ABERDEEN, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Jan Marshall, the owner of car restoration company Innovation Performance Technologies in Aberdeen, N.C., purchased a 1965 Ford Fairlane to restore, he wasn't expecting it to set him on a mission.
"We just hope we can find this guy," Marshall said. "And, if we can't find him, I'm going to say this, and I hope people are listening here, we want to find his family."
Marshall said a parking sticker on the car bumper is what sparked so much interest in finding the original owner.
"He got his new sticker for Fort Bragg," Marshall said. "It's obviously Fort Bragg. We know it's an enlisted guy. We knew he was in the red lot. Officers had blue and 3339 is him. No one else. Here's the guy."
Marshall's team, made up of former Nascar fabricators, builders, racers, and U.S. Special Forces Veterans as well as active-duty soldiers, restored the Fairlane. Now, they're all on a mission to find the owner.
"What we're trying to do right now with a sticker is figure out who this guy is," Marshall said. "It's a time machine. The truth is, cars represent freedom to us in America."
"You know everybody wants to be 16 years old and get that first car," he clarified.
Marshall added that he hopes to return the car to the original owner or the original owner's family to spark some memories.
"It's a time machine for them, and they get to have that moment. We're going to roll up on his door, knock on it and say, 'Hey, remember this?' and we hope you get that emotional moment," Marshall said.
Marshall and his staff are working with Raleigh-based nonprofit U.S. Veterans Corps to help trace property records at Fort Bragg to try to identify the car's original owner.
NC car restoration company searches for soldier who was original owner of 1965 Ford