You never know what will be found in a shipping container. The recently seized contents of one shipping container led to an unexpected, 46-year reunion.
Universal Bizargo, Universal Cargo’s series of bizarre tales from international shipping news, has featured stories with unexpected cargo in shipping containers before, but we are still pleasantly surprised by today’s shipping container cargo story.
Previous Universal Bizargo stories about guns and optical devices hidden in car parts or a drunken man waking up in a sealed shipping container might have been tales of weird shipping container contents, but neither had the feel-good quality of today’s story.
In 2012 we posted a story about a small kitten found in a shipping container that miraculously survived the 2,700-mile ocean voyage from China to the U.S. without any food or water. That story had the feel-good quality, but was before we launched Universal Bizargo so it doesn’t count.
Another kind of cat found in a shipping container is at the center of today’s Universal Bizargo story.
This cat is a 1967 Jaguar XKE convertible. Finding a car in a shipping container, even a rare classic jag, isn’t that strange. Vehicles get shipped as ocean freight all the time. But this wasn’t just any vehicle shipment.
“… a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol analyst running a routine export check through a stolen car database came up with a hit. The 1967 Jaguar XKE was hot,” reported Justin Pritchard in EIN News Desk.
Discovering a stolen car is not where this story takes a strange turn. It’s WHEN this car was stolen that makes the story bizarre.
Almost half a century ago, the 1967 Jaguar XKE was stolen from Ivan Schneider, a successful Manhattan lawyer.
“New York police still had the March 1968 incident report,” Pritchard wrote. Apparently, when they contacted Schneider about his car being found, he thought they were pulling a prank on him. Instead, he was really being reunited with a car that was stolen from him 46 years earlier.
“This is just a miracle, a miracle. I was 36 years old then, and now I’m 82,” CBS Los Angeles quoted Schneider as saying over the phone to customs officials. “It was my first good car and favorite. It’s a wonderful car.”
Not only is it a “wonderful car”, the 1967 Jaguar XKE is a valuable car.
Pritchard’s story on the car says that even though the car is rusty and scratched, it is still worth about $24,000.
According to Hagerty, the average value of a 1967 E-type convertible, as this model is generally called, is $112,296.
So once Schneider restores the car, which he is planning to do, its value will jump.
Schneider’s long lost Jag was not the only car recovered from the shipping container in which it was found. “… a stolen 1969 blue Chevrolet Corvette and fraudulently obtained 1976 light brown and 2007 white Mercedes models 280 and E350, respectively, and a 2014 red Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, were in a container that was being shipped to the Netherlands,” CBS reported.
Of course, Schneider being reunited with his car nearly 50 years after it was stolen is the most incredible part of the story.
“I couldn’t believe it! … and I still don’t believe it!” Schneider said in a CBS interview.
Because it’s so hard to believe, the story ended up here in Universal Bizargo. Perhaps this story gives hope to all of us who have long lost something valuable. One day it could show up again.