Somebody call the Hollywood producers, we've got a feel-good blockbuster on our hands. Here's the pitch -- man loses his love, never gives up hope, and finds her online 42 years later. Yes, it's a true story, and yes, I think Tom Hanks would be perfect for the lead. I'll have my people Skype your people.
There is one wrinkle in this real-life plot line, though -- the lost love is a 1967 Austin Healey 3000. According to the Associated Press, the slick British car was stolen from Bob Russell's apartment near Philadelphia after he took it for a spin on one of his first dates with the young woman who would later become his wife.
But Russell never forgot his hijacked Healey. When the World Wide Web rose to prominence, most of humanity saw the Internet's potential for slinging information, commerce, porn, and pictures of Tom Selleck with various sandwiches, but what Russell saw was pure, digitized hope that a distant romance could finally be rekindled.
What's that? Yes, I suppose you're right -- this is starting to sound more like a Ryan Gosling role.
Russell spent years surfing the Web in search of his Healey, and then one morning this May he found her on eBay being hawked by a dealer in Beverly Hills. The car's auction didn't meet its reserve, but the dealer was happy to let it go to Russell for about $24,000. Russell, however, wasn't about to stand for such injustice and law enforcement soon got involved, eventually impounding the car. It also certainly helped that he still had the car's original key and title.
For about $1,400 in impound and transport fees, the classic sports car made its way back to Russell's Dallas home, where he plans to fully restore it and perhaps sell it for as much as $50,000. Let's hope it doesn't slip away in the middle of the night again -- although if such a tragedy did happen, it would make for one heck of a sequel.