Updated: Saturday, 08 Aug 2009, 10:43 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 08 Aug 2009, 7:49 PM EDT
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) - Four car enthusiasts are arranging for alternative rides home after thieves stole their classic cars from a west side hotel Friday night. They were in town for the 25th Annual Hurst/Olds National Meet.
Hurst/Olds owners from around the country travel to the annual meets, staying at hotels and showing off the most prized possessions.
In the 17 years that Linda and Orville Hardy have been coming nothing like this has ever happened. They along with other Hurst/Olds car owners were excited to return their cars to the track for the annual meet.
"We are back at Indy where a lot of these cars were performed and ran pace cars here at the track," car club member Joe Spagnoli said.
However the normally festive mood changed dramatically because four cars were missing, stolen in the middle of the night from a Wingate Inn parking lot.
"I've had goose bumps. Every time somebody brings up even the subject, I feel really horrible for these people. I really do," said Spagnoli.
Linda and Orville Hardy woke up early as they usually do before a car club meet to shine up their '79 Hurst Oldsmobile.
"They are fun cars to drive. They are very showy. You stop at a stop light and people pay attention to you," Linda and Orville said.
But the Hardy's car was missing,
"We came downstairs outside and it was gone," the Hardy's explained. "I was very shocked, very surprised."
Three other cars that look similar to these vehicles were also stolen.
Car club members believe the thieves knew the club was in town and targeted these specific vehicles. The stolen cars could be valued around 30 to 40 thousand dollars.
"A lot of these cars you can take apart individually and almost get more money selling parts than you can selling the whole car," Spagnoli said.
To the owners, though, the cars are priceless.
Spagnoli is offering $10,000 to for the safe return of all four cars, "But you took somebody's heart. You can go sell a shifter, a seat, a door or a fender and make more money than the car is probably worth but you took people's family, you took their heart, you took their first born."
The hotel does have surveillance video however police are not releasing it yet. It shows a group of people jumping out of a white extended cab pick up truck and stealing the vehicles in the middle of the night.
The car club organizer says the hotel has arranged from tighter security for Sunday night.
Call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS if you have any information.
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