I spoke with auto clubs – they had never seen a Fairlane with that low of a VIN number'
"It had bucket seats and a console shift," Reilly told WND. "I thought this was kind of odd, because most of the Fairlanes from 1968 had bench seats and stick shifts on the column. This was a really different car, so I went ahead and bought it."
But there was one specific detail that made him want to dig deeper into the car's history.
"I began doing research on the body codes that come with Fords. Fords have really good body codes that give you different information, and I became really curious when I saw that the VIN number was less than 15," Reilly said. "I had never seen a VIN number that low.
"I communicated with various car people and auto clubs, and they had never seen a Fairlane with that low of a VIN number," Reilly added.
"I started speaking with previous owners and found a fellow in Oregon," Reilly related. "He said, 'Have you heard the story about the car?' I said, 'Well, go ahead and tell me; that's why I'm calling'
"The Oregon fellow said the car was used on the old TV show, 'Hawaii Five-0,'" Reilly stated.
Reilly asked the Oregon man for proof that the car he had purchased at an auction lot in Seattle was indeed part of American television history. Sadly, the man had none, but Reilly's interest had been piqued.
He began a quest that would last for 10 years.