Regardless of whatever stages of grief you may encounter along the way, if you lost something in 1987, you probably wouldn't expect to get it back in 2016. But the owner of a red 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi that was stolen 29 years ago was recently treated to some surprising news: The car had been recovered United States customs agents and would be returned to him.
The owner of the car was compensated for the loss back in the 80s, thanks to a good insurance policy, and though he has chosen to remain anonymous, it's safe to say he never expected that the car would ever be found. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents noticed a curious discrepancy in the car's VIN as it was being prepared to be shipped from Los Angeles to Poland. Here's federal customs Seaport Port Director Carlos Martel, as quoted from a press release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on the case:
"This VIN discrepancy is what 'raised a red flag' and prompted further scrutiny. Such keen attention to details by CBP officers is commendable, especially considering they process a daily average of 500 vehicles intended for export."
Basically, the Ferrari was carrying a VIN that was already assigned to another vehicle: A 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS that made a similar trip from the US to Norway back in 2005. This "red flag" led customs agents to seek the counsel of an expert in Ferrari factory protocols, who was able to properly identify the car and lead it back to its rightful owner.
The car has retained quite a bit of value over the years even with about 45,000 miles on the odometer, estimated to be worth around $50,000. The lesson behind all of this couldn't be clearer – you should never completely give up hope that some lost prized possession might just make its way back, even if it's a Ferrari worth fifty grand.