One day in May, 1996, "Jack" and "Jill" were at the Pig 'n' Steak Too in Scottsville eating french fries and discussing the miserable transportation situation. Jack was in a bullheadedly whimsical mood and randomly proclaimed, "I think I'd like to steal a car!"
Jill was appalled. "With all the crimes you do, your get away car should definitely not be stolen."
They'd been dropped off in Scottsville by a friend, and to get home, they were going to have to hitchhike. As they walked north out of Scottsville on VA-20, they passed C & S Motors, a small scruffy used car dealership with a plethora of old cars, all available at budget prices. It was a Sunday and the dealership was closed, but they thought they'd have a look at the cars anyway. Jack was sort of interested in getting a Subaru, and several were being shown on the lot. While Jill was mostly impressed with colour schemes and the integrity of upholstery, Jack was more interested in how things looked under the hood.
They came upon an old off-white jeep and though its upholstery was decidedly primitive, Jill exclaimed, "It's so cute!" She could perfectly imagine Jack driving this vehicle everywhere he went from now on. Jack looked under the hood and saw that it was indeed good, all six cylinders worth. Jill sat behind the steering wheel and fondled the controls. On a whim she impulsively gave the keyless ignition a turn to get a better sense of how the Jeep felt to the touch. Unexpectedly, it lurched forward!
"Here, push in the clutch!" Jack encouraged. This time the keyless ignition brought the Jeep sputtering to life. They turned it off and sat there thinking "Hmmmm..."
That night, Jack and Jill avoided alcohol in anticipation of the car theft they were planning. They wanted to operate at the fullest of their capabilities. One of the obsequious suitors of a sometimes resident was visiting Big Fun with his station wagon. Jack and Jill persuaded him to drop them about a half mile north of the C & S Motors at one of the southernmost driveways leading into Fairview Farms. They were vague about what they were up to and the obsequious suitor didn't inquire at all.
The plan was to open the gate across the road there so it would be ready to receive the stolen Jeep a little while later. But the gate proved impossible to open and it was decided to drive the stolen Jeep as far north as the Mansion, the center driveway of Fairview.
Jack and Jill walked down to the brightly-lit parking lot of the C & S Motor, and while Jill waited in the shadows across the street, Jack climbed into the Jeep and fired it up. He was a bundle of taut nerves as he shifted into first and roared forward, only to hit the brakes moments later to stop for Jill. Both speeding up and slowing down, the Jeep was far more responsive than anything Jack had ever driven before, and he found himself either spinning his wheels or skidding to a halt, all with a terrifying amount of noise. But in no time both intrepid felons were hurtling northward on VA 20, carefully observing speed limits and keeping an eye behind them. Jack kept asking Jill if there were any headlights trailing them, but she always reported good news. Behind them was nothing but the empty blackness of rural Albemarle County.
Giddy with success, they pulled into the driveway of the Mansion, wound around behind it and down the long driveway serving several houses on the farm. Then they busted a left onto a muddy track frequented only by the most mud-capable of vehicles and continued recklessly past several abandoned chicken coops. In the final grove of woods south of Big Fun, a patch of reforesting farmland, they hid the jeep, covering it with branches.
The next day they went down and had a look at their prize, carefully obliterating any fingerprints in case it was discovered. They really didn't know what else to do with it, since they feared what would happen if they were discovered driving it.
The drive was a harrowing experience, and Jack feared the whole way he would be caught. He took back roads all the way to 5th Street Extended, and just north of the interstate, he decided to get gas and oil, since both meters appeared to be broken on the dashboard and he didn't want any unexpected trouble.
Jack was full of jitters at the gas station. He felt that everyone was on to his dirty secret and any moment "the trap" was about spring shut. But no, the GTA was successfully gassed up, and the drive continued up the US-29 bypass out to Barracks Road, and on to the dinner party.
The drive back to Big Fun that night was much less tense, of course, since it took place under the cover of night.
Jack and Jill returned the GTA to its hiding place and hid it again. Not knowing what else to do, it lingered in neglect. Big Fun collapsed in early July 1996 and everyone was forced to leave. Periodically in the ensuing months, Jill would nag Jack to recover the GTA from Big Fun "or else it will just go to waste." But Jack didn't feel inclined to take foolish risks. Some months later, Jack returned to where the GTA had been and found it gone. It had apparently been returned to C & S Motors, the used car dealership from which it had been stolen originally.