For most men, and probably many women as well, memories of a car you drove in your past bring back special memories. It could be the car you drove to high school each morning. For others, it’s the car you drove on a first date with the person you’re now married to or the car your drove while rushing to the hospital to deliver your first baby.
For me, that special car was a white 1993 Isuzu Amigo. It was the first car I bought as an “adult” after graduating from college and the last car I ever bought with my Dad. For this purchase, however, he let me sit in the “driver’s seat” to negotiate the deal. That in itself was a special memory.
At the time of purchase, I was a television news anchor and I drove my Amigo from “town to town and up and down the dial” as the theme song from WKRP in Cincinnati goes. From Arizona to California to ultimately Toledo, that car was fun, reliable and a downright joy to drive. Ironically named “Amigo,” it was more of a friend than a car, and cruising down the road, I occasionally found myself having a conversation with “her.”
That brings us to October, 6, 2000.
If I had my own Delorean with a flux capacitor, I’d set the time defuser to that evening and prevent what happened on that night.
I was on a blind date and spent the evening dancing at a nightclub. When we left around midnight and walked out to the parking lot, the Amigo was gone. I called the police, filled out a report, got in touch with my insurance company, and waited. A couple of weeks later, the insurance company declared my friend a total loss and gave me a check.
The next month, the Amigo was found safely parked at another nightclub on the other side of town, but since she now belonged to the insurance company, the Amigo was sold at auction – never to be seen again.
It’s funny, I don’t even remember the make or model of the car I bought next. It obviously wasn’t that special to me.
More than two decades later, that hunk of metal still holds a special place in my heart but tracking down a lost car is a lot harder than I thought.
Getting the VIN number wasn’t that difficult – I just requested the police report from 2000. For the name of the current owner, however, that’s where I hit a dead end. The Vehicle Title office in Toledo confirmed the title is active, so someone currently owns the Amigo and is still driving it.
They also provided a location — Morrow County. Beyond that, they couldn’t provide a name or contact information. The same goes for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in Columbus, location but no name.
The good news — government officials take your privacy seriously and aren’t giving out information to anyone with a sob story. Secondly, the Amigo hasn’t been crushed in a junkyard or stripped for parts.
So like anyone with a lost dog or a family holding a garage sale, I’ve resulted to hanging virtual fliers on every light pole I can find. This article is my first attempt to reach out to the good people of Morrow County for help in being reunited with my lost love.
If you know anyone driving a 1993 white Isuzu Amigo, please have them reach out to me. I’d like to make them a cash offer to buy this car back. And if you see my friend yourself, please let her know I never forgot about her.