LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Long Beach man is asking for the public’s help in finding a race car that was stolen from outside his home.

The vehicle was inside a trailer attached to Joe Barton’s pickup parked on Delta Avenue across the street from his house Saturday.

The drag racer said he got up Monday morning to put his car away, only to find his truck and trailer were gone.

Barton said he spent the past decade building his one-of-a-kind nostalgia car with the words “Zero Budget” on both doors. “That car was safe, good, fast. And we loved it,” he said.

The owner is determined to find out what happened to his beloved car. He talked to neighbors, who said they saw bright flashing lights early Monday morning on the street and heard a beeping sound like a truck was backing up. Barton said he heard a loud diesel engine.

He said: “It was the only thing I had for 10 years. You look forward to getting it done. You get it done, and someone steals it from you.”

He said he spent about $20,000 and countless hours working on his car. He has this message for the thieves: “Return it because you can’t sell the parts without my friends finding out or me,” he said. “It’ll probably take another 10 years to build another one if I can afford it.”

If you have any information or have seen Barton’s car, call the Long Beach Police Department.

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