A well-known MGB GT is back with its owner 48hrs after being stolen, following a massive social media campaign to track it down.
The car, registered in the first half of 1967, was taken as part of a break-in at Tim Lawrence’s home in Tanworth in Arden, near Solihull, on Sunday.
After a telephone call to the police and his insurers, Hagerty Classic Car, Tim set about informing people of the car's theft. Almost immediately, Hagerty posted on their Twitter and Facebook feeds and informed other businesses and organisations in the classic car field.
One of these was HERO Events, organisers of well-known rallies such as the RAC Rally of The Tests and Le Jog, events in which Tim is a regular competitor. HERO also shared the post and were amazed at the outcome.
The response from people across the UK and Europe was staggering, with more than 500,000 people engaging with the post and several thousand sharing and further spreading the word on the various social channels.
Several people approached HERO and Hagerty through social media with details of the vehicle's movements after its theft and also good descriptions of those in the MGB and a following vehicle that may have been linked with the incident.
Less than 48 hours later, Tim received a call from the police telling him that his vehicle had been found abandoned locally, with some damage to the body but drivable.
Tim, who has competed in 35 rallies over the 10 years he has owned the vehicle and covered some 65,000 miles in the process, was just glad to get it back.
He said, “I can’t tell you the depth of emotion I felt when I discovered the car had gone. It’s my passion and all the events I had done in the car had been taken away from me.
"People don’t realise the connection you have with a car, the MGB has been a big part of my life for 10 years, from buying it to putting it into the specification she is in now. I thought I had lost that.”
He added, “When the police and garage rang to tell me they had the car, I was overjoyed. I can’t believe the kindness and response to this from fellow classic car enthusiasts and the public alike.
"I am sure it is due to their posts that the vehicle was made so visible. I’d like to thank them all for their huge help. Without them, the MGB may not have reappeared.”
Tim Sawyer of Hagerty Classic Cars said, “This shows the power of social media and the way people react to these cherished old vehicles. We are delighted to assist Tim in re-uniting him with his vehicle.”
Kev Haworth of HERO Events added, “Thanks to the strength and passion of the classic car community, this is putting a message out to thieves at large that they cannot just take a vehicle at will. The bond we have with our vehicles isn’t about the money, it’s about time and effort put into that car to make it yours.”