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Stolen Cars
(09/02/2009)

Stolen Cars
By
Tony Mazzagatti

Somehow the conversation of stolen cars came up the other day and as usual, I had a first hand experience to contribute. Actually, I’ve had two cars stolen over the years; a 1963 turbocharged Corvair Spyder convertible and a 1956 Porsche Speedster. Both cars were totally restored and beautiful cars. Come to think of it they were both white…hmm.

The Corvair was stolen around 1975 but was only one of many things that I lost that day. Someone had broken into our garage when we lived on the near north side of Chicago. I was standing in the middle of the garage listing all of the items that were missing while Chicago’s finest patiently looked on.

The compressor was gone, as were the bicycles, all of my Craftsman tools, Skillsaw, etc., etc. As I was declaring that I thought that I had listed everything that I thought was missing, I looked down at the floor and, for the first time, realized that there used to be a car parked where I was standing. If yo’ve never had your house broken into, it can obviously be a disorienting experience.

As it turned out the car was eventually recovered. The day after it was stolen the thief must have been testing the turbo on the Dan Ryan Expressway when he threw the fan belt at high rpms. It was towed to a service station and repaired. Unfortunately he never came back to pick up the car. After keeping the car for about twenty eight days, the service station parked it out front in full view as a reminder to the owner to pick it up.

It immediately caught the attention of the police who were looking for it and they eventually returned it to me. It was none the worse for wear and even had a new fan belt. None of the other items were ever recovered and the thief was never caught.

The Corvair still live in Chicago in a garage not more than fifty feet from where it was stolen that day. If the thief is reading this, I wouldn’t suggest a return to the scene of the crime. Its curren owner and very close friend was our attorney at the time. He’s now a Chicago circuit judge and I’m sure he would like to meet you.

Th stolen Speedster is a stranger story that takes place in New Youk City in 1969, but I think I’ll save that for a future issue. Until then, keep an eye on you Porsche.





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