Tom Dotter's passing

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Tom Dotter's passing

Post by vandor » Thu May 16, 2019 10:49 am

I was saddened to hear of Tom's passing, as he was still very active and was running Aspen Import Auto in Colorado. Here is his obituary:

Owner of Aspen Import Auto, Founder of the RMFLC and Automezzi, Tommie Lee Dotter (Tom), was a huge contributor to the automotive community for nearly 50 years. The world became a little darker on May 7th 2019, Tom suffered a heart attack followed by a catastrophic stroke and subsequently passed due to his injuries at 4:25PM.

Many of us knew Tom as the owner of Aspen Import Auto, where since 1983 Tom loved wrenching “on the little cars” as he put it. As an enthusiast, Tom was one of the founding members of the Automezzi in 1990, and he also started the Rocky Mountain Fiat Lancia Club here in Denver. Tom truly loved his customers and their cars, and always had a smile and some wit to share with all who came to his shop. Tom wasn’t just a mechanic, he was our friend, ready and willing to jump in when needed as a volunteer or to help those in a bind. A huge hole now exists where a light once shined brightly for us all.

Tom was a Military Veteran who attended West Pointe and later was a member of the reserves, he was a very dedicated in many areas: He was an active member of The National speleological society and caving community as a whole, and he had been involved in Boy Scouts of America where he assisted several scouts (including his son) in achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

Tom’s children, Ginger and Matthew, worked with Tom at his shop over the years. For them the loss is even greater, as they now have lost their livelihood and have many burdens to attend to now and in the next few months. In lieu of flowers, we ask you to visit their GoFundMe page to show your support during this difficult time.

You can support the family here:

More information, photos, etc can be found at or

We encourage you to add your photos to our album on Google:
'71 124 Spider, much modified
'72 124 Coupe, new project, ex-Pete, ex-Eli, ex-Jack car (all Mira members)
'73 124 Wagon, no floors
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Re: Tom Dotter's passing

Post by sams » Thu May 16, 2019 10:02 pm

RIP. I had the pleasure of exchanging emails with Tom on several occasions, and he was always very helpful and free with his time.
Sam Sciancalepore
Concord, CA
1981 Fiat Spider (owned since 1996)
1980 Fiat Spider (1990-1995)
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Re: Tom Dotter's passing

Post by fiatrn » Sat May 18, 2019 2:32 am

Tom brought awesome enthusiasm and bottomless knowledge to the world of Fiats, especially here in Denver.

I remember when he sold me the Abarth tailpipe that's on my 124. I could not afford the totally Reasonable for-sale price at the time, but after we spoke for a bit at Automezzi, he contacted me and said "your Spider needs that exhaust to be right" and offered it to me at less than half his advertised price.

He was just that nice, and just that into Fiats!

We've lost a great guy.

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Re: Tom Dotter's passing

Post by RicardoIII » Wed May 22, 2019 10:12 am

Tom was a knowledgeable all around Italian car guy, generous with his expertise, easy to talk to, and the greatest source of Fiat tech tips and parts anywhere. I bought his longtime car, a 1972 124 Sport Coupe, which he had owned and driven for decades, a couple of years ago. The mechanicals of this little car, all redone by him through the years, are impressive and reliable beyond compare. Now fully restored cosmetically, I will remember Tom Dotter every time I turn the key and go for a ride in the Colorado mountains.
Rest in peace Tom.
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Re: Tom Dotter's passing

Post by ST3Racer » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:49 pm

I was truly very saddened to hear of Tom Dotter’s passing. I have been a customer for 20 years. Aspen, and Tom, always had the part or parts I needed for my work on my 124 Spiders. From the very most insignificant but indispensable fitting, stud, or other Fiat dohicky, to major assemblies like engines, heads, gearboxes, drive shafts, engine parts, he had it ALL.
His shop was an Explosion of Fiat parts that I hope doesn’t now go to scrap. I think (thought) of it as my goldmine. A/R, or Midwest Bayless, or Vick’s should fill up a semi trailer if it is possible. From that standpoint, Tom’s passing is a monumental loss.
A greater loss still, is that Tom is gone. Every time I went to his shop for parts, I would budget hours for the visit. Getting what I needed always went fast, and then we would talk. As a Fiat racer, I/we always had an extended bench racing session with each visit. It seemed that recently, our talks lasted longer than before. I will cherish the memories. He knew everything about the FIAT TC engine, which was the subject of most of our conversations, and he always wanted my perspective on extracting power from the TC as well.
I last visited with him in early April, as I needed an exhaust cambox for my 1.8 Vintage racing engine build. Of course, he had one in pristine condition that allowed me to finish the engine build. I never imagined that I would not have another fascinating talk. In his shop at the time was a Lancia Fulvia (HF?), a FIAT Dino Coupe, and an immaculate DS Spider Azzura. He always had interesting jobs in-shop. Very sad to lose him.
If you scroll down on the google picture page, you will see him standing outside his shop’s front door beside a primer gray ’79 spider body. I purchased that chassis recently, which is now in my shop being prepared for Vintage racing.
This is a great loss for the classic Fiat community, and for me. He was my friend.
Bill McMahan
Parker, Colorado
'69 124 Spider 2L Volumex NASA ST3 Racecar
'74 124 Abarth Stradale Replica
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Re: Tom Dotter's passing

Post by cormac » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:10 pm

Bill, a heartfelt eloquent post from you, caused my eyes to water a bit...thanks for the reminder of what life is all about, especially in these troubled times
condolences to you and all who Tom touched, and all the best and good thoughts especially to his family

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