Sacramento, CA – Bermuda Blue, a 1956 Cadillac El Dorado, once belonged to famous actress Rita Hayworth. That is, until she willed it to Curly Bunfill, a 106 year old WWII veteran, after they met and danced around her car collection. It was stolen from Bunfill’s garage, along with keys and car trophies still in the back of the car. Three days later, it was back.
🚨 Sacramento we have a special request and we need your help to get a heroes beloved car back: please share this photo and story *****
👎🏼On January 17th, 2020 this special classic car was stolen from it's owner from the North Sacramento area. pic.twitter.com/XaEY3Xfi2T
— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) January 20, 2020
— JT (@916JT) January 21, 2020
After his military service in WWII, Bunfill went to work in Hollywood as a stuntman. That’s where he met Rita Hayworth.
“I met her at a party in Beverly Hills. She’s quite a lady. A hell of a dancer…
“Our eyes met, and we danced. And she had all these cars in her garage, beautiful, beautiful cars. We danced around the cars. When that car is gone, part of me is gone. I just feel terrible.” Bunfill toFox40
Everybody liked that car. Not only me, but it went all over, it went to all the shows, all over the country, that car went. Everybody just loved it. It was a beautiful car.” Curly Bunfill
“Bunfill reported the car stolen on Friday. He said he took the battery out of the car, which means the thieves had to push it out of the garage and onto the street.
Investigators said officers found the car Monday afternoon at a police station. Police are looking into whether the person who returned the car bought it from someone for $8,600, saw the news reports that it was stolen and then dropped it off at a station.”
The investigation is still active, and no one is in custody.
Rita Hayworth was a “pinup girl” in addition to being a dancer and actress.
With the possible exception of Betty Grable—and her fabled legs—no single Hollywood star was more popular with American troops during World War II than the actress and dancer Rita Hayworth. Thanks to a photo made by Bob Landry that ran in LIFE magazine in August 1941, months before the U.S. officially entered the war, Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn on Oct. 17, 1918) was the face and the lingerie-clad body of arguably the single most famous and most frequently reproduced American pinup image ever.
Rita Hayworth struggled with alcoholism, and suffered from Alzheimers at the end of her life, but Curly saw the glamorous Hollywood star before that day. He said that when the Sacramento Police found his car, he was on “Cloud 10.” Bermuda Blue was back home where it belonged.
Featured photo via Sacramento Police