DANVILLE, Ind. — Several volunteers helped restore a car for a World War II veteran who was cheated by someone he paid more than $8,000 to do the work.
The Finer Details shop handed Harry Donovan his restored 1967 Ford Mustang on Saturday in Danville, the Indianapolis Star reported . Donovan bought the vehicle for his late wife Marie in 1969.
Donovan, 96, had hired Dennis Lee in 2009 to restore the car, but Lee disappeared with the car and money in 2012. The vehicle was eventually found stripped of its engine, transmission, hood and other parts.
Donovan’s family created a GoFundMe that raised more than $23,000 to help cover the cost of parts and other expenses.
The Finer Details team spent 18 months restoring the vehicle. They put in about 1,500 hours, often working at night and on the weekends.
The original plan was to just replace the missing parts and paint the car, said Ken Mosier, who runs the restoration shop.
“Our name is The Finer Details and we couldn’t just do that,” Mosier said. “It’s brand new — every piece.”
All the work on the vehicle is worth about $75,000, he said.
Lee was sentenced last month to 545 days in jail for theft, but was placed on probation after most of the sentence was suspended. The court also ordered Lee to pay Donovan more than $15,000, which covers the $8,000 Donovan originally paid him as well as the value of the parts stripped from the car.
Donovan’s family said they plan to donate that money to veterans groups.
The veteran said the only thing left to add to the car is a customized front license plate that reads “For Marie.”