Stolen car once owned by Amelia Earhart found in Los Angeles

A car belonging to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart has been discovered after it was stolen from a car collection earlier last week. Pilot Earhart, who mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, was asked to help promote the car back in 1932.

The vehicle in question is a stunning Hudson Essex Terraplane, one of only 14 models still known to exist. It's currently owned by collector Jim Somers, who told CBS Los Angeles he usually stores it in a secure trailer on an industrial complex.

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Somers paid just $9,000 for the car, but spent $15,000 restoring it to original condition. It's currently thought to be worth as much as half a million dollars.

The car was found on a street corner in the El Sereno neighbourhood of Los Angeles, and towed back to Somers by law enforcement.

"I'm excited," Somers told the Orange County Register as he waited to be reunited with the car. "They dumped it on the street. They knew they had a hot potato."

There's no doubting the provenance of Somers' car. Serial numbers on the frame confirm the car was the one given to Earhart, says Terraplane expert Douglas Westfall. He says that the publicity surrounding the car could spark a renewed interest in the model. "Having the car stolen and recovered by police in LA was good public relations," he said.

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