Donate A Vehicle

The Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum is an IRS designated 501c3 not-for-profit organization. It exists to provide public space in which some of the legacy of Henry Ford can be appreciated and preserved. The Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum is managed and supported by its members, trustees, visitors, and generous supporters. If you are interested in donating a vehicle to the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum here is a simple guide to help you through the process.

The Early Ford V-8 Foundation has been able to create its museum because supporters like you, recognize the importance of keeping early Ford history alive for friends, family, and future generations.

Things To Consider

When donating a single vehicle or a vehicle collection, memorabilia, money, or any in-kind asset to the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum, remember it only takes a few minutes to complete all paperwork. We can help, but there are some things you need to consider.

1: Get the big decisions out of the way: The three biggest decisions in deciding to leave a vehicle to others to look after are:

  • Do you understand all the tax implications involved in the process of making a charitable contribution, as tax implications are your responsibility?
  • Do you understand the implications of doing this as either gift during your lifetime, or as one done after your lifetime as a part of your estate or written wishes? Remember estate planning done NOW is most helpful to all, especially your family.
  • Finally, will your vehicle be handled by people who love it as much as you do?

2:Beginning in 2005, the IRS changed the rules for donations of motor vehicles, boats, and airplanes. Thus these donations are common triggers to an IRS inquiry. IRS rules center on how you document "fair market value" of your vehicle such that: a) If the vehicle is worth more than $500, you must complete Section A of IRS form 8283 and attach this to your personal or business tax return for the year in which you have made this "gift". b) If the vehicle is worth $5,000 or more, an independent appraisal must be made and you as the donor must also fill out Section B of IRS Form 8283. If the car is worth less than $5,000 you may value the vehicle using commonly accepted resources to determine market value. The Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum will also help you find an acceptable appraiser, should that need arise.

Finally, as a donor, you will file with your tax return written acknowledgment of your gift. This will be provided to you from the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum within 30 days of our accepting your gift. This acknowledgment will state that we will either a) be using your vehicle as part of an "educational display", or b) since you have the right to specify how we retain that asset and whether or not at some future time we can sell or transfer it, you will be provided certification that the car was sold within three years and what the sale price was. This we must do within 30 days of the sale. Your tax deduction then will be limited to the total amount received.

3: It is you, the donor, not the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum that is obligated to value the car under IRS rules. Then, when IRS Form 8283 is complete, be sure to keep two copies.

4: Schedule delivery of the vehicle to the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum in Auburn, IN: Once all paperwork is ready, the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum will work with you regarding costs and options for these arrangements. Sign and date the completed IRS donation form.

Common Questions

Will the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum help me with all paperwork, help assure I get the best tax deduction, and will it arrange pickup?

Absolutely. Please note that you are expected to cover the expense of delivery to Auburn, IN, but the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum can work with you to minimize this expense.

What if I do not want my car to be sold while I am alive?

Put in writing that your donation has that restriction and any others you may desire.

How can I learn more about the IRS process?

The IRS publishes "A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donations" (Publication 4303) which details its new rules. You can obtain Publication 4303 from the IRS at their local IRS office, by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or from the IRS website.

Does the Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum ONLY accept vehicles that are Early Fords?

NO. While we want Ford and Mercury vehicles for public and educational purposes, we also would be happy to accept vehicles that could serve as fund-raisers, such as modern cars, trucks and SUVs, or items such as Boats, Snowmobiles, Trailers, Motorcycles, Tractors, etc. Thus you have a means to donate to a charity, avoid the hassle of selling it, and achieve a tax deduction at the same time. You'll be notified of the Foundation's decision to accept your donation as soon as possible after you have completed the attached form and any questions are resolved.