Talk about your great garage finds. E3 Spark Plugs would love to come across one of these – a mint condition 1989 Corvette – so mint, in fact that it’s still got the first price tag in the window. And it recently sold a Chevy aficionado with a time capsule dream for the original sticker price.
Mike Robertson, a Newport Beach, Calif. advertising executive had long dreamed of buying a brand new car, then promptly storing it away with plans to take it out 20 years later and drive it like it around like it had just come off the lot.
“Like time capsuling a car for myself,” Robertson recently told reporters. “It was just a fantasy.”
But every now and then, fantasies are realized. And Robertson’s chance came with a December 21 article in The L.A. Times. The article told of an Irish immigrant who got mixed up with some ne’er-do-wells stateside and talked into stealing a car off a dealer’s lot. He did the dirty deed, but apparently was so unnerved by his crime that he parked the car in San Diego storage facility the same day, walked away and never looked back.
He did, however, keep paying the bills for the storage unit, apparently pressured either by his criminal cohorts or his own conscious to keep quiet. And so, there the candy apple red, black-topped convertible stayed, untouched and protected from the elements and from prying eyes for more than two decades.
Twenty three years and $70,000 in storage fees later, our car caper had long ago high-tailed it back to the Emerald Isle. To his credit, he lawyered up and spilled the whole story. And no doubt, he was thrilled to learn that the statute of limitations covering his crime had long expired, leaving him scot-free. Police picked up the car and delivered it to the insurance company that had originally covered the dealership’s loss – who sold it to a wholesaler – who sold it to Sherman Oaks dealer Corky Rice – who promptly posted it on EBay.
Despite a few layers of dust and flat tires, D-shaped from two decades of sitting still but otherwise undamaged, the black leather interior car was in immaculate condition. It even still sported that much envied new car smell and had just 67 miles on the odometer. When the story hit the newspaper, Robertson hit EBay, where Rice was hoping to get $39,410 for the car – the same price on the sticker still on the car’s window. Robertson’s winning bid was just $300 less.
Roberson says he may end up selling his time capsule fantasy turned reality on wheels to a dealership, but no doubt will take it for a joy ride or two.
“I’ll drive it when I feel like it,” he told reporters just a few hours before picking it up from Rice’s dealership. “And I feel like driving it today, I’ll tell you that.”