According to an article in the Tennessean, the 1965 Corvette, originally valued at about $2,200, was stolen from Chance Mayfield in Tennessee in 1970 while he was enjoying the evening at a local honky-tonk. It remained missing until its most recent owner purchased the completely restored car for $65,000 and took it to the department of motor vehicles for an inspection in Arizona. The serial number revealed it had been stolen.
Mayfield was first contacted by investigators this past summer. A return of the car was delayed because of pending court cases involving the most recent owner.
Investigators told the Tennessean that the real mystery of how the car was originally stolen will likely never be known. Regardless, Mayfield, who is now 68, is happy to have his Corvette back after all these years. He was planning to take a trailer to Arizona to personally pick it up and return it to his home two hours east of Nashville.
UPDATE: Mayfield has been reunited in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his '65 Corvette. He told the Arizona Republic, "I got down on my knees and kissed it."
Also according to the Arizona Republic, Mayfield had given up hope that his car would ever be found, believing it had likely been stolen to be stripped and sold for parts. When he was originally contacted by authorities to be told that the car had been found, "I about fell out of bed," Mayfield recalled.
As for where the car had been all these years, the title could be traced back only about nine years: in that time it went from a New Jersey collector to California and then to Arizona.
Mayfield arrived back in Tennessee last Wednesday night after towing the car home on a straight-through, 38½-hour drive from Arizona.
And he still can't believe his special muscle car is back: "It gives me cold chills," he told the Arizona Republic. "I just go into the garage and look at it."
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