On February 9, 1970, Robert Lanyon discovered that his 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 had been stolen. Even though the car remained in the same vicinity, Lanyon would never drive it again.
Forty-one years after Lanyon’s car was stolen, Tim Sullivan, a San Mateo, California, police sergeant and Mustang enthusiast, was following a ’68 GT500 and, out of curiosity, ran its registration. The report came back that the car wasn’t registered as a ’68, but as a 1965 model.
“If you know Mustangs, you can tell the difference in the bat of an eye” said Sullivan, who immediately became suspicious, signaled for the car to pull over and saw that the car’s VIN tags had been removed. The driver had proof of registration of a “1965” Mustang he said he had inherited from a deceased uncle.
The car was impounded pending additional investigation, according to the Motorsports Auction Group.
Another police officer, Det. Shawn Parks from a vehicle theft task force, inspected the car, confirmed it was a 1968 model, but could find no records of a car so old in state records. However, Special Agent Dave Roccaforte did find the needed details by checking with the Shelby American Register, which confirmed the original VIN, the December 4, 1967 shipping date, the original plate numbers and that the car had been originally owned by a Robert Lanyon.
A hearing was held in May, 2012, to decide if the car belonged to Lanyon or to the estate of the uncle. Because his insurance company had paid Lanyon’s claim on the stolen car, it was ruled that the car belonged to the uncle’s estate.
Five years later, the car becomes available for its next owner as it is scheduled for the docket for the Motorsports Auction Group (MAG) sale August 10-12 in Reno, Nevada, during Hot August Nights.
The car goes to auction with 61,000 miles on its odometer, proper tags and, MAG said, all documentation. The car, which has been repainted once, is equipped with an automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, tilt/slide away steering wheel, air conditioning, AM radio, original fog lights, and more.
To see other vehicles consigned for the auction, visit the MAG website.