The 1989 Corvette a week before it was sold.

The 1989 Corvette a week before it was sold. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times / December 24, 2012)

It's taken 23 years, but a showroom-fresh 1989 Corvette sold Sunday for the sticker price that is still attached to its windshield.

Newport Beach advertising executive Mike Robertson is the new owner of the red convertible, which was stolen from a San Diego car dealership in 1989 and then locked in a self-storage unit.

Police recovered the vehicle in September when the suspected thief stopped paying the monthly fee. Explaining to authorities that he was coerced by gangsters into stealing the car and storing it, the man had paid about $70,000 in storage fees over the decades, according to police.

The insurance company that long ago reimbursed the dealership for the Corvette sold the recovered car, with 67 miles on its odometer. It was purchased by Glendale wholesale car manager Corky Rice, who posted it for sale on EBay.

Since he doesn't have an EBay account, Robertson's wife, Kim, was the official winning bidder, he said.

Robertson said that he had always dreamed of buying a car and storing it. "Somebody else did it for me. This is a time capsule."

The final price of the Corvette, including the fee for its delivery on Monday to Newport Beach on a flatbed truck, will come out to about $39,471--the manufacturer's suggested retail price printed on the windshield sticker, Rice said.

This story was reported by Times Staff Writer Bob Pool.