A vintage 1968 Chevrolet Camaro was stolen Wednesday night from a dealership lot in Lakeland.

Chad Harper, who owns Lash Auto Sales, said the Camaro is rare and is worth about $45,000.

"Original Chevrolet wheels, original 327 engine," he said. "It's a houndstooth interior, which is super super rare. Hideaway lights. This car is beautiful."

The fully restored Camaro R/S had only been on the lot for about two weeks when Harper came into work Thursday morning to find the car had been stolen.

"They broke into the car, hot wired it, and you can see the bushes right here," he said. "They just backed it right over these bushes. Backed it right out of here."

At first, he didn't realize the car was stolen.

"First, I seen the bushes and I thought, 'Well somebody got drunk last night and fell in the bushes,' " he said. "And then I walked through and I seen the cables cut and the car was gone. I was like, 'There goes my anniversary.' "

So Harper spent his 11th wedding anniversary rearranging the rest of the classic cars to make them more secure from thieves. This is the third time in two years they've lost a classic car to a thief.

Employees say the dealership isn't just about selling cars, but also about being caretakers of automotive history. That's why they're hopeful that the vintage car will be returned to them whole, because at this point, the only thing they have to show for it are the keys.

"We hope with you guys and all the other ads we've been putting on Facebook and Craigslist that maybe somebody will find it or see it," Harper said.

The dealership is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the stolen Camaro.