Stories like this give me hope that my Dad's '65 Impala SS convertible will be found one day. It's only been gone for about 20 years though. If we have to wait another 26 years I guess he won't get to see it. Thieves piss me off.
If he's actually getting it back, odds are good that he didn't have full coverage on it when it was stolen. Otherwise the insurance co would hold the title to the car and he likely wouldn't even be notified. I've read stories on this board and the mopar board about people running vin checks on cars that were stolen from them, only to find they were recovered after the payoff, sold at auction, and are running around legally registered to someone else. Insurance companies don't give two shits about heartwarming stories, they'd snatch it and auction it for every penny they could recover from it. Best case scenario is that some rogue dude in the middle would care enough to notify the last registered owner about it and point him to the salvage auction it was gonna be at.
The part of the story I don't get is how it spent 40 years with one guy without a title. Who buys a 67 jag in 1974 without a title and lets it sit 40 years without registering it? Probably got burned on the deal with a promise of getting the title later or something and didn't know what to do with it.