Tom Dotter, a Denver-area shop owner who specialized in Fiats and Lancias, passed away in May, leaving behind a large field of tiny four-cylinder Italian convertibles, sedans, and wagons. Autoweek’s Murilee Martin brought to our attention this lot of roughly 75 cars that are now up for grabs in what is being called the Great Fiat Yard Sale of 2019. Check out these machines.
Dotter ran Aspen Import Auto in Englewood, Colorado, prior to suffering from a “heart attack followed by a catastrophic stroke” on May 7th, according to his son Matt and daughter Ginger’s post on the Fiat “X Web Forum.” The military veteran and founder of the Rocky Mountain Fiat Lancia Club in Denver passed away shortly thereafter.
He leaves behind a giant collection of imports including two Yugos, a Subaru XT, some Lancia Scorpions, and a ton of Fiats like this incredible X1/9:
And this Fiat 850 Coupe:
And check out this nice Fiat 128:
And hey, look, more awesome Italian cars!:
You can find the full list of vehicles on the website Fiatrescue.com. Here’s a snapshot:
“None of the cars are in running condition. They are sold as is, with whatever is in them,” the website says. It also appears that some of the cars technically have owners, and that those owners are being contacted now. “We do not know when/if/how they ran before they got here, that information sadly is lost when we lost our Fiat Patron. What you see is what you get, so it is a bit of a gamble, we understand.”
Aspen import auto lost our fearless leader, Tom Dotter, to a heart attack in May. We are working to get the cars in the lot sold. Some have titles, some don’t, all are $250 each. If we don’t sell them they will likely have to be crushed, which would be a shame. Some on this list are already “under contract.”
Autoweek does not mention this price in its story, instead stating: “I get the impression that any reasonable offer from someone who promises to take good care of one of these cars will be accepted.” The author, Murilee Martin, told me that, based on his visit, things still seemed fluid, so we don’t really know how firm the $250 figure is.
It’s also worth noting that if there are multiple folks after a certain vehicle, it appears that the car will go to the highest bidder. From the Fiatrescue website:
Due to the popularity of several of the cars, we will go through each number on the list and ask who is interested. If 2 or more people are interested in a car, we will auction the car to the highest bidder. This was the only way we felt we could be fair to everyone interested. You will be assigned a bidder number and when you win a car, you will be responsible for payment at the time of the auction.
Former Jalop writing for Autoweek Murilee Martin breaks down the mechanics of the Great Fiat Yard Sale of 2019 a bit further, writing:
Here’s how it works: you show up at the shop between 10:00 AM and noon on Wednesday, July 31, take a look at the cars, and make offers on the ones you cannot live without. Don’t bring your trailer, because parking near the shop is tight and the cars are all crammed into a small lot— you’ll need to come back later and haul your purchases away once they have been extricated. Some of the cars have titles and some don’t, some belong to (possibly unreachable) customers, and some aren’t for sale. I don’t know the sale prices, but I get the impression that any reasonable offer from someone who promises to take good care of one of these cars will be accepted. All will be made clear when you get there in person. If you have questions about specific cars or sale policies, you can email the shop at this address.
So if you have a strong desire to own an old Italian car project, now’s the time to hook up a trailer and head toward the Rocky Mountains.