When she was 16 years old, her first car was a VW Super Beetle. Kim Steger had so many fond memories of the little love bug, and she had a vision about its future.
Now Kim has a daughter of her own who’s 16 years old and looking for her first car.
“I had always had a thought, a vision a dream, that my oldest daughter . . . this would be her first car,” Kim said.
So Kim and her husband began looking into having the beloved Bug restored, but all the shops wanted more than they could afford.
That’s when they found Cullen Kohls online. He also loves Beetles and wanted to learn more about how to restore them. He has one of his own and wanted to make sure he got its restoration just right.
“I met her on Craigslist. She was like, ‘I have this Bug.’ She wanted to get it restored. She was trying to get it done for a good price. and I was looking for a car to paint. I love Bugs. I reached out to her and offered to paint it up for her in exchange for, like, the experience.” Cullen said.
Love Bug – The Dream Gets Underway
So they took a leap of faith and went to meet a complete stranger, Cullen. There, they entrusted him with not only custody of their beat up, rusted-out Bug, but also Kim’s dream for it.
And in today’s times of internet scams, Cullen trusted Kim with his bank account number so she could deposit the money he would need for materials and parts.
Cullen, his friends, and girlfriend, all worked on the car a little bit at a time. They only met the one time in person, but they would text each other, Cullen would send Kim receipts, and they would chat on the phone from time to time.
“She’s just a nice lady,” Cullen said. “She prays for me all the time.”
And then, after two years, they met again for the second time. And this time, Kim and her husband would be taking her now unrecognizable, restored Bug back home with them!
“I can’t believe this is the same car!” Kim said after hugging a sheepish Cullen, who stood by, quietly looking pleased with Kim’s reaction.
Kim teared up as she shared just the impact that this had on her life.
“There’s great people in the world, and you just have to give them a chance. And you just have to trust each other.”
The two hugged goodbye as Cullen prepares to leave for another state to care for his mother, who’s battling cancer for a third time. On the back of his rental truck is a trailer. And on that trailer rests a his own windowless, primered Bug–waiting for Cullen to bring it back to its former glory, too.
WATCH: Love Bug Restores Car & Faith In Humanity