(WBIR) Knoxville police confirmed a Volkswagen Beetle reported missing 40 years ago belongs to a Knoxville man.
U.S. Customers and Border Protection officers found the 1965 Beetle in Detroit before it was shipped out of the country.
Joseph MacDonald reported the car stolen to the Knoxville Police Department back in 1974.
Police were able to match the car's VIN number from that report to the vehicle found by custom officials, verifying that it's MacDonald's car.
Now, it's up to MacDonald to decide what he wants to do with the car he drove while majoring in English at the University of Tennessee,
(WBIR - Knoxville) For 40 years, Joseph MacDonald says he has been wondering where his 1965 Volkswagen Beetle ended up.
"It was a faded red with a black convertible top and it had shiny chrome hubcaps," he described.
MacDonald has a car title for a 1965 Beetle, the car he drove while majoring in English at UT. The title shows MacDonald's signature and that he bought the VW Bug on December 3, 1973. But in December 1974, MacDonald says he reported his car stolen to the Knoxville Police Department.
He discovered it was missing when leaving dinner with a group of friends.
"I knew exactly where I had parked it, right on Highland Avenue, and when we came back there was just an empty spot there. Just poof. It just vanished," he said.
But the car may have reappeared 40 years later and 500 miles away.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents in Detroit found a 1965 convertible Beetle being sent by rail to Canada, eventually headed to Finland for restoration. But after doing some investigating, the Customs agents learned the car had been reported stolen 40 years ago from Knoxville.
Pictures of the car taken by Customs agents show the Beetle is currently white in color, but after looking at those pictures MacDonald is sure it is his stolen car.
"She's got a new paint job, the same top. I know that's the bumpers. That's original bumpers. And that top stayed down. It didn't matter how cold it was," he said.
"I had always hoped to be reunited with that thing. I've actually told my youngest daughter about that car and she said, 'Boy I wish you still had it,' and I said, 'I do too. I loved it.' And I never dreamed in my wildest dreams that I might get it back."
In order to get the car back, KPD said he will have to show the title to investigators.