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The Car I Loved: Woman Reunited with Her Stingray

There are so many ‘first reals’ that we experience as we transition from childhood to young adulthood. Our first real love. Our first apartment. Our first real job. Our first real car. These firsts etch an important and meaningful spot into our heart, something that we will always look back on in appreciation and wonder.

But what happens when one of those dreams are stolen?

In 1972, Tara Dietrich was only 19 years old. She had worked hard in her first real job to save money for not just her first car, but her dream car. Tara worked, scrimped, and saved up for a brand new Corvette Stingray. As a car lover and enthusiast, Tara’s Corvette was the center of her world…for six months.

Tara had wanted a Corvette since she was a child, in large part because the first Corvette was released the year she was born in 1954. However, only six months after purchasing her prized possession, her Corvette Stingray was stolen from the parking lot where she worked. She filed a report with the police, but they gave her very little hope of the car ever being recovered. “I was very sad,” Tara said. “It took me a couple years to get over that.”

Fast forward nearly 43 years later, and a phone call that both shocked and thrilled Tara.

In October of 2014, the Georgia native received a call from police in North Carolina informing her that her beloved Stingray had been recovered. An eagle eyed used car dealer had been examining the vehicle and comparing the VIN against the car description when he noticed that something was awry. The used car dealer reported the information to the police and they in turn contacted Tara. While the news was exhilarating, it was also tinged with a touch of heartbreak. After the car was considered unrecoverable in the 1970s, All State insurance had paid Tara for the loss. In other words, the car was technically no longer Tara’s. Tara was stuck in a never-ending loop of red tape, only able to see her car in photos.

That is, until Allstate Insurance gave her the surprise of a lifetime.

An Allstate Insurance agent had personally driven Tara’s Stingray from North Carolina where it had been recovered to Tara’s house in Georgia. This wasn’t just any All State Insurance agent, though. Tara’s original insurance agent that she had when she purchased the Corvette in 1972 came out of retirement to personally deliver the recovered Stingray. A clearly emotional Tara ran her fingers up and down the car, tears in her eyes. “I don’t believe this!” Tara repeated through her tears.

While under normal circumstances, Tara’s car would have been sent to auction, Allstate Insurance couldn’t let that happen. Allstate cut through the red tape to return the car to Tara.

“Today is my birthday!” Tara screamed from the front seat of her cherished Corvette. “What could be more awesome? I’ve waited 43 years, and on my 62nd birthday!”

Tara said her plan is to grow old with her Corvette Stingray, and it is all thanks to the combined efforts of a used car dealer and Allstate Insurance.
video source:
Buzz60 (Jun 10, 2015) – “Corvette owner reunited with her stolen dream car 43 years later”