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Last updated at 12:53 BST, Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Stolen car returns


17 July 2012

An American man has been reunited with the sports car he thought he'd lost for ever after he spotted it on the online auction site eBay. Bob Russell last saw his car nearly 42 years ago before it was stolen from his home in Philadelphia.


Janet Barrie

Mr Russell and his wife

Mr Russell and his wife were reunited with his Austin-Healey.


Click to hear the report


Bob Russell says he never gave up the search for his beloved 1967 Austin-Healey. One day in 1970, when he was a student in Philadelphia, he came home after a night out with the woman who's now his wife, and realised his car had vanished. Nearly 42 years later Mr Russell was browsing the online marketplace eBay when he spotted something familiar.

All these years he'd kept the car's papers and keys. He searched them out, and saw the vehicle registration number on the website matched the one on the title certificate of his long-lost sports car. He told the police, who tracked the car down to a dealership in Los Angeles, and confirmed it was indeed Bob Russell's Austin-Healey.

Mr Russell said he paid $3,000 for it in 1967 - and it's now worth eight times that much. He says though it wasn't the money that made him to search for it for over four decades - what mattered was the sentimental value it held for him and his wife.


Click to hear the vocabulary


gave up the search

stopped looking







online marketplace

internet shop

registration number

unique identification number given to every vehicle


which has been gone for a long time


business which sells cars


emotional, linked to the feelings