Some neat detective work unravelled the mystery, when a fellow car enthusiast from Victoria’s vehicle crime squad put the brakes on a rebirthing syndicate.
The syndicate had modified some of its stolen vehicles into high performance muscle cars, selling them off as genuine.
When an unsuspecting buyer bought a number of cars from the syndicate between 2008 and 2011, one of them was Carol’s uninsured Torana.
Exhausting detective work landed a Parkville man in his 50s a two-year wholly suspended jail term last month and an order to pay $560,000 in compensation to the unwitting buyer.
Carol, now aged 74, turned up to the court hearing every day dressed in pink in homage to her beloved ‘Sexy Lexy’.
It was a love that never waned for the car she used to rally drive.
Investigating officer, Detective Senior Constable Florence, said reuniting her with the car was satisfying after so many years.
“I don’t think a day has gone by that she hasn’t wished for a miracle that it would be found,” he said.
“As a car enthusiast myself, I am very happy to see the smile on Carol’s face as we watch her drive off in her beloved Torana.
“It also makes the long hours put into complex investigations like this, worth it.”