Last week an ice fisher lowered a waterproof camera into Mayhew Lake in Benton County, Minnesota to look for fish. He was surprised to find a pickup truck instead and called the local sheriff’s department, which realized they’d actually been looking for that thing since March of 2000.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says they got the tip on January 3rd, got a dive team to investigate on the 4th (brrr!) and after reading the license plate confirmed that the vehicle had been reported stolen from a local some 16 years ago. They pulled it out ten days later.

“The condition of the pickup truck suggested that it had been submerged for a significant period of time,” police posted in a Facebook update. True, but, I’m looking at this thing thinking it looks at least as solid as my last project car!

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Maybe I’m hopelessly optimistic (definitely) but I feel like this old Dodge doesn’t look that rusty for being completely submerged in water.

Can’t quite tell what the badge on the door says, but the exhaust looks a little small for this to be a Cummins diesel, which might have had a prayer of running again. I imagine a gasoline engine would have too many little openings for water to get in to survive a total dunking.

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Police reported no bodies of missing people or items of value in the truck. Since it was found “100 yards north of the public access at a point about 25 yards from the west shore of the lake in 12 feet of water,” it sounds like it may have fallen through the ice a few winters ago during some late-season hijinks.

Sounds like Benton County is still trying to figure out what to do with this old slab. If they owner’s still around, they’ve got a great/terrible project opportunity here!


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.