A vintage racing car linked to the infamous Great Train Robbery has been stolen, with its owner hoping the surprised thieves will return it undamaged.
John Rapley owns the 1962 Brabham BT2 which was stored in a converted caravan on his Paraparaumu Beach property, north of Wellington.
He says thieves sneaked in and cut a chain tying the caravan to the fence sometime between Saturday and yesterday and towed it away.
Mr Rapley, who bought the car in the late 1980s, wants it home in one piece.
“(The thieves) would’ve been bewildered and didn’t know there was a vintage car in the caravan,” he said.
“I have fond hopes they don’t know what to do with it.”
Not only is the vintage car still raced by Mr Rapley, it has a dramatic history.
The car was bought by Roy “The Weasel” James, the getaway driver for the Great Train Robbers, who stole 2.6 million from a Royal Mail train, heading from Glasgow to London in 1963.
“It’s a bit of history and it’s worth more historically,” Mr Rapley said.
Mr Rapley said it would be hard to sell the car’s parts, as the market was too limited.
“No questions asked it you drop it off and leave it undamaged,” he said. NZN