I feel the OP was more than fair even trying to be creative on ways to make it happen. I had this same thing kind of thing happen to me a few years ago but, I was on the attempting buying side.
My 1st car was a 67 Satellite that I had drooled over for years before getting a job at 15 yrs old, saving money and finally, getting a shot to buy it. I jumped at the chance!! Sold it about a year later then, spent 20 plus years trying to replace it.
After years of searching for another (my original one got parted out and I assume was scrapped) I found one. I bought it, built an engine for the car and, was happier than a puppy with 2 peters. I had it for a couple years and in a moment of stupidity I sold it.
The car switched hands several times after I sold it and, I kept up with the car up to a certain point then, it disappeared. I had a couple shots of buying it back but, it was not the right time financially.
Fast forward to 2019, my Mother passed away and had left some money to my brother and I. Making the decision to spend some of this money on a car, I tracked it down and made more then a fair offer (actually way too much) but, couldn't get him to sell. No hard feelings..it his car now...but, I really wanted it back. We keep in touch but, he probably won't sell it.