The “whole country” of New Zealand is on the lookout for a rare automobile that was stolen there over the weekend.
Thieves bashed a lock on a garage and stole one of just three 1979 Corvettes in the two-island nation located east of Australia, and its owner, Steve Woolston of Gisborne, is understandably devastated.
Woolston traded a boat to buy the car about 20 years ago, using it as a daily driver for some time before putting it into storage in Auckland while he was driving road trains in Australia. He brought the Corvette home with him last year when he returned to Gisborne and was storing it at a friend’s home in Kaiti (a suburb of Gisborne) while getting it roadworthy again.
Woolston says the car – which features side pipes and a two-tone silver over black paint job reminiscent of a 1978 Indy Pace Car – wasn’t drivable so the thieves would have needed a trailer to haul it away.
“I had parts of the engine off and the ignition wiring needed to be finished off, bits and pieces like that,” he explained to The Gisborne Herald. “It’s not a little car but who knows what condition it is in now.”
His friends discovered the theft after returning from a weekend getaway, finding the lock to the garage smashed and the car gone, as well as the main camera box of the security cameras which were running the whole time. “It was a targeted thing,” Woolston says.
Hopefully, Woolston’s post on Facebook about the theft will help with his Corvette’s recovery, as he said the post has already been shared more than 1,300 times, and people are looking for it on the inter-island ferry.
“The whole country is upset that the car has been stolen,” said Woolston, who is a log truck driver on the East Cape. “It’s useless to whoever stole it. They can’t register it, and the serial numbers on the chassis have been reported. It’s flagged nationwide as a stolen vehicle.”
Woolston is hopeful for a happy ending to his story. “Somebody somewhere will have seen something,” he believes. “But it depends whose hands it is in whether I will get it back in one piece.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Police on 105 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or call Woolston on 027 390 6948.