Robert Russell told the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that he had never given up searching for the 1967 Austin Healy after it was stolen from his Philadelphia home in 1970.
Russell recently spotted what he thought was his car on eBay and checked the vehicle identification number on the website with the one on the car's title certificate, finding they were a match, the department said in a news release.
Russell, who now lives in Texas, contacted the department in May, and Detective Carlos Ortega tracked down the car in East Los Angeles.
"Detective Ortega located the stolen Austin Healey at the dealership listed in the eBay ad and confirmed that the car was the same vehicle reported stolen by Mr. Russell," the department said.
After working with Philadelphia police to resolve vehicle identification issues, the department told Russell he could pick up his car.
He has since brought it back to Texas. His hometown wasn't immediately available
Russell told deputies that he bought the vehicle for $3,000. It's now valued at $23,000.
He said "he continued his search for the vehicle, not for its monetary value, but because it had sentimental value to him and his wife," the department said.
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