Nearly two decades after thieves made off with the cherry-red convertible driven by John Travolta’s character Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, the 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu has turned up in Oakland, California.
The car, which belonged to the director, Quentin Tarantino, was stolen in 1994, the year the film was released. It was eventually found by chance earlier this month when Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Arrieta in the Californian city of Victorville noticed two men stripping a Chevrolet Malibu.
Arrieta went on to question the men, one of whom is said to have insisted that the car had belonged to him since the 1970s. In the course of his investigation, Deputy Arrieta checked the vehicle’s unique identification number with official records. The search turned up something strange: there was a second car with the same identification number in the city of Oakland. The Oakland car was registered with local authorities, while the Victorville car hadn’t been registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles for several decades.
Further investigation, however, showed that the identification number belonged to the Victorville car. Someone had coped or cloned the number and used it to make the Oakland vehicle appear legitimate. The reason? The Oakland Malibu had been stolen from Mr Tarantino all those years ago. The current owner is not reported to have played role in the theft, and is considered a fraud victim.
“Deputy Arrieta did a really good job with this case,” Sgt Albert Anolin from Victorville sheriff’s station told the local San Bernardino County Sun. “He took what many would’ve seen as a minor case and followed it through until it broke this much larger case.”
It’s not clear if the car has yet been returned to the Oscar-winning director.