A 93-year-old Iowa man just got his wedding ring back after losing it inside the engine of his 1972 Oldsmobile 98 over 40 years ago, local Iowa news station KCRG and ABC News report. It’s a sad story, but it has somewhat of a happy ending.
One of the reasons why Ray Schmuecker from Petersburg, Iowa (who is 93 years old, according to ABC) bought that Oldsmobile 98 in the first place was to have a machine to use to drive his wife to chemotherapy.
The purchase of that 455 cubic-inch “Rocket” V8-powered luxury coupe happened in 1972, but just a couple of years later—in 1974, he says—he realized that he’d lost his wedding ring.
According to the story, Schmuecker wasn’t sure how he’d lost it, with KCRG writing:
Schmueker said, “that’s when I think it took my glove off, and it slipped off with the glove. But here 40 years later, the ring shows up in an old car. So we just can’t figure that out.”
It wasn’t long after losing that ring that Schmuecker’s wife, prior to her death, went to the store and bought a nearly identical one.
Recently, Schmuecker sold his Oldsmobile, which he told the news site had been sitting for 20 years, and which he’d contemplated just sending to the junkyard. Luckily, he found someone who needed the 455 cubic-inch motor named Will Frye, whose 1969 Oldsmobile 442—his very first car—had crapped out on him last summer. Frye describes finding the ring while wrenching on that giant 7.5-liter engine, per KCRG:
“I was kind of chipping away at it, I had blew it all off with the air hose, and I could hear, you know, nuts and bolts and stuff hitting the ground, but it was just one big grease ball on the floor.”
But one shiny object caught his eye.
“It kind of looked like a donuthole, but it had a little shine to it, and I picked it up just to see what it was, and here I got chipping through it, it was a ring,” Frye explained. “I called Ray’s daughter to see if they knew anybody that lost a wedding band.”
Schmuecker now has his ring back, and it means a lot to him and his family. Not to mention, the fact that his 455 will be back up and running is pretty special, too, with him telling ABC that he’s planning to see that thing purr on a racetrack someday:
Schmuecker said that not only does he have his ring back, but he may get a chance to see his old engine in action again soon.
“We have a race track over here near our town and [Frye]’ll probably be racing it out there, and I’ll probably get to see the motor again.”
Him getting his ring back is great, and him being able to see that engine—which transported him and his family for many years—back up and running, well, that’s just awesome.