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April 2019

SHOP TALK

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In This Edition:

Through the Windscreen

Triumph vs MG Spring Rally... The Battle for the Lucas Cup!

April 27th

The Delaware Valley Triumph Club and the MG Club of Philadelphia will once again go head to head for the famous Lucas Cup on Saturday April 27th in Paoli, PA.. Dating back to June 1997, these clubs have met twice a year to carry on the competition between these rival vintage British Marques. Each winner is awarded the Lucas Cup and returns the perpetual trophy to the next rally with their name on it. At this time, the DVT has 23 wins and the MG Club has claimed the cup 22 times and they will be looking to even the score! No experience is required and we always end up at a pub to celebrate a great day of driving! Want to join us?

Ragtops & Roadsters Spring Open House

May 18th

Plan to stop by for our 25th Annual Spring Open House between 10 AM - 4 PM to see our latest restoration projects. Once again, we will have those delicious scones, teas, coffee and refreshments throughout the day. No need to register, just fire up your favorite collectible and stop by. Our staff and technicians will be on hand to answer any restoration questions you may have about your classic. We also plan to have some of our client's cars looking for new garages on display! This year we have more than a few Jaguars, an assortment of Austin Healeys, many Morgans, lots of Lotus, at least two Triumphs and a multitude of MGs!

Cars & Motorcycles of England

June 1st

The Delaware Valley Triumph and Delaware Valley Jaguar clubs are pleased to announce that the Cars and Motorcycles of England will be held on June 1, 2019 at Hope Lodge in Fort Washington. The Friends of Hope Lodge will also be hosting a beer tasting event with two live bands. Click here for Online Registration. The Delaware Valley Jaguar Club brings in about 75 Jaguars and the Delaware Valley Triumph Club "Cars and Motorcycles of England" usually draws about 150 multi-marque British cars and motorcycles. This is the largest British car show in the Philadelphia area. Click here for more information. 

Reoccurring Events

2nd Tue   MG Club of Philadelphia Mtg., Blue Bell, PA
3rd Mon   Austin Healey Sport & Touring Club Mtg., North Wales, PA
3rd Tue   DVT Club GTR Mthly Mtg., North Wales, PA
3rd Sun   DVJ Breakfast Social, Spring House, PA
Every Sat   Katie's Cars and Coffee, Great Falls, VA

April Events

4/5   20th Annual British & European Car Show, Williamsburg, VA
4/7   SCCA Philadelphia Regional Solo, Warminster , PA
4/11 – 4/13   Barrett-Jackson Auction, Palm Beach, FL
4/12 – 4/13   Simeone Museum “Kimber Festival”, Philadelphia, PA
4/12 – 4/14   The Gathering, Shelton Vineyards, Dobson, NC
4/26 – 4/28   HSR “The Mitty”, Braselton, GA
4/26 – 4/28   DVJ NE Rally Club Pumpkin Run, Millsboro, DE
4/27   Spring Rally MG vs Triumph Rallye, , PA
4/29   21st Annual Brits on the Green, Lorton, VA

British Car Calendar of Events

Shop News

Motorcars Delivered... Ready for Spring Driving!

by: Dave Hutchison

This 2005 Morgan was acquired by its current owner eight years ago. One of only 82 car that Morgan brought into the states, it is powered by a 3.0 Liter Ford V6 that is mated to 5-speed gearbox. It did not run when arriving, so we replaced old, stale fuel, rebuilt the rear brakes and sorted through the car.  It now runs strong and is back in our client's garage waiting for a sunny day.
The owner bought this MGTC from a retired gentlemen about 10 years ago.  Little by little he is paying attention to many years of what we call deferred maintenance. The older paint work is acceptable and now after our full brake rebuild it stops on a dime!  The owner recently reported that he has repaired the loose steering. Look for this vintage ride to be cruising the  back country roads of Bucks County this summer.
Ragtops & Roadsters now handles service and restoration of Italian and German vintage cars!  This 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider came in for an annual safety inspection and service. We replaced all fluids, tuned the engine, adjusted the timing chain and inspected his giubo (rubber flex-joint) Look for this lovely Alfa to be out on the road soon!
The owner bought this 1972 Silver Shadow from an estate sale last fall.  It ran poorly but did make it into the shop. We rebuilt the carburetors and replaced the old fuel with some fresh fuel. We also installed a new exhaust system, replaced the plugs and tuned the engine, Now you can hardly hear this 6.3 L V8 run!  Have any Grey Poupon?

In the Rearview

Amelia Island Concours....Road Report

March 7th - 10th

By Bob DeLucia & Dave Hutchison
Once again, with my friend Dan Tinsman riding shotgun, we made the 20-hour drive down route I-95 to Jacksonville, Florida towing a 1938 Jaguar SS 100 in our enclosed trailer.  This 3.5 liter SS Jaguar had metal-work and a full paint respray done by our sister shop in Pottstown, Pollock Auto Restoration. Here at Ragtops we made some period-correct modifications under the bonnet and it looks good, is fully sorted and runs very strong!  After winning it's class at the Cars and Motorcycles of England last spring and "Most Outstanding Jaguar" at the Greenwich Concours, we were looking forward to a warm weekend at Amelia. Our client flew into JAX and we prepped the car so it was ready to drive onto the show field on Sunday.

On a beautiful, sunny Florida morning, Dan and I met up with our friends from the Delaware Valley Triumph Club, Bob DeLucia and Bill Murphy. They supervised from their lawn chairs as we prepared to unload the SS 100. In the airport parking lot there were already several dozen enclosed trailers ready to unload the "trailer queens". While there, we saw a rare 1963 500 HP Cheetah #001 stretching its legs blasting down one of the taxiways.

After visiting registration to pick up our passes for the weekend, we had an early dinner and we attended the third annual Amelia Motoring Film Exhibition, where we met part of the 35 cars and their drivers from the Hagerty Road Tour "Amelia or Bust". They started in snowy New England making a week long journey (no interstates) down to Amelia. We started off the night with two very good shorts films, a time-lapse short sponsored by Hagerty called Chrysler Hemi FirePower V8 Engine Rebuild Time-Lapse by Redline Rebuild and a short from Hagerty's new series "Why I Drive" about a home-built GT40. The feature film was called "A Sicilian Dream: Pistons, Passions, and Pleasures". This is a one-hour film narrated by Alain de Cadenet, is about the rich history of the Targa Florio in Sicily and it can been seen on Amazon Prime and it is well worth watching. Just make sure you turn the sound up!
On Friday morning we stopped by the Gooding & Company preview and auction. IMO, the cars were not quite up to the caliber of cars they have presented in the past, with a definite lack of 'heavy hitters'.  The auction started off slow and few cars met the bottom of the estimated price range for sale.  Some, like the AC Ace Bristol were a "No Sale" at $220K. This S1 Primrose E-Type was rough but an original car that was a good candidate for restoration. Prices ranged from the teens to $1,325,000 for a fabulous 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS. Our friend, Robin's favorite was a little 1949 Fiat 500 B Topolino that sold for $61,600. Believe it or not, a Volkswagen Thing was estimated at $25-35K hammered at $48K! Click here for full Amelia Auction Results.

We had all signed up for a RM Sothebys pre-auction tour on Friday afternoon hosted by our friend, Andy Reid, of Classic Cars.com, It was Andy who introduced us to Sean Kovoleski last year who represents Shriners Hospital for Children. We thank Andy for that introduction, as Shriners has become our ABRR Driving for Kids Charity for the past two years!  More about that later.  Andy gave a great tour and always stops at a Ferrari Daytona and tells us of his passion for these special Ferraris. He walked us through the preview for over an hour as he spoke about why certain cars have either rising or falling values. RM had some high-dollar sales including a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra which sold for for $1,792,500, and this 1965 Mk 1 Sunbeam Tiger hammered at 151,200! Click here for Full RM Auction Results.

After Andy's tour, we stopped over at the Bonhams auction to watch the activities there, and view more metal "eye candy" being bid on. We got there late in the day when some brass ear cars were doing very well bringing very strong money! It was reported that many other lots were weak but this very well restored Opalescent Dark Blue 1964 Series 1 E-Type brought this right money at $196K! Click here for Full Bonhams auction results.
On Saturday, morning the "Cars and Coffee" was held on the 10th and 18th Fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island. The past two years this event had to be moved, because of rain forecasts and this event ran concurrently with the Concours d'Elegance. This year, it had the fairways all to themselves. 450 invited vehicles were on the field. My fellow TR club Members were happy to see four Triumphs on the 18th green. a TR3 a TR4a, TR250, and a TR6. 

For the past 24 years Bill Warner has invited many of our racing legends to serve as honoree for this incredible event. This year the honoree was  Jacky Ickx, a Belgian racer who won the  24 Hours of Le Mans six times! We had tickets for the "The Porsche 962 Dynasty", that would be hosted by Justin Bell. The panel was amazing, Joachim Mass. Alwin Springer, Rob Dyson, Derek Bell, Mark Raffauf, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redmond, David Hobbs, and Jackie Ickx.  All shared their connections and racing experiences with the factory roll-out of the 956/962 project, with the exception of David Hobbs who did report following a couple of 962s! The talk was spirited and they took questions from the packed house.  If you are a racing fan, I highly recommend attending these seminars at Ameila!

Later on Saturday, after the Cars and Coffee, the 18th Green quickly was vacated, and the Concours d'Elegance entrants started driving onto the field, in all marques and models. Show cars were detailed, including our client's 1938 SS100. Cars were covered with many layers of protective covering for the evening, and tucked into bed.

On Sunday our alarm went off at 0:30am, after losing an hour of sleep due to the time change, and TOD to the show field was 0700. It was warm already with highs predicted into the mid-80's. The 2019 Concours d'Elegance was yet another display of extraordinary classic cars as Perfection Personified. Since we had a show car, we arrived early at the field as we had to unwrap and prepare the car. We had a great location, right near the entrance to the show field, in the company of no less than ten Jaguar  XK 120s, one of the featured marques being celebrated. Of course the Cars of Ickx were impressive!

This year's Concours competition drew 309 entries from all over the world into 35 classes to the 10th and 18th Fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island. Thousands of spectators swarmed the field at the 9:30 am opening to view the assemblage of world-class cars. There were literally far too many to see under the hot March Florida sun. Other special collections were Porsche 962's, Custom Coachwork Volkswagens, and 50 years of the NHRA Gainesville Raceway.

The Best in Show Concours d’Elegance Trophy was given to a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier owned by The Keller Collection at the Pyramids. A 1957 Ferrari 355 S owned by Cavallino Investments took home the Best in Show Concours de Sport Trophy. For a full list of 2019 Amelia winners click here. As always, IMHO this is the best Concours d'Elegance in the country as it always has a strong sports and racing car presence and the Honorees are my heros!  Next year is the 25th Concours!  Rumor has it that there will be a very famous driver selected as Honoree! I hope so, because am planning on making the journey again!

2019 P.A.L.S. Lotus Planning Meeting

by: Dave Hutchison

I had a great day attending the Philadelphia Lotus Society (PALS) Winter Stress Reliever Meeting at Kyle Kaulbach's home in Bethel, PA.  I rode up with Ray Psulkowski from r.d.enterprises in his 1966 Lotus Cortina and I have whole new respect for these little sleepers!  Ray was happy to stretch it's legs on the way home. Kyle opens his "Lotus Barn" and hosts this low-key event every spring where fellow Lotus enthusiasts gather to discuss the upcoming events. Many conversations were about making plans to attend LOG 39 in Sturbridge, Mass. this coming August.  I am pleased to report LOG 39 registration just opened so we suggest you check out the LOG 39 website and register soon as the fees increase as we get closer to August!
Ragtops & Roadsters is here to help out with winter / spring projects. Maybe it's time to take care of the deferred maintenance, restoration, preservation, and upgrade needs that are on your car's "to do" list? Click here to send an e-mail to dave@ragtops.com or call us 215-257-1202 to schedule an appointment. We are now scheduling appointments in late April and May, so it's not too late to plan for repair or restoration work so you can drive in the spring! Click to see our updated Works In Progress page on our website.
We have recently listed more of our client's British cars looking for new homes. Click on our For Sale page to see current listings. Click here to see more pictures of this very clean well sorted 1974 Lotus Twin Cam Special shown below.
Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
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