Pat Monahan of Camino gets call that his stolen Vintage Corvette was found
Pat Monahan said he would have been glad to get his classic 1962 red Corvette back in pieces.
Turns out, he got it back — a bit battered and beaten — but not in pieces.
Still, Monahan, 55, of Camino, El Dorado County, said Tuesday he was just as shocked over the weekend to hear his stolen Corvette had been deserted in a San Jose neighborhood as he was when he discovered it missing outside a Pacific Grove bed and breakfast in August.
"Man, I thought it was long gone," he said.
Monahan's Corvette, which he lovingly restored for 20 years and drove just for special occasions, was one of four vintage Chevrolets reported stolen during the Monterey Peninsula's Classic Car Week in mid-August. The other three were stolen from Monterey area auction lots.
Monahan got word Friday night from a San Jose resident who had noticed the car parked near his house for about a week. The man contacted his nephew, shared a picture of the deserted car, and his nephew told him to call Monahan.
"The nephew said it looked like one that was stolen out out of Pacific Grove," Monahan said. The nephew had seen the stolen Corvette on the Internet where the theft gained wide publicity. His uncle's call came at 8 p.m. Friday, and Monahan hitched his trailer to his truck and was on the road two hours later.
He picked up the Corvette at 2 a.m. Saturday, got the OK from San Jose police and brought it home that morning.
"It's been run through the mill," he said. "It looks like they used it as an off-road vehicle."
Brush and debris clung to the suspension. A custom hardtop is gone. The ignition is punched out. There are a lot of scratches on the interior. Some kind of liquid was poured all over the interior and exterior. And Monahan still hasn't tried to start the engine.
"I am happy as heck to have it back. I'll rebuild it," said Monahan, a retired Sacramento area firefighter. "It definitely needs some massaging."
He figures whoever stole his car saw all the attention Monahan had drummed up on Corvette web sites and decided to get rid of it.
"The social media is irreplaceable," he said. "There were all sorts of postings and cross-postings."
Pacific Grove police Cmdr. John Miller said the damage done to the car was "like abusing a piece of art." But he was glad Monahan got it back. "I know it had sentimental value to him," he said.