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A classic Mercedes Benx CE230 in storage
  • Donor Story

Paul Budnitz Donates his Classic 1984 Mercedes

“I finally found a way to add my support.”

Paul Budnitz

Paul Budnitz is an artist and entrepreneur living in Burlington, Vermont. He is the founder of the retailers Kidrobot and Superplastic, the social network Ello, and Budnitz Bicycles. When it came time to donate his classic 1984 Mercedes Benz 230CE, he chose Good News Garage.

We were incredibly honored to receive this car and immensely grateful to Paul for his support!

Since the car is not suitable for a low-income family, Paul’s Mercedes will be sold at an auction. The proceeds from the sale of this classic car will be used to make repairs to the cars that we award to local families in need, ensuring they are safe and reliable. Overall, his car could impact dozens of lives by helping us put more families behind the wheel!

We asked Paul a few questions about his decision to donate his immaculately maintained, all-original Mercedes coupe to our charity.

Paul Budnitz donates a classic car to Good News Garage.
Entrepreneur and artist Paul Budnitz (right) hands the keys for his donated Mercedes over to Good News Garage program manager Wanda Robar.

How Paul Budnitz Heard About Good News Garage

Paul’s answer was one we hear often. He is a bicycling enthusiast and frequent customer of the bike shop we share a building with in Burlington, Vermont – the Old Spokes Home. This shop is a nonprofit that helps people access bicycles for transportation, similar to what we do with cars!

Paul owned his own bicycle brand, Budnitz Bicycles, which produced high-end bikes for 10 years before shutting down during the Covid pandemic. After closing, Paul donated a lot of his bike parts and tools to Old Spokes Home. He noticed that Good News Garage was next door, learned what we do, and said to himself, “what an awesome charity!” Now, as a car donor, he said “I finally found a way to add my support.”

Why Paul Chose to Donate His Classic Car to Good News Garage

There are a lot of car-donation options out there to choose from, but they’re not all the same. According to Paul, it is Good News Garage’s unique mission to repair and award donated cars to neighbors in need that inspired him to choose us.

Paul said, “I believe that the best charities are ones that don’t just give people something short term. Instead, they help people to better their lives.”

When Good News Garage awards a donated car to a neighbor in need, it becomes a catalyst for positive change that will continue to help for miles and miles.

In addition to our charitable work, Paul also noted the “recycling aspect” that’s involved by way of us reusing a donated car. “By extending the life of older cars we create less waste,” he explained. Using existing products and resources before replacing them with new ones is an effective way to reduce our carbon footprints. Reduce, REUSE, recycle!

Addressing Transportation Gaps

Unlike other areas, much of New England lacks a comprehensive public transportation network. Many clients served by Good News Garage live in rural regions that are miles from the nearest source of food, education, steady employment, healthcare, and other necessities. This means that personal vehicles are essential to daily life, especially for working parents, like those that Good News Garage supports.

Paul commented on the domino effect of transportation assistance. He said, “Offering cars to people who need them is just a multiplier — people get a car, which helps them make a living, which improves their life in so many ways. Good News Garage fills a basic need and helps people become self-supporting!”

Everyone Wins!

We’ve heard that donating a classic car can be an effective way of making a big community impact. But, did you also know that car donors qualify for a generous tax deduction? Vehicle donors qualify for tax deductions up to the car’s fair-market value or selling price at auction! Learn more about how vehicle tax deductions work.

In the end, the benefits of donating a classic car extend to the receiving nonprofit, the community, and the car donor. “Everyone wins,” as Paul puts it. “Besides all the good you can do, you get an awesome tax write-off.”

Donating a classic, antique, or specialty vehicle can be an easy way to part ways with your car, earn a generous tax deduction, and help your community! The receiving charity aims to receive the highest selling price so that they, and the donor, get the most impact out of the generous donation.

As always, we advise speaking with a lawyer or tax professional for detailed tax advice.

Questions About Donating?

Read our blog post about donating a classic car to charity.

Other car donation questions? Visit our Donation FAQs.