A Los Angeles publisher has gotten his stolen Mustang back--35 years later.
Jack Klunder, president and publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News, had his 1966 Mustang stolen in 1974 while he was at basketball practice in a gym at Rio Hondo Junior College, where he was a student. Klunder's car was one of 60 stolen from the lot by a theft ring. The 18-year-old called his dad, who admitted that he hadn't purchased theft insurance.
As time wore on, Klunder continued to purchase Mustangs, buying at least two for his then-teenage daughters. In fact, he was driving one of those cars--a black late-model Mustang that he says reminded him of the '66--when the California Highway Patrol called his wife late last year, telling her that the car had been recovered. His confused wife thought the officer was referring to the car that Klunder had just left for work in.
The Klunders headed to the impound lot, where they found the car in pretty bad shape. Turns out, a woman had bought the car in 2001, not knowing it was stolen, and when she attempted to sell it, an eagle-eyed buyer noticed that the VIN numbers didn't match. That buyer called the police.
Klunder nearly gave the car back to the woman, but he decided he'd keep it, since the car had meant so much to his father, who died in 2005. So, about 10 months ago, he handed the keys to a friend of his who happened to own a body shop. About two weeks ago, the completely restored 1966 Mustang came home to Klunder's driveway.
Hollywood-style happy endings are rare in stolen-car cases, but every so often, there's an exception.