Man gets back Chevrolet Corvette stolen 44 years ago

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A 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray stolen more than four decades ago from an Indiana man has reportedly been returned to its rightful owner. RTV6-TV reported that Rex Hatton used all of his money to buy the car after he left military service and was ready to enjoy it with his new wife, Kay, when it was stolen.

They looked for the car for months but eventually gave up hope. Late last year, the Rex Hatton received a call from the Ohio State Police: His beloved Corvette — his “dream car” — had been found near Cleveland.

“I guess I didn’t believe them until I actually took a trip over there and seen them,” he said with a laugh.

The Hattons were reunited with his Corvette in March.

“It feels like I am a young kid again — for five minutes until I start getting out, then I won’t be young anymore,” Rex Hatton told WTHR-TV.

At some point, the car was modified. It now has a navy blue paint job over the original black and the seats appear to be worn out. The couple is planning to get the car restored in time for their 50th wedding anniversary.

“It will be a slow process because we don’t have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but if we find one we will do it in parts,” Kay Hatton said.

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Carter Nacke is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He began his career at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix, the largest news radio station in Arizona, where he specialized in breaking news and politics. A burgeoning interest in classic cars took him to the Journal in 2018. He's still on the hunt for his dad's old 1969 Camaro.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Now that’s a story any car lover will appreciate. Lost , but never forgotten. Recovered, reacquainted, reunited.
    Wow. Sometimes words just can’t express the gratitude. All is well again in this Mans world. Congrats and happy trails. Signed “together again at last”. Martin Luther King.

  2. I hate to be the spoiler here but I’ve read of case like this before. If the insurance company paid out for the car nearly 45 years ago, then the title actually belongs to that insurance company. If the insurance company refuses interest in the vehicle (which they’re likely to do) then maybe the the rightful ownership might go back to the Hatton’s. Although I’m sure somewhere along the way somebody obtained the car through an honest and legal transaction. This is a gray area in the world of old cars that is becoming more common with modern technology.

    • I agree, this story leaves a lot to be desired. It could have provided more details on how the car was found, etc., which would have made the entire story much better.

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