than half-a-century ago, many of the “mysteries” have been more difficult to solve.
To date, the title of the car, many of the original photos taken during and leading up to the event and even the keys to the car have yet to be uncovered.
While questions still remain, a single, unexpected event, late last year many finally allow researchers to find the answers they have been seeking.
When Dwight Foster, owner of the Ultra One Corporation, the company selected to stabilize ‘Miss Belvedere’ and begin the painstaking process of conserving the car, arrived in Tulsa last November to pick up the car, he had no idea what to expect.
However, it is a sure bet that he never expected a man to walk up to him as ‘Miss Belvedere’ was being prepared for the long journey to his New Jersey shop and hand him an envelope.
“You can say that it caught me off guard,” said Foster. “I didn’t have any idea what was going on until the man started telling me his story. As soon as he finished, I started wondering what I had.”
The story begins back in 1957 with the man’s father who just happened to be the news manager for the local television station, KOTV. The night that the car was buried, the television station aired footage of the event that was shot by employees from the Chrysler Corporation. Realizing how unique the 16mm film reel was, the news director took the tape home as a memento of the event put it away for safe-keeping.
At some point over the years, the man passed the tape along to his son and told him that if he was not alive when the car was unburied, he was to take the tape to the ceremony and give them to whoever won the car.
The envelope that was handed to Foster as ‘Miss Belvedere prepared to leave Tulsa for the first time in over 50 years contained that very same news reel.
While the stabilization of the car the was buried to celebrate the first Tulsarama using the company’s Safest Rust Remover line of products will take many months to complete, Foster hopes to have the news clips contained on the 50 year old film reel transferred to DVD format much sooner.
While there is no way of knowing what answers will be revealed when the tape is viewed for the first time since the night the car was buried, the original footage is sure to contain the answers to at least some of the questions that remain unanswered