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Great State: 1st Love Lost and Found

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- When Jeff Lyons walks out his front door to drive anywhere lately he's reminded of precious items lost and found.

Everything his does, from turning the key in the ignition, to putting his 1967 Camaro in gear, confirms a 3 decade laps between past and present that's now bridged by this car, a hunk of steel on what GM used to call simulated wire wheels.

"It has become a new member of the family," says Lyons. "It sure has."

Lyons still has a picture of himself taken in the late 1970's. It shows him as a happy teenager sitting in the same car. He'd always wanted a Camaro.

Jeff and his dad found one and restored it. "We paid $400.00 for it," he recalls.

Jeff credits the car with helping him get a date with his future wife in high school. Then came college. Finances got tighter.

Lyons says he couldn't stand to be there when his father sold it off. "Dad gave me his car and said, 'go on. I'll take care of it,'"

But Jeff did make a promise with his future wife that someday they would find the car again. Lyons says, "We made a pact that if the car ever came back around we would grab it if we were at a point in our lives where we could afford it."

Thirty years later, after hiring a broker to search through records, Jeff did a quick Google search himself one day.

He logged onto a local car auction web site and there it was. "I was dumbfounded," he says.

The VIN numbers matched. The car was still the same color. It still had the same gold interior. A little more research revealed the car's current owner.

By then, price was no object. Jeff says, "I told the broker I don't care. Go get it."

The car had a little rust on it. He had to repair a few things in the rear end. But it's just about perfect again.

The car he drove to and from high school, the same car he dated his wife in, the car he couldn't really ever let go, came back to him.

Jeff vows they'll never be apart again. "I even thought about getting a license plate that says, 'Not for Sale'," he laughs.