April 28, 2009

Couple buy car 24 years after selling it

An Illinois couple said they purchased a Pontiac GTO convertible for $17,000 about 24 years after trading it in to a dealership for about $1,200.

Terry and Sheron James of Athens said they originally bought the solar-red GTO new for $4,400 in 1968 in Tuscon, Ariz., and decided to search for it again years after trading it in at a Macomb, Ill., dealership, the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal-Register reported Tuesday.

First of all, we didn't have any paperwork. We went back to the dealership in Tucson, but they didn't have any of the records because it was too old, Terry James said of the search for the GTO. The insurance company didn't have any records, but we had photos (from 1968) of the license plates. We went to the secretary of state's office to track it down that way, but the microfilm from that year had been ruined.

The couple said they eventually returned to the Macomb dealership, which had files on record that revealed the car's VIN number.

Terry James said they tracked the car to a private owner, but it was another five years before the man was willing to sell the '60s muscle car. He said he paid the man $17,000 for it.