Class ring found 50 years ago in a Chevrolet Corvair reunited with its owner

Ronan Glon
·2 min read

In the late 1960s, the owner of a 1960 Chevrolet Corvair poked around the driver-side footwell to investigate a sticking pedal. Much to his surprise, the issue wasn't due to a linkage-related problem; it was a class ring that a previous owner or a previous passenger had lost. Over 50 years later, the ring has been returned to its owner.

There's no mention of a gold ring in the Corvair's parts catalog, so the owner called the dealer he bought the car from to ask if someone had reported it missing, but he was told it came from an auction and nothing was known about its past. According to The Oregonian, the owner kept the ring instead of selling it. He gave it (and, later, the car) to his daughter, Cindy Johnson, and she stored it in her jewelry box for over half a century.

Fast forward to 2020, and Johnson dusted off the ring in hopes of finding its owner. Admittedly, the odds were against her; the only information she had to work with were the initials SUHS, A, and what looked like either an I or a P. She quickly realized the first set of letters corresponds to the South Umpqua High School in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. The last two were likely initials, and scanning the school's yearbook gave her a name: Arch Hudelson.

It was an H, not an I or a P. Luckily, Hudelson was the only 1968 graduate whose first name started with an A.

Contacted via email, he told Johnson that he had lost the class ring he worked hard to buy decades ago, and the two agreed to meet in a park in Fairview, Oregon, to see if he could identify it. It was indeed his, though he couldn't remember how — or when — he lost it. He said he had never owned a Corvair. He also remembered his briefcase was stolen in Portland, Oregon, decades ago, and his class ring may have been in it at the time.

"Found it in a Corvair? I'll be darned. I can't imagine how the thing got there," he told The Oregonian. He plans to have it resized so he can wear it occasionally, "but it's not going to wind up in a 1960 Corvair again."

The moral of the story? Rummage through used cars you buy, and keep in mind that what you find could make someone's day in 50 years or more. As for the Corvair, there's no word on whether it survived to see 2020, too.