It may not be right off the showroom floor, but a 1995 Mazda being donated by a local repair shop could be good as its gold paint job for a civic-minded soul in need of some wheels.
The MX-6 was refurbished, polished and detailed to the point where it looks near-new, and PR Motorsports will sell it for $1 to someone in the greater Hayward area with a track record of community service who could use a break themselves.
"It's great (public relations), and it's good for the community," said Dino DiGiulio, a Sonoma-based auto shop owner who founded the Wheels to Prosper program. "People who help, and give back, sometimes for them to help others, we need to get them cars. The biggest thing is we're doing something in order for someone else to be able to do more."
Laura Munoz, co-owner of the Hayward shop, said she heard about the program and couldn't wait to do something in her own community.
"I started keeping an eye out for an older car that was in reasonably clean shape, that might work well for a family," she said.
The Mazda came through in June. While it looked good and was mostly solid, the engine was totally fried after the owner ran out of coolant on Interstate 880, Munoz said.
"I told them about the program and asked them if they were willing to let us have the car," she said. "They were, and we got a good used engine, put it in, with new timing belts and went over everything else."
The sporty, gold two-door is sitting at the shop these days, waiting for a new owner, and Munoz is accepting applications. She said the person should be in need of a car and have a history of volunteer work, "trying to better their communities."
While the first giveaway isn't part of the official national Wheels to Prosper program, Munoz is in the process of getting involved with that movement, in which shops coordinate to all give a car away on the same day in July.
"We gave away 11 this year, and there's 26 for next year," DiGiulio said, adding that he thinks it's terrific that Munoz took the initiative to give away a car on her own. "That's awesome."
WHAT: PR Motorsports will sell a car for $1 to a deserving community-minded recipient.
WHEN: Nominations will be accepted through Oct. 1, with a goal of deciding a winner by Oct. 15.
HOW: People can nominate someone active in the greater Hayward community, and write a paragraph or two on who they are, what they do and why they need a car. Include name, address and phone number of nominee and nominating person. Entrants cannot nominate themselves. Nominations may be mailed to Wheels to Prosper, c/o PR Motorsports, 19845 Cabot Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545. They can also be emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org. The car will be on display at PR Motorsports through the nomination period during normal business hours. For more information call