Images: Downey Dream Cars

Mar 4, 2024

Cars being Given Away in National Sweepstakes, with Proceeds to Benefit Downey’s Environmental and Technology Organization, FootPrint Coalition


Award-winning actor, producer, and entrepreneur Robert Downey Jr., alongside a team of nationally-renown auto restoration experts, have modified six classic cars from his and his family’s personal collection to make them eco-friendly to 2023 standards and reduce their carbon footprint. Now, all six iconic cars will be showcased at the upcoming New York Auto Show, widely regarded as one of the most influential auto and mobility shows in the nation. The auto show is set for March 29th – April 7th at Jacob Javits Center, with media previews on March 27-28th.


At the New York International Auto Show, attendees will have the opportunity to enter to win the six cars through a national sweepstakes via Proceeds from the sweepstakes will benefit the FootPrint Coalition, a nonprofit organization launched by Downey Jr. and his partners that is focused on the adoption of technologies that will advance human systems towards a cleaner environment.


The cars are:

  • 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 SE – among the modifications were: installing a modern diesel engine, converting the fuel system to biodiesel, and replacing the suede interior with one made from recycled plastics.
  • 1972 VW Bus – modifications included replacing the 1100 CC air-cooled engine with an EV West electric motor conversion and custom battery rack and adding a solar-powered electric barbeque that slides out of the back of the bus.
  • 1966 Buick Riviera – among the eco-friendly changes were: replacing the stock 425 cubic inch V8 engine with a first-generation modern hybrid engine and adding a first-of-its-kind prototype Aclima air quality sensor.
  • 1972 K-10 Pickup – modifications included turning it into a full EV pick-up with custom electric motor and battery pack.
  • 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible – among the changes were: replacing the 327 Small Block engine with a modern electric motor and installing a one-of-a-kind mushroom-based interior.
  • 1985 Chevrolet El Camino – modifications included replacing the stock engine with a modern 4-cylinder Chevy turbo truck engine and adding a solar-powered bike rack in the bed of the car.


“The goal of this yearlong sweepstakes is to raise significant funding to help environmental technologies take hold in a more systemic way,” according to a statement from the FootPrint Coalition. “There are a ton of dedicated folks working on the sweepstakes, and they’re only a tiny fraction of the millions of people who are actively volunteering their skills in restoring the planet. Our job is a race to curate the solutions that can change human systems in the timeliest manner – from research to rollout to new normal.”


Chris Mazzilli, the founder and owner of Dream Car Restorations/CMC Motors in Plainview, New York, is spearheading the sweepstakes. He also assembled and oversaw the team of experts – including Jehu Garcia, a YouTube star of “Jag35” and Los Angeles-based champion of clean tech in cars; YouTube star Rich Benoit, star of “Rich Rebuilds” and owner of “Electrified Garage” in Salem, MA; Charles Burnett from KEM South in Monticello, GA; and Dave Weber, the master Corvette restorer from Dream Car Restorations – who have retrofitted the cars to 2023 eco-friendly standards at various specialty restoration shops around the country, including his own. Mazzilli also serves as an Executive Producer and co-host of “RDJ Dream Cars,” a six-episode series on MAX that focuses on the refurbishment of the cars.


To participate in the sweepstakes with or without donating to the FootPrint Coalition and learn more, please visit


For more information, contact