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Imagine you’ve gone to the trouble to import and store a classic American land yacht in Europe. Now, imagine that someone stole that car and used it in a demolition derby-style event, leaving it destroyed. That’s the situation two British classic car owners found themselves in. To say this story is bizarre is an understatement.
The story showed up on Twitter and was investigated further by The Drive, which noted that the stolen 1985 Ford LTD and 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix are exceedingly rare in the country. The cars were stolen in mid-June from nearby towns in southern England. Shortly after, two similar-looking cars appeared in a banger race, which blends elements of demolition derbies and oval short-track racing. Though they were painted with bright turquoise paint that covered any identifying details, the two cars’ rarity makes a strong case that the smashed-up classics are the stolen cars in question.
— Tim Oldland (@Tim_Oldland)
August 8, 2022
Police seized what was left of the cars, and the Ford’s owner said authorities contacted him to confirm that they were attempting to identify the car. He said there were things on the vehicle that clued him into the fact that it was his. Just one Ford Squire is registered in the UK, and there can’t be that many Pontiac Grand Prix models floating about, so the number of possible connections in the case is minimal.
Importing classic cars to other countries can be a terribly expensive and complicated affair. Restrictive emissions and safety laws make it hard to get cars past customs, and once in, large American cars aren’t the most compatible vehicles with European streets. Adding insult to injury for the Ford’s owner, he’d just imported the car in late 2021, so he had just a few months to enjoy it before it met its demise.