Because more than 37 years had passed since Dorothy LaMunyon’s 1966 Mustang was stolen from her home, the Las Vegas resident hadn’t given the classic car much thought in recent years.
That was until a certified letter showed up at the same home the car was stolen from almost four decades ago.
LaMunyon bought the car in October 1983 for her then-16-year-old daughter, and within six weeks it was gone. The Metropolitan Police Department didn’t have a record of the vehicle being stolen, likely due to how long ago the theft occurred.
“I didn’t have full coverage on it, so it wasn’t worth anything,” LaMunyon said. “I paid $2,500 for it, so insurance isn’t going to pay you anything for a $2,500 car. It wasn’t worth anything back then.”
LaMunyon still owns the house the Mustang was stolen from, leasing it to a renter, so the letter found its way to her.
The letter informed her that Ashley’s Towing in Las Vegas had her car. It asked that she provide the vehicle’s title and pay $801.82 in fees to be reunited with the long-lost car.
The letter was dated Feb. 9 and the towing company gave LaMunyon until March 14 to retrieve the car before it would be auctioned, according to the letter.
But because the car had been missing for so long, LaMunyon didn’t have the title, and she was told it could take several weeks to obtain one. The towing company wouldn’t allow LaMunyon to view the vehicle or tell her where it was found or what shape the car was in without the title in hand.
Then the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles alerted her to the possibility of an expedited duplicate registration. She quickly filled out the form and sent it via FedEx.
On Friday, LaMunyon, her granddaughter Jenna Horn and her great granddaughter Amirah showed up at Ashley’s with the title in tow, with high hopes of finding the vehicle in decent condition. Plans were to fix it up and gift the car to Amirah, as she is turning 16 soon.
“We could pass it from one 16-year-old (her daughter) to another 16-year-old (her great granddaughter),” LaMunyon said.
At Ashley’s, the trio were led to the Mustang that LaMunyon hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years, but much to her and her family’s chagrin it was nowhere near working condition.
The faded blue Mustang sat on blocks, without a hood, doors or wheels and with significant rusting throughout.
“We were hoping to get it out of the impound and maybe fix it up and use it,” Horn said, adding, “but looks like it was stripped.”
Horn said a representative from Ashley’s Towing said the car had likely been sitting in a backyard for some time, but didn’t have any other information on the car’s past.
Rather than pay hundreds of dollars to get it out of impound, LaMunyon decided to let Ashley’s put the car up for auction.
Although it wasn’t the happy ending the family had hoped for, LaMunyon said it was still nice to have some closure.
“It’s all right; I already lost it 40 years ago. It’s not like I lost it today,” LaMunyon said. “It was more curiosity than anything. I feel bad that it’s not runnable and we can’t fix it up for this 16-year-old, but we can’t.”