Pat Monahan is no stranger to hard work, especially after restoring a 1962 red Corvette over the past 20 years.
That’s why it is no surprise that after his prized ’62 Corvette was stolen last month during the Monterey Peninsula’s Classic Car Week, Monahan decided to go to work the best way he knew and began plastering the Internet with information about the missing car.
The efforts paid off last week when he got a call from a San Jose man who had noticed a classic red Corvette parked near his house for about a week. The man’s nephew told him it looked like a stolen car he had seen on the Internet and urged him to call Monahan.
“I couldn’t believe it when I viewed the picture,” Monahan said. “I knew (immediately), that it was our car! I was stunned!!! I never thought we would see the car again. The power of the Internet, and specifically this Corvette Forum, has proven to be the ticket for the return of our car.”
He believes the cyber heat proved to be too much for the thieves.
“This car was posted everywhere!” he said. “Several newspapers as well as the Cruisin News of which Mr. John Sweeney graciously placed a half-page ad to assist for the search of our Corvette!”
Monahan expressed thanks to the man and his nephew for helping him get the car back. The uncle said he only wanted to drive the Corvette around the block as a reward, but Monahan plans to go further, letting both of the men drive the car. “Then at the very least I want to treat you guys and your family members to a dinner of your choice at Original Joe’s!” he said in a post.
Monahan also thanked all who helped with posting and re-posting his threads throughout the Internet world. “Of course, none of this would be possible without the assistance of friends, and more specifically Les and Kathy Nunes for spending a vast amount of their time forwarding emails, contacting and conferring with several different agencies,” he said.
Monahan’s car was stolen Aug. 17 outside a bed and breakfast where he and his wife, Terry, were staying. Two hours after he got the uplifting call from the uncle Friday night, Monahan was on his way to San Jose with a trailer and picked up his ‘Vette at 2 a.m. Saturday after getting the OK from local police.
Unfortunately, the car is not in the pristine shape it was when the thieves first took it.
“It’s actually in pretty rough shape,” Monahan says. “The thieves must have decided to use it as an off road vehicle. There are several scrapes and damage under the vehicle itself. The car also has several visible scratches and scrapes around the entire body of the vehicle.”
The custom hardtop is missing, and the ignition is punched out. Some kind of liquid was poured all over the car inside and out.
But, “bottom line is that it’s great to have our Corvette back,” Monahan says. “There’s nothing that can’t be repaired on the vehicle. They did take our hardtop, so I’ll be watching for that on the Craig’s List site, as well as Ebay.”
In summary, “just as I used to say as a fire captain, independently we are nothing, collectively we become a force that can overcome most all challenges!” Monahan says. “It’s due to the collective efforts of all here (friends and strangers alike), we were able to overcome what I thought was the impossible!”