One could make the case that John Schnatter, the Papa John’s founder and meme G.O.A.T., has all of those franchised Papa John locations across the country because he sold his 1971 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 in 1984 to keep his father’s Jeffersonville, IN bar afloat. That tavern then provided the scene for him to create his first pies and start a chain empire.

Over 26 years later, Gawker‘s car website Jalopnik helped Schnatter locate his once-prized Camaro, which he’s since utilized in company promotions and events. A replica of that Camaro was recently stolen, but later found, when it was part of a classic-car show in Detroit.

Police located the vehicle in the driveway of an abandoned home on the city’s west side. The Detroit Free Press has the details:

Ernest Webster, 48, arrived to mow a nearby area at 7:30 a.m. when he recognized the vehicle from a TV report and called 911.

Police arrived, found paperwork in the car and quickly confirmed it to be the one used by the pizza chain during last weekend’s event featuring classic cars. An enclosed trailer that contained the Camaro when it was stolen was recovered last night at Wildemere and Bourke streets, about 8 miles east of where the Camaro was found. A separately stolen truck was found with the trailer and had been used to tow the Camaro from the event, Detroit police Sgt. Jonathan Parnell said.

The Camaro was one of three cars stolen from the event. Sgt. Parnell surmised to the Free Press why the thieves later abandoned it:

[pullquote]”Because of the intense media pressure, we were able to get the vehicle recovered here between two vacant homes,” Parnell said[.][/pullquote]

At least for now, this particular saga appears over. Acquaintance and fellow ‘Net legend Guy Fieri wasn’t so lucky when a judge sentenced a 19-year-old to life in prison when he stole Fieri’s Lamborghini.

Shout out to recovered expensive cars and being Internet famous.

[via Detroit Free Press]