A car is more than just a way to get around. It’s a statement, a reflection of the driver’s personality and ambitions. Unfortunately, we can’t always get our hands on the perfect vehicle. Sometimes it’s too expensive, or just plain unavailable.

After one Long Island boy missed out on his dream car, strange forces eventually brought them back together. But even once it was back within his grasp, he still had to clinch the deal of a lifetime.

Kyle Cropsey of Lindenhurst, NY always appreciated the beach lifestyle. He was constantly on the lookout for one missing piece that would complete his look…

YouTube / CBS New York

Back in 2010, Kyle hit the waves at Rockaway Beach, one of his usual spots. But when he took a breather, he finally spotted the treasure he’d been searching for his entire life.

Flickr / Shinya Suzuki

It was his dream car: a 1971 Volkswagen Type 2, also known as a ‘minibus’. It was a legendary vehicle, and quite rare — Volkswagen stopped making them years ago!

Even though he was just sixteen, Kyle had a passion for automobiles and vintage car culture. Now that he was of driving age, he wanted nothing more than to someday get behind the wheel of a Type 2. 

He quickly jotted down a note, stating his interest in buying the minibus if it ever went up for sale. Kyle slipped it through a gap in the window. Rather than landing on the seat, however, it glided to the floor.

Of course, Kyle knew that he’d probably never hear anything back from the van’s owners, even if they found the note. As a consolation prize, he took a photo of himself with the car.

YouTube / CBS New York

Eight years passed by. Kyle unsuccessfully contacted dozens of other Type 2 owners, and he even bought a similar van. But it just wasn’t the same. He needed the real thing!

Meanwhile, in Oakland, California, Cris Mead was busy getting his recently deceased father’s affairs in order. While going through some old things, Cris opened up a book and a crumpled note slid out.

ABC RN/Jeremy Story Carter

It was the same note that Kyle had written eight years ago on Rockaway Beach! Cris figured that his dad, Cornelius Mead, must have found it inside his van, placed it inside the book, and forgotten about it.

So what was Cris to do? The minibus was his father’s prize possession, something that he probably loved as much as his children. He was so attached to it that he even named it Matilda.

He and Matilda went on adventures and drove across the country many times over. Cornelius spent more nights than he could count sleeping in the back of the minibus.

Cornelius put so many miles on Matilda that the odometer ran out of digits to track its progress. Now that’s a lot of zeroes!

Fortunately, Cornelius put a lot of money into the vehicle to keep it in decent shape. The engine and transmission still worked like a charm. The van deserved to hit the road again.

Cris, who had no use for the Volkswagen, found a potential buyer with this note. But would Kyle still want the van after all these years? Would he even have the same phone number?

Cris managed to reach Kyle, who was floored by his dream car finally becoming available. Cris figured with the right buyer, it could fetch up $1,500. However, Kyle worked as a teacher and had limited funds. Would they be able to strike a deal?

They did because Cris gave Kyle the minibus for free! He figured that the best way to honor his dad was to pass on Matilda to someone who would value the van as much as Cornelius did.

Kyle felt overjoyed and said that only fate could have brought the Volkswagen back to him after all that time. He celebrated his new ride by decking it out with a fresh coat of paint.

Matilda is the perfect ride for Kyle, as he’s able to transport all his friends and their gear on surf outings. Plus, they are definitely riding in style.

Flickr / allisonhasabox

Kyle still keeps in touch with Cris about the minibus’ travels. Touched by this generosity, he also hopes to pay forward that same type of kindness someday.

He knows better than anyone that there’s nothing like getting behind the wheel of your dream car to put a big smile on your face! Especially when you have no idea it’s coming.

YouTube / Charlie Rockey Jabaley

It is truly incredible that Kyle was able to land his dream car after eight years. Good thing he left that note on the van!

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