Meet the man who unwittingly restored Tarantino's stolen "Pulp Fiction" Malibu
So Hemenez was a little puzzled when police called him last year asking after a stolen Malibu in his driveway — the very same one he'd put so much money and time into.
It turns out that Hemenez's little red Chevy was none other than the car Vincent Vega drove during his troubled date with Mia Wallace in "Pulp Fiction" – a car that went missing outside of director Quentin Tarantino's home nearly two decades ago.
This occurred in April last year, but at the time, the man who lost his prized car through no fault of his own was unnamed. However Hemenez has now come forward, telling his story to Yahoo Autos: He recalls being totally shocked, wondering how this could have happened to him. Hemenez also had no idea who Tarantino was and had never seen the movie "Pulp Fiction."
"After learning of the car's history, I had one of my guys go get the video so we could watch it," Hemenez says. "I then remembered seeing a commercial with John Travolta dancing on the stage. I couldn't believe it."
Investigators said that the '64 Chevy was originally stolen back in 1994, shortly after the film's debut. The thieves then switched the car's VIN with another '64 Malibu, and sold it to an unsuspecting buyer. When Hemenez eventually became the owner of the car, he says it was in disrepair, requiring repainting in the same cherry red, a replacement top, new suspension, gutting of the interior, new disc brakes and a set of shiny wheels and an intake manifold from a '64 Corvette. "I wanted to ensure as many parts as possible remained authentic to 1964," he recalled. "The car was drop-dead gorgeous – a daily driver."
Police stumbled upon the vehicle while investigating a separate crime involving a trashed shell of a '64 Malibu. After running its VIN, it was registered to Hemenez, which is when the police called and asked him when he'd last seen his car. Shortly thereafter, Hemenez learned that the VIN on his Malibu had been switched, and that he had been driving the stolen movie car for over a decade.