Eight years ago, when he was 16, Kyle Cropsey spotted his dream car — and today it’s finally his.
The avid surfer had been on the lookout for a classic Volkswagen Microbus to buy when he saw one in a parking lot one day on his way to New York City's Rockaway Beach.
The blue and white 1971 model didn’t have a “For Sale” sign on it, but he wrote a note saying he wanted to buy it and slipped it through the window, Cropsey told Newsday.
“I was actually so disappointed when I stuffed the note in, because I saw it didn’t land on the seat, it went down to the floor. And I said to myself, ‘this person’s never going to see this note,’” Cropsey recalled.
The now high school teacher, who today owns a 1976 VW Westfalia van, says he got a phone call from a man named Cris Mead, whose father Cornelius had owned the van from the beach. Mead explained his dad had passed away recently at the age of 82.
The younger Mead was handling his father’s estate when he found the note inside of a log book in the van and decided to give Cropsey a ring.
After learning about Cropsey’s love for the VW vans, stretching back to when he collected toy versions as a child, Mead and his relatives decided to give it to him, because they knew they couldn’t find a better home for a vehicle their father had treasured.
Mead said his father “spent more money on that van than any reasonable person would have” to keep it running all those years.
Cropsey said the act “kind of restored my faith in humanity.” He plans to refurbish the van while keeping the Meads up to date on the process and any adventures he goes on in it, which was a casual requirement of the deal, as the family remembers travelling the country in it and hopes that legacy lives on.