LOS ANGELES -- A man whose prized sports car was stolen 42 years ago recovered the vehicle after spotting it on eBay, authorities said yesterday.

Robert Russell told the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department that he never gave up searching for the 1967 Austin Healey after it was stolen from his Philadelphia home in 1970.

Recently, Russell spotted what he thought was his car on eBay and checked the vehicle identification number on the website with the one on the car's title certificate, finding they were a match, the department said in a news release.

Russell, who lives in Texas now, contacted the department in May, and Det. Carlos Ortega tracked down the car.

"Detective Ortega located the stolen Austin Healey at the dealership listed in the eBay ad and confirmed that the car was the same vehicle reported stolen by Mr. Russell," the department said.

After working with Philadelphia police to resolve vehicle identification issues, the department told Russell he could pick up his car. He has since brought it back to Texas.

Russell bought the car for $3,000. It's now valued at $23,000. -- AP

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