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AP photos
This photo shows the engine of Skip Wilson's 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat | Christopher Chung)

Stolen '57 Chevy returns 30 years later as rebuilt luxury classic

AP
This now-sweet ride was stolen in 1984 and returned by the California Highway Patrol on Monday. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat | Christopher Chung)

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Three decades after it was stolen, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air has been returned to a Northern California man – in much better shape than when he originally owned it.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/NcVegk) that Ian "Skip" Wilson was shocked to get a call from the California Highway Patrol informing him that his long-lost Chevy was taken off an Australia-bound cargo ship.

The 65-year-old says the car has had a lot of work done on it since it disappeared from his Lake County home in 1984. It was returned with a monogrammed interior, 17-inch racing wheels, rack-and-pinion steering and a 350-horsepower V-8 engine.

The retired mechanic says the two-door was in sorry shape when he bought it for $375 in 1975 with plans for fixing it up.

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