GM reunites Corvette owner with car stolen 33 years ago


A 1979 Chevrolet Corvette, like the one shown here, is being returned to its owner in Michigan after being found in Mississippi, 33 years after it was reported missing.

When George Talley’s 1979 Corvette was stolen more than three decades ago in Detroit, he thought it was gone for good.

Apparently not.

Last week, the sports car was found in Mississippi. And after hearing Talley’s story on the radio this morning, General Motors, his former employer, offered to pick up the Corvette and deliver it to him.

The story unfolded on WJR’s “Paul W. Smith Show” at just after 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Smith said the last time Talley, now 71 and retired, had seen his beloved car (a silver-gray C3 Corvette from the Mako Shark era) was when it was parked on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit in July 1981. Then the car vanished. Talley reported the incident to police, but never thought he’d see the car again.

Last Friday, while watching the “Judge Greg Mathis Show” on TV, Talley got a call informing him that his long-lost ‘Vette had been found in Hattiesburg, Miss., and he could come pick it up.

The car, Talley was told, still runs, has 47,000 miles on the odometer and is at the Hattiesburg police station.

But Talley was concerned about how he would fetch it. “I woke up this morning. I said, ‘I’ve got to get on the phone and find a trucker or somebody to bring it back’ — or go get it or something.”

Not to worry. GM’s global product chief (and Corvette aficionado) Mark Reuss heard the radio segment and offered to pick up Talley’s car.

“I listened to you this morning,” Reuss said on the show. “We just had to do something.”

Talley, who said he worked at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds, was happy to hear the news.

“I was worried,” he said, referring to how he was going to get the car back.

“Well,” Smith told him. “Nothing to worry about now. The Corvette is on its way safe and sound.”

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