We all forget where we park our cars from time to time. You might find yourself wandering down the wrong aisle in a grocery store parking lot for a few minutes after exiting the store from a different door than you entered, or, maybe in extreme cases you might forget which block you parked on after a particularly raucous night on the town.
However, you’ve probably never lost your car like one 76 year old driver did in Germany in the 1990’s.
As the local news story goes, the owner of a Volkswagen Passat (similar to the car pictured above) parked the car in a garage in Frankfurt Germany in 1997 and completely forgot where he left his vehicle.
He notified police, thinking the car might have been stolen, and after some time had passed he gave up pretty much all chances of seeing the car returned. After all, what are the chances that after being with car thieves for years it would be returned in any kind of usable condition?
As it turns out, there were no nefarious actors involved in the disappearance of the late 90’s German sedan. It was a simple case of a bad memory.
When a decades old parking garage was slated for demolition all of the unclaimed vehicles in the garage had to be dealt with before the plan could be carried out. In the course of dealing with the remaining vehicles, authorities found one 20+ year old Volkswagen Passat that had been left to rust and rot in the concrete tomb.
After checking it against motor vehicle records, it was determined that the car was the same one reported missing back in the 90’s. The owner was notified (and was unsurprisingly amazed to learn his car was still around). However, 20 years of neglect had taken its toll on the vehicle and it was unfortunately not in salvageable condition. It’s owner did get a little closure on the matter though and sold the aging vehicle to a junk yard.
According to a Google Translation of the German newspaper:
That’s 20 years ago and at some point everyone makes peace. One begins to forget and only sometimes secretly thinks about where the car might turn its laps today. And one day the police call. The car is back. Or rather, it was never gone.
For two decades, it was exactly the place where his driver once parked it. In the garage of an industrial building, it was rusting soundlessly. And that would probably have continued for a while, the house would not have been released for demolition. Only now did the forgotten car gain new attention.
When reunited, however, the now 76-year-old owner had to realize that old love just rusts. So there was little reason to start the old cart again. Her last trip led to the junkyard.
Though the car wasn’t running, at least it was in one piece, which apparently isn’t a guarantee when you attempt to use a parking garage. Just take a look at this video of a crash that happened earlier this year in Austin, TX. A woman accidentally drove her BMW through the safety ropes of a 7 story parking garage and fell to the ground below.
Amazingly, the woman survived the crash.