JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African man has been reunited with his car 22 years after it was stolen, thanks to a dogged police investigator.

Pretoria businessman Derick Goosen got a surprising call from warrant officer Kwakwa Ntokola two weeks ago about a gray 1988 Toyota Corolla, the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld reported.

Goosen had reported the car stolen back in 1993 but it turned up only last year when police seized a vehicle at a roadblock in the northern province of Limpopo after noticing that its engine number had been scratched off.

Ntokola, "a true policeman", then managed to reconstruct the number and eventually traced the owner to Pretoria, police Colonel Ronel Otto told Reuters.

"I'm going to wash it and drive around in it," Goosen told the Afrikaans. "Everything inside is still in perfect order. I can't believe it."

(Reporting by TJ Strydom; Editing by Mark Heinrich)