Why Esslingen’s most famous resident no longer drives a red Volkswagen

Everyone has parked their car in a strange city and then forgot where they parked it. However, a resident of the Swabian town of Esslingen has recently managed to set a remarkable record. After he had parked his red Volkswagen Touran in a parking garage in Stuttgart, he – and a growing number of selfless supporters from all over the world – had searched for the set of wheels for an entire six weeks.

Theo, as his buddies call him, had purchased a parking ticket after parking his car, but he was in such hurry that he forgot to remember the number of the parking space. Shit happens, but still a solvable task for the regular parker. Not for Theo. Because he also forgot which parking garage he had parked the Touran in.

Luckily, at least he roughly remembered the name of the city. Fortunately, it wasn’t New York. Munich could also be ruled out as Theo was almost certain – after extensive thinking – that the name of the city “somehow began with an ‘S’.”

One of his friends spontaneously remembered “Sigmaringen,” but the number of parking garages was rather limited, and practically all the red Tourans parked in them already belonged to other searchers.

Theo made the unpleasant experience that large cities as targets of such searches enormously increased the required amount of time. So, the team around Theo first searched in Sechselberg, a tiny village near Althütte on the edge of the Welzheim Forest. The search wasn’t very time-consuming, but the vehicle wasn’t found.

They decided to completely rethink their tactics and came up with a bold idea a few days later: Why not combine the search with a pleasant and relaxing holiday? The choice fell on the Swedish Sabeltorp. Compared to the size of the city, the number of red Tourans was relatively small, and Theo’s car wasn’t there. The Norwegian town of Spitsbergen was the next destination for the search. You can build wonderful snowmen there, but the Norwegians were not of great help in the search. Instead, there was a great danger of falling into a fjord on the way to Spitsbergen, which at least would have somewhat shortened the search.

Since Theo’s expedition had been terribly unsuccessful so far, he had to rack his brain again – and suddenly had a spontaneous intuition: The name of the city, in which his red Touran had probably started rusting already, began with the letter’ S’, and suddenly, the second letter hit his battered brain: ‘t’! So, the city started with ‘St’!

There were tons of red cars in Stansted, England, but Theo’s Touran could not be found. It was followed by St. Petersburg, St. Gallen and finally – because poor Theo gradually ran out of money – Stuttgart.

And after the missing car had probably voluntarily rolled off to Stuttgart – in an attack of compassion with its owner – and parked in the next best parking garage, happy Theo (and his international army of supporters) was finally able to successfully complete the six-week search for his beloved car. Okay, the car is now a lime green VW Passat, but the brand is a hole in one…


In reality, it’s not that hard to find a red car…