The Buick Special was abandoned in Kankakee, Ill., in 1971 when it broke down and its owner couldn't afford the repair costs, The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.
A local dealer had no use for it and gave it to the three jokesters, who bricked it behind a wall in the basement of a house one of them owned, the newspaper said.
Daniel Newman, 65, one of the perpetrators of the gag, still lives in Kankakee.
"It was just something to do. ... We just pushed it down there ... but first, we took the tires off because they were good," Newman said.
John Tamblyn bought the house three years ago and discovered the car when he looked through a hole in the basement wall.
"I was surprised it was in such good shape, considering the car is 52 years old," Tamblyn said.
Tamblyn says he hopes to restore the car.