Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Oldsmobile fans pitch in to help Fairfield man

Car

Bob Wise works on removing old upholstery nails from the ceiling of a 1932 Oldsmobile Patrician in the garage of Bill Hoffert's house in Fairfield, Thursday. Wise, along with other members of the Northern California Chapter of Oldsmobile Club of America, were helping Hoffert restore the old car after he had developed health problems. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 28, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Because of health problems, Bill Hoffert needs help renovating his 1932 Oldsmobile. He’s getting it.

Seven Oldsmobile aficionados from all over the region gathered Thursday to work on the car in the garage at Hoffert’s Fairfield house. They and a few others are finishing a job that Hoffert cannot.

“I can’t believe the goodness of the people,” Hoffert said, sitting in a wheelchair. “I just can’t believe it.”

Hoffert got the car in 2012 from Arizona, had it transported to Fairfield and had the body painted gold. He set to work putting the car back into top condition.

“Just to keep myself occupied and busy,” Hoffert said. “To keep my mind off my problems. Then my problems got too overwhelming.”

Hoffert has lung disease. That cut short his efforts on the car in the early stages.

Next came a turn of events made possible by the Internet. Hoffert put out word that he was going to sell the Oldsmobile. A man from Pennsylvania named Dwight Romberger told him to have a “car raising,” the automotive version of a barn raising, where the entire community pitches in.

Larry Ewing, a San Jose resident and president of the Northern California Chapter of the Oldsmobile Club of America, got a call from Romberger, whom he didn’t know. That led to club members contacting Hoffert and getting to work on the car.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Ewing said as he stood in Hoffert’s driveway taking a lunch break.

The club members are doing such things as working on the carburetor, gas tank, fuel system, radiator and shock absorbers.

“Full operation would take many months,” Ewing said. “Our main thrust is to get this pretty much together. There were a lot of parts in the house, parts in the back that were in the way.”

David Kennedy of Roseville is one of the original Northern California Oldsmobile club members from the mid-1970s. He bought his own 1938 Oldsmobile around that time and still owns it.

“It’s a bunch of old car lovers,” Kennedy said. “It’s like a family helping each other.”

The club members have an eye for detail. Kennedy admired a 1932 Oldsmobile electric clock that Hoffert had obtained for the car, still in its box. Kennedy called it “new-old stock,” never used.

Soon he and Hoffert were talking about the clock. Hoffert was in the garage in his wheelchair, part of the Oldsmobile rebuilding team, at least in an advisory role.

The car is a six-cylinder Oldsmobile Patrician. Hoffert said 900 were manufactured and sold for $996 each.

He found out about the car being in Arizona from the Internet. But, before that, it had been owned in the 1960s and 1970s by a master sergeant at Travis Air Force Base.

Hoffert had originally intended to rebuild the Oldsmobile and sell it.

“After all the guys have done, I’ll keep it in my family,” he said.

Despite his health challenges, he has even bigger plans.

“I’m going to beat this thing and I hope to be able to drive it,” Hoffert said.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • my2centsFebruary 28, 2014 - 4:30 am

    What a nice story. I look forward to seeing you drive your Olds down Texas Street Bill!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Marty RothFebruary 28, 2014 - 8:56 am

    Dwight (the gentleman in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania), who first started the ball rolling by asking for others to help - his last name is actually "Romberger". The information was first noted through a national on-line FORUM hosted freee to all enthusiasts by AACA, the Antique Automobile Club of America. AACA is an international club with over 400 Regions and over 60,000 members, headquartered in Hershey, PA with a world-class Library as well a their Museum which is associated with the Smithsonian. for more information on this great organization which hosts Meets and Tours please go to www.aaca.org

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • D. YarosFebruary 28, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Giving credit where credit is certainly due, the internet entity that made this possible is the Antique Automobile Club of America. The members are to be commended!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 6 Comments

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 13 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 7 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9