I bet I would become very popular with guys if I started telling stories about cars. Don’t worry because I am sticking to my kind of tales. I just can’t resist telling you the curious story of a car that we own.
The car in question is a 4×4. It was brought new and had only 4 months of use when vanished from the street where it was parked. We reported the robbery to the local police and waited without a single hope of ever see it again.
One year later, Paul saw on a local newspaper an advertisement with an engine and chassis numbers asking the owner to contact the South Africa embassy in Maputo. Once there, a resident representative of South African police told that we should go to Pietmaritzburg to recognize the car and present proof of ownership.
The car was identified and everything seemed to be solved. The police took photos of Paul and Andy in a garage next to the car. Time went by and we never heard about it again, except for a phone call with the following explanation: the car was stolen in Maputo and sold in Durban to a famous drug dealer. During a night ride to his place, all his possessions were confiscated by the police including our car. He presented papers that looked original but the police suspected and from that suspicion resulted the advertisement that we saw.
After that explanation, we were told that the car was under court arrest because of the dispute between the drug dealer, claiming that the car was his, and the South African police acting on our behalf. They knew that we had presented enough evidence on the contrary.
From time to time, the same policeman called from Pietmaritzburg telling that the situation was the same because the dealer had lots of money and lawyers, not enough to get the car but sufficient to maintain the process in quiet waters, probably waiting for the right judge to get a favorable decision.
One day the calls from Pietmaritzburg stopped and we simply forgot about the car. Another 10 (yes, ten) years went by. Unexpectedly, on the 24th of December 2004, we received a call from the same policeman. He was asking Paul to come right away to South Africa to pick the car. “The judge has finally ruled in your favor! The drug dealer was killed during a police raid and there was no other reasons to rule differently.”
More or less a week later, Paul and Andy went for the car. They found it parked in the same garage, in the same spot. They drove it straight from the police garage to Maputo without a single failure. It speaks well of the car.
We found ourselves with a 12 years old car with less than one good year of use… and no bullet on it! Inside the car there was a lot of gangster stuff. No drugs. We like to think that we own a car “frozen” for 11 years. It has been in our possession for more than two years now, always behaving. It is stories like this that make us feel some affection for specific cars.