Renate Mueller was having one of those moments. Leaving a show at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden, she didn’t have the $25 in cash needed to retrieve her Bentley GTC from the valet. And the nearby ATM machine was out of order.

It was a moment that would lead her to become the first Canadian to order the world’s first truly commercial flying car – the PAL-V Liberty.

As Mueller pondered her parking dilemma, two men who noticed she was wearing a Bentley “Best of British” shirt struck up a conversation and offered the money to retrieve her car. She returned the favour by offering to drive them to the airport, but again needed their help when she had to pay cash to buy fuel.

“I think we’ve been scammed by a lady in a Bentley,” she remembers one of them joking.

A friendship was born. A round of golf was booked. And Mueller learned that the two men were senior executives of Netherlands-based PAL-V – Andre Voskuil, vice-president of business development, North America, and Mark Jennings-Bates, vice-president of sales, North America.