LANCASTER – When his beautiful, 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint was stolen from a West Los Angeles church parking lot in 1984, Lancaster Veterans Home resident Joe V. thought he would certainly never see it again.
But the Navy veteran got the surprise of his life this month when he received a call from the California Highway Patrol. Joe’s car had been recovered, 30 years after being stolen! It was completely restored by the previous owner, who had no idea it had ever been stolen in the first place.
The Ford Falcon is now in showroom condition.
Joe said he doesn’t remember who he originally bought the vintage car from, but he had owned it for only two weeks before it was stolen.
Today, the car still has the same, original white paint, which has been buffed and beautifully polished. A new V-8 motor, air conditioning and special set of tires were added by the previous owner. Unfortunately for the previous owner, however, the vehicle was seized by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Torrance, when he brought it in for registration, not knowing it had been stolen.
“Everything looks just beautiful!” Joe said. “I could not believe my eyes, The car is in such good condition; just like a brand new vehicle! I can’t tell you how much attention this Ford Falcon has received!”
Norm Andrews, the Administrator of the Veterans Home commented, “It has been quite the buzz around the home. Everyone is so happy for Joe. A few have said that it’s like winning a mini Lotto!”
When asked what he is going to do with the vehicle, Joe said, “Well, at my age, I think I am going to consider selling it.”
The William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home of California—Lancaster is a 60-bed, long-term Residential Care Facility, also known as “assisted living.” It is located at 45221 30th Street West in Lancaster.
The Veterans Home is currently accepting applications for Veterans who need assisted living. A spouse can also apply with the Veteran.
For more information or to schedule a tour, call 661-974-7035. View a brochure for the Lancaster Veterans Home here.