Stolen Race Car Returned To Owner 30 Years Later

Monday, November 25th 2019, 10:12 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

A Rogers County man says he's still in shock after getting his stolen race car back, almost 34 years after it was stolen. It was just by chance he heard someone still had it in Alabama.

The car owner said he was getting ready for a big race at this track, which used to be Tulsa International Raceway more than three decades ago, but right before the race, someone stole his race car and trailer from his Rogers County home.

"So I talked to neighbors, they told me there were three people that picked it up," said owner Wayne Keith. "My neighbor said he knew it was a race weekend."

Keith, who loves drag racing as a hobby, said he searched at races all over and in auto publications for the custom race car. He even offered a reward but didn't have any luck until last week. 

Keith said a man in Alabama who had the race car called the original auto shop in Texas, Don Hardy Race Cars, asking for information on some parts.

"They looked up the paperwork, and I had called down and told them it had been stolen from my house in April 1986," said Keith. 

He said Rogers County Undersheriff Jon Sappington tracked down the original report.

So Keith started the 900-mile journey to Florala, Alabama to get his car back.

"I was shocked," said Keith. "I was sick to my stomach looking at it. They tried to disguise it. It's got different doors on it, it's painted inside and out yellow. There's a lot of parts missing still yet, like the radiator."

But Keith said it's still a miracle to have it back.

"I didn't think I would ever see it again," he said. 

Keith said he wants to restore the car but it'll cost about $25,000 as it's the only one of its kind left.