MEMBERS of a university sports club have been reunited with a rare vehicle which was stolen from their lock-up over the New Year.
Thieves broke through several locks to make off with a Vauxhall Nova and go-kart belonging to the Edinburgh University Motor Sport Club.
The Nova was discovered in Niddrie after a police appeal published in the News was shared dozens of times on social media.
The rare Nova has since been scoured by forensics teams.
The high performance go-kart which was also stolen from the club’s garage on Peffermill Road between December 30 and January 4 is yet to be recovered.
Jonathan Chow, president of the Edinburgh University Motor Sport Club, said the team was delighted to be reunited with the car.
Mr Chow said: “It really was down to social media, it has been shared so many times. “It was all in one piece, we don’t know if it had been used extensively, but certainly the car is in the same condition. It was picked up on the side of the road, so there was no attempted to try to hide it. I’m not sure what the motive was.
“We’ve heard nothing on the go-kart, but police are assuming it was the same people who did this.
“We’re very excited to have the Nova back – Novas are getting rarer by the day, so some of us thought that whoever had stolen it was going to break it down for parts and sell them. It was a relief.”
Mr Chow said the club would be using the Nova in upcoming events – partly as a celebration that it had been retrieved.
He added: “The best thing is that it happened over a relatively short time. It was quite an intense few weeks because we were dealing with lots of different people.
“They took the car away and did forensics tests on it and the lock-up. We don’t know the outcome yet.”
It is suspected the thieves plotted the theft after watching club members at work on vehicles.
The blue Nova, which is not roadworthy, has been with the club for several years and has been extensively modified to include a metal panel with three-switch ignition, racing seats, a large black vertical handbrake and Perspex windows. It also has a rear registration plate reading JUNIOR.
It is used for auto-testing, low-speed, low-budget and time-trialled events.
The high-performance go-kart, which the club acquired two years ago to offer practice runs and take a more active part in the British Universities Karting Championships, has a silver frame.
The club, which has around 40 members, aims to get university students and young people into motor sports in a cost-effective way.