Not if I had to BELIEVE THE STORY. Notta.
Your story falls apart at the beginning. 3 Businesses commit a felony...Grand Theft Auto. Business Owners know their legal obligations - the friend mechanic, the TOW TRUCK company and the Auto Salvage yard.(junk yard)
All 3 could be nailed for the theft and illegal disposal of stolen automobile
As 2 of the 3 for sure are registered businesses, they have a residential address. Some place SWAT could drop in on them and nail their butts.
But, which begs the question ...if "mother" loved the car so much why does it take her 20 years to discover it is missing? Total B.S.
That is not Love.
So, this is a TROLL STORY. Not even good because of all the holes.
They may hate it but they will work on it...for the owner. (Love/Hate relationship). Also the TOW TRUCK DRIVER will not tow something to the junk yard unless he has the PAPERWORK(otherwise will be charged as an accessory to auto theft and Tow Truck Companies are a BUSINESS. They are not willing to endanger their Business License on a single car.
They know the LAW and how it affects them.
. They at the Junkyard...Autoparts Salvage yards...are a BUSINESS so can't do anything with that car LEGALLY. Otherwise they can be charged with being the recipient of stolen goods and profit from it. They NEED THE PAPERWORK TITLE or they get fined HEAVILY & Lose the business License. No Auto Salvage yard business is willing to do that. All negatives and No Upside.
Motor work takes a Week if you are a slowpoke. 3 days if you are more active...2 days if that is all you are working on. Out, steamcleaned, chemical dip, engine bored or honed and new rings and slapped back together, block repainted and stuffed in the vehicle...looks brand new...DONE.
1 day(or5hrs) if you are Replacing it.(inexperienced might take 9hrs)
OF COURSE she would have the title. She wasn't selling it.
So she sent it to a FRIEND OF THE FAMILY to be WORKED ON(repaired).
Of course, this is not done FOR FREE.Work and parts have to be paid for.
A mechanic earns his living from fixing cars...so would have made more on doing REPEATED repairs than getting a few bucks from a junkyard.
. Mechanics don't have an issue about ANY MAKE OF VEHICLE(as it is not THEIRS) If the customer wants to own a piece of junk,
(a 6 HP Briggs&Stratton powered truck box filled with an automated Turd tosser) that is FINE&DANDY with the mechanic. He makes more money repairing it as it hits his shop more often than some other creations. He has no prejudices.
This event happened over 20 years ago. She did not keep TABS on her car. So the car has been written off as Abandoned...someone else went through the necessary steps to re register the vehicle ( a month long process) and now the vehicle is legally owned by someone else...or it is parted out to many different people.
GONE. She has the title which can be used as toilet paper.
You must think fixing car is a hard job? It ain't which is why teenagers do it all the time...for something to do.