Hoffman Auto Group Sponsored Fidelco’s Ride for Independence



Photo courtesy of Fidelco.org

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation hosted its 4th annual Ride for Independence on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Hoffman Auto Group and many other caring sponsors, vendors, volunteers and Fidelco staff helped to make this day a tremendous success with over 760 people in attendance.

The Ride celebrates the freedom and independence that Fidelco Guide Dogs bring to men and women who are blind across North America.  Retired Air Force SSgt Michael Malarsie and his “wingman”, Xxon, 2014 Hero Dog Award winner, joined the excitement for the day. Learn more about Michael and Xxon’s story HERE.  His story is one of many lives enriched through Fidelco’s charitable mission of hope and independence for men and women who are blind.

10513531_10152593056438746_2070782851119281075_nOn Sunday, riders and their families met at Fidelco in Bloomfield. Attendees were treated to a K-9 demonstration, great music by the southern rock band SHOVELHEAD, creative Caricatures by Christopher Eastwood and so much more. There were adorable puppies, beautiful Fidelco Guide Dogs in training and highly skilled Fidelco dogs for all to see.

Riders enjoyed a scenic escorted route through the beautiful Farmington Valley in the beautiful summer sunshine. Be sure to check our video showing all of the riders as they departed. If you were riding you are in the video!

Hoffman is proud to support Fidelco, an internationally-recognized leader in the guide dog industry.  They have matched over 1,400 clients have with highly trained guide dogs so far.  It takes two years and $45,000 to produce each guide dog. Fidelco provides life-changing canine partners to its blind clients at no cost. Fidelco also provides 24/7 lifetime service to clients with annual follow up visits. Please visit Fidelco and see how you can become involved and help #ShareTheVision.

Thanks again for a great day! Looking forward to an even bigger event next year!

Photo courtesy of Fidelco.org on Facebook

Photo courtesy of Fidelco.org on Facebook

Stop by the Hoffman Auto Group Facebook page to see photos from the event. More photos will be added over the next couple days so check back frequently and feel free to tag and share any you like.


Time to Drop the Top, Connecticut!

2014 Nissan convertible32014 Nissan convertible2

Tis the season to soak in the summer sun and enjoy a scenic drive with the top down, the music up, and your sunglasses on!

Today’s Convertibles are Better than Ever

Not your parents’ convertibles, today’s models offer great highway mileage, a variety of hard-top and soft-top options, improved safety, better durability, season-round comfort, and additional luxuries, like sleek iPod interfaces, keyless start systems, and convenient Bluetooth capability.


2014 porsche boxsterAccording to Consumer Reports, modern convertibles “come with fewer compromises than the ragtops of yore”. Hardtop models now offer better insulation from the noise and weather, increased interior security, and improved visibility, while soft top options boast better insulation and now come with a durable glass rear window, instead of (once popular) “flimsy, scratch-prone plastic windows”.2015 audi TT convertible

Present-day convertibles are more rigidly constructed and can shift from open to closed (and vice versa) in the space of 25 seconds – so your driving experience isn’t dampened in the event of a rogue summer shower!

Comfort All Year Long

2015 Audi convertibleFord Mustang Convertible CTToday’s convertibles also offer features that make them more attractive for both top-down driving and year-round travel. Edmunds.com reports, “Many convertibles now provide wind deflectors that are placed behind the front seats to help keep turbulence down to a minimum while driving”. What’s more, almost all convertibles come with heated and cooled seats to keep passengers comfortable through the sun-kisseddays of summer and into the cooler months, as well as sun-reflective leather upholstery to prevent interior wear and tear.

Blue, black, grey, white, or red – one of our convertibles will take you where you need to go in style, comfort, and safely. Check out our full inventory list of convertibles and cabriolets – then take a cue from The Cars, and let the good times roll!

See the Cabriolet convertibles at Hoffman Auto

See more convertibles available in CT here





Protect Your Pet: Avoid the Perils of a Hot Car

We all know our cars can heat up something terrible in the summer months, but it might shock you to learn just how quickly a parked car’s internal temperature can skyrocket to hazardous levels.

You may think that it’s safe to run into the grocery store for just couple minutes, leaving your pet poodle Roxy in the backseat with the windows cracked, but think again. A few minutes in a hot parked car can spell peril and even death for your beloved pet.

This Vet Simulates Conditions for Dogs in Hot Cars

In 2012, veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward, posted a video on YouTube personally testing how quickly a parked car heats up on a typical summer day. Within 30 minutes, his car shot up from an already sultry 95 degrees to a dangerous 115 degrees. Though all four windows were cracked an inch and the outside breeze shook the trees around him, the air inside remained still.

Dr. Ward was almost instantaneously drenched in sweat and feeling sick from the intensely stifling heat. However uncomfortable he was, as a human he still had two big advantages over, say, a dog trapped inside a sweltering vehicle:

1. Dr. Ward was not covered by a thick coat of fur

2. Dr. Ward had the ability to regulate his internal heat through perspiration.

What Happens to Dogs in Hot Cars?

With only the ability to pant, your pet can suffer from heatstroke or death in the space of mere minutes in similar conditions. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees, and can therefore only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage, or even death (RedRover.org).

In fact, even on a seemingly mild day, an enclosed car can have fatal consequences. In a Stanford University study, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees in less than an hour on a 72 degree day. And other studies have shown that cracking car windows in reality has little effect on internal temperature.

Small Dogs have Bigger Risks

According to PETA, every year dogs die from heat exposure, though there are no exact statistics because most cases go unreported. Though small dogs and those with compromised health are at greatest risk, even the healthiest animals can suffer from the effects of a sizzling summer day. An estimated several hundred pets suffer this slow, unbearable fate every summer – due to owners’ lack of forethought and understanding of inadequate ventilation in hot parked cars.

If you see a pet in a hot parked car, get help right away. Take down the car’s color, model, make, and license number, and have the owner paged in the nearest buildings, or call the local humane authorities or police. If the animal appears to be in imminent danger, or is exhibiting any of the below warning signs of heat stroke, take steps to remove the suffering animal from the vehicle, find a witness to back up your assessment, and wait for authorities to arrive.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heat stroke in as little as 15 minutes. Don’t risk your pet’s safety for even the smallest errand– the consequences could be deadly.

Heed the warning signs of heat stroke:

Excessive thirst
Thick saliva
Heavy panting
Lack of appetite
Dark tongue
Rapid heartbeat
Bloody diarrhea
Lack of coordination

hot car infographic


Travel Accessories for Dogs

Connecticut driving with dog, parks

“Let’s GO already!”

Dogs make great companions for traveling.  But it’s important that they are secure in the vehicle before you set off.  In addition, to be able to enjoy the trip with abandon, a seat or cargo cover will protect your vehicle from unwanted mud or dog hair. Check out these great accessories that will make the trip more fun for all involved.  And, if you are looking for someplace special to go, check out this post on dog parks and dog friendly destinations in Connecticut.

Before you can begin your journey with your dog, you need to get them into the car:

Dog Ramps  

Is your dog too large to pick up?  too small to reach the car ? too old to make the jump? Consider a dog ramp to assist in getting them safely in and out of the car.  Dog ramps  help pets, generally, to maintain quality of life if suffering from dog arthritis.  Pet owners alike appreciate the strain it takes off them when handling a pet.

For maximum value, look for these features:

  1. Easy handling - Remember, you’ll be toting the dog ramp before setting it up. It needs to be lightweight enough for you to work with easily. Also, make sure it has a handle. It may seem like a simple feature, but it ensures single-hand, convenient carrying.
  2. Strength - Look at the dog ramp’s weight capacity. Make sure it’s rated for your pet’s size. If the ramp is not rated for at least a couple hundred pounds, it’s probably not constructed very solidly.

  3. Safety - Safety features are an absolute must, for you and your pet. Look for front and rear stabilizer lips or non-skid feet to dogramp2keep both the dog ramp in place and your pet secure. Look for side railings to stabilize the ramp and prevent falls. 
  4. Traction - When loading a pet into a vehicle in wet or icy conditions, the dog ramp must have adequate surface traction to prevent your pet from slipping. This ensures confidence when your pet uses the ramp. Keep in mind, if he begins to slip he’ll be reluctant to cooperate. 
  5. Compact Storage - A telescoping or folding model is ideal. They slide open easily without hardware and fold back just as readily for space-saving storage in the cargo area of your vehicle or in a small closet in your home.

Seat Belts

Everyone needs to buckle up, and the dog is no exception.  A restrained dog keeps everyone in a moving vehicle safer.  There could be some pretty horrific injuries resulting from a dog being unsecured in a vehicle when an accident occurred. Using a safety harness is a relatively cheap and easy way to protect dogs and the human occupants of a car in the event of a sudden stop or accident.  When considering a harness system, make sure the one you are looking at has been tested specifically for your dog’s weight and size.  Also, make sure there is adequate restraint to prevent the dog from being propelled into and causing injury to an adjacent human occupant.  Lastly, look for one that has an adjustable tether so that the dog may be properly restrained.

sleepypodAccording the Center for Pet Safety, the 2013 top performing harness brand was Sleepypod Clickit Utility.  It solved multiple functional performance issues identified in other harness brands.  Specifically, it:

  • prevented the launch of the dog off of the seat for all 3 harness sizes tested.
  • substantially reduced rotation of the test dog during testing.
  • offers a 3 point connection, improving the overall functional behavior of the harness.

Additionally, the Sleepypod Clickit Utility design includes planned energy mitigation elements to help absorb energy from a crash and reduce the forces on the dog.

Seat Covers

Seat covers can serve a dual purpose, they can make the ride even more comfortable for Fido Fidelco-2012-Fundraiser-Hoffman-Auto-dog-hammock-winnerand they can help keep your seats and/or cargo area clean from excessive unwanted fur.  Car seat covers are an excellent investment if you want to retain the value of your vehicle and keep it looking clean. Mud and dirt on your pet’s paws are less of a problem when you can simply remove the cover and shake it off or throw it in the washing machine.  They come in a variety of materials, including quilted suede or faux leather.  If you live in a cold climate, consider this microfiber suede hammock with a thermal core that reflects your pet’s body heat back to warm without electricity.  Cargo covers similarly allow your pet to ride in your SUV’s cargo area with full reassurance it will stay clean and dry. Select a durable cargo cover to protect the cargo area from pet hair, muddy paws, dirt, odors and more. Without it, you’ll spend hours trying to keep your pet’s riding area clean. With the protection of a cover, however, you simply machine wash it to remove dirt and odors

Summer Car Shows in Connecticut

plainvillecarJuly 12: New Milford, CT  6th Annual Thanksgiving in July Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show presented by Paradice Classic Cruisers and Union Savings Bank to benefit the New Milford Food Bank, from 5PM to 9PM rain date July 19 at the Union Savings Bank, intersection of Rt. 202 & 109 in New Milford. No cut-off year, $10 entry fee for participants, spectators are free but asked to bring non-perishable canned goods for the food bank.

fallsrivercarJuly 13, Falls River, CT   Muscle Cars, Classic Cars, Antiques, Race Cars, Foreign, Trucks, Bikes, Special Interest Vehicles, Live Music, Food, Entertainment! 2 Miles from Lime Rock Park. Registration Day of Show.  Location: Jacobs Garage, 34 Railroad St.
Falls Village CT, 06031.  Call Jacobs Garage at 860-824-5861 for more information.

July 13, Simsbury, CT Celebrating America’s Military: Free admission to active military in uniform. Show cars, led sleds, customs, military, classics, brass era, modern muscle all welcome.  SHOW CARS galore: 17 classes plus special awards, over 400 cars expected, 2,000 spectators. Special display by COMVEC (Ct. Military Vehicle Owners).  Breakfast and lunch available, pizza, kettle corn, frozen yogurt, and smoothies. Vendors, family fun, free parking in Simsbury Meadow.  More information here.

July 19, Somers, CT 2nd Annual MotorFest at Pleasant View Golf Center.  Awards for top 10 cars, trucks, motorcycles. Food and drink available on site, Special guest appearance from Vinnie DiMartino formally of the American Chopper TV Series. Craft and industry vendors, kid’s play zone. Live music from the Aquatudes. For more information, call Ed Avery at somerscar860-477-0900.

July 26, Oxford, CT Oxford Center Fire Company #1 Car Show is scheduled for July 26, 2014 from 3 PM to 8 PM at the main fire station located at 484 Oxford Road, Oxford, CT – Rain Date is July 27, 2014.  Where else can you have dinner and entertainment for $15.00?   This is a great family event, bring the kids, climb on a fire truck! Spectators are free! Goody bags to the first 150 cars. DJ Tim will be spinning  music. Over 40 Trophies will be awarded with the top 4 getting a special prize!

July 26, Woodbridge, CT 2014 Annual Auto Show at The Willows Center 225 Amity Road,10:00am-2:00pm. Rain date Sunday, July 27 A portion of the proceeds to benefit the Woodbridge Watch TRIAD Program (Woodbridge Awareness To Crime and Home Safety) Best of Show $100 – Cash & Trophy Residents Choice -Trophy Top 15 awards format Door Prizes  50/50 Raffle  Large Screen TV Raffle Great Food and Music $5.00 Admission for Show Cars,  Free Admission & Parking for Spectators.

July 27, Guilford CT  36th Annual Time Machines Car Show and Flea Market. 28  judged show car classes & flea market of mostly auto related items. Featuring All Makes & Models & celebrating Mustang’s 50th Anniversary plus a special class for Shelby. Vehicles to 1989. Metal Dash plaques to 1st 350 cars. 3 trophies per class. To be eligible for trophy competition vehicles need to be on the show field by 12 noon and must also be present for awards ceremony at 3pm. There is a display only, non judged class for vehicles 1989 and newer for people who want to share their special car with others.  Original, non-modified show cars pre-dating 1930 enter free.  There will be a car corral with cars for sale, music by a DJ, and numerous free door prizes called throughout the day. A 50/50 raffle with proceeds benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project will be held.  Multiple food vendors. Spectator parking is free on site.

August 3, East Hampton, CT 48th Annual Belltown Vintage Motorcar at Haddam Neck Fairgrounds. Stock, unmodified cars and trucks 1898 – 1971 are welcome for classification and judging.  Trophies awarded.  Show includes car corral and flea market.  Display-only area for other collector cars and hot rods built through 1982.  Rain or shine, field conditions permitting.

August 10, Middletown, CT Come join American Muscle Car Club and Cat Tales, Inc.catcarshow for the first annual Fast and the Furriest Car, Truck, & Bike Show at Middletown High School. All proceeds will go directly to Cat Tales, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving & enriching the lives of homeless cats & kittens.

August 23,  Vernon, CT Annual KIDSAFE CT Car Show has already made a name for itself among car enthusiasts as a single day car show for antique and classic cars, trucks, sports cars, street rods, etc. This one-day event brings hundreds of vintage vehicles and enthusiastic admirers to Vernon, CT. The KIDSAFE CT Car Show was developed as a fundraiser for KIDSAFE CT, a private, non-profit located in Rockville, CT and dedicated to the early intervention, prevention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

plainvilleflyerAugust 23, Plainville, CT 30th Annual Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival and Car Show run from August 22nd – 24th 2014. Car Show Saturday August 23, 2014 Noon to 5:00PM Trophies Awarded 4:00PM First 100 Cars Get Dash Plaques. Donation $10.00 to the Plainville Fire Co. Memorial Scholarship Fund.

August 30, Colebrook, CT Labor Day Fair Car Show.  8:30 am registration.  Dash plaques 1st 50 cars.  Where: Colebrook CT Recreation Area. Enter at intersection of rt. 183 & School House Rd.Held in conjunction with the Colebrook CT Labor Day Fair.