Masterton man Alex Tairoa had his Mazda 626 stolen in August while visiting his wife's grave at Riverside Cemetery.
He had left the keys in the car but was standing just a few metres away at the graveside.
Three weeks later he received a phone call to say it had been found at Otaki Railway Station - keys in the ignition.
But although the car had been recovered, it was damaged and unable to be driven. The car was taken by his insurance company and Mr Tairoa received an insurance payment.