Just in time for the holidays.
Joel Baumbaugh, a resident of Mission Valley, has finally been reunited with his beloved 1950 Chevy ¾-ton pickup, which was stolen nearly a year and a half ago. This classic vehicle, boasting a robust 500-horsepower engine, was an integral part of Baumbaugh's family for over 50 years, witnessing five engine and transmission changes and achieving a remarkable milestone of a million miles.
In June 2022, the story of the theft caught the public's attention when CBS 8 aired a report about the vehicle's disappearance from Baumbaugh’s condo parking lot. The loss was particularly devastating as the truck lacked theft insurance. Baumbaugh and his daughter tirelessly searched classified ads across the United States and Mexico, hoping for a clue that would lead them to their cherished family heirloom.
The long-awaited breakthrough came in early November when the San Diego Police Department informed Baumbaugh that his truck was found abandoned in Chula Vista. It appeared the thieves had abandoned the vehicle when it ran out of gas, unable to restart it due to ignition damage.
Despite the steering wheel and ignition damage and being covered in cobwebs, the truck was in relatively good condition. Baumbaugh expressed relief and joy at the recovery, stating, "It’s back on the road and back in the family."
As he reflects on the emotional rollercoaster of the past 17 months, Baumbaugh plans to give the truck a new paint job and ensure its safety by keeping it locked in a garage. This heartwarming reunion between a man and his long-lost classic pickup serves as a beacon of hope for those who have lost something dear to them. Baumbaugh's story is a testament to perseverance and the enduring bond between a man and his machine.