During the evening of February 6, 1952, Mrs. Helen Block began driving from her home at 17 Rhodes Avenue in Akron, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan, which is approximately 200 miles (approximately 320 km) away. That is a long drive even in normal conditions, but Mrs. Block opted to make the trip in the middle of a snowstorm.
Due to the treacherous conditions, she turned right off of W. Market Street and lost her way. She had only lived in Akron for about two months and didn’t know the roads very well. So, she drove around aimlessly until the car got stuck in the snow.
Mrs. Block had no choice but to abandon the car and hoof it. She found her way to the nearest highway where she was picked up by a passing motorist who dropped her off at a gas station.
When she went out the next day to retrieve the car, she had no clue where she had left it. Nor did she know the name of that kind motorist or the location of that gas station.
After days of searching for the car, an appeal was made to the public in an eight-paragraph article that appeared on the front page of the February 14, 1952 publication of the Akron Beacon Journal.
One paragraph read, “Has anyone seen this car? It’s Austrian-made. It’s a Vauxhall Velox, six-cylinder, four-door sedan, black with red leather upholstery. She and her husband brought it to this country from Europe last October.
“It bears U. S. Armed Forces plates C–6555 and in the rear seat were Ohio plates, A–1478–T. Mrs. Block has enlisted police and sheriff’s deputies in the hunt.”
Two days later, the paper reported that the car had been found. It had been found just two blocks off of W. Market St. in the Fairlawn district, just as Mrs. Block had suggested. Yet, no one could find it. The reason was simple: it had been towed to a West Akron garage, which Mrs. Block later went to and retrieved the car.