- Through the Windscreen
- Through the Rearview Mirror
- Lotus Blossom Festival
- Cool Your Coupe'
you would like your vehicle to appear in next month's
newsletter, please send a photo and brief description to Dave
ProgressWe always have a number of interesting
projects going on in our shop. Take
A Look Through
Previewing events of interest to the
owners of British or Specialty
We’ll be at the New Hope Auto Show
weekend (August 13-14). This is a great show right in our own
backyard; stop by our exhibit to chat and check out the Hudson
Terraplane and Austin Healey 3000. We’ll also bring
along some cars for sale.
On Saturday, Pollock Auto
(our sister shop in Pottstown) is
sponsoring the trophies for the Cars of the ‘20s category; on
Sunday, Ragtops & Roadsters is sponsoring the Jaguar
The following week (August 20) we’ll stay in Perkasie for
the “Under the Stars Car Show”
the Perkasie Olde Towne Association
and The Good-Time
. Every year we have the choice between this
and Pebble Beach. For some reason, Perkasie always wins out.
Maybe we'll make it to Pebble Beach next year!
a fun, local evening at an in-town venue, with more than 400
classic, custom and antique cars on display throughout the
streets of downtown Perkasie.
On August 27, it’s a surprise Birthday Bash for my Italia
2000. Members of the Delaware Valley Triumphs
will be on hand at my house in Quakertown to
celebrate and hold their summer barbeque and picnic. Send me
for more details.
The next day (August 28) we’ll join the Lanco MG
at the 22nd Annual "A Taste of
car show in Rothsville, Pennsylvania.
It’s a gathering for all British vehicles and motorcycles
combined with a Polo Match for the "Taste of Britain Cup." The
Show Field opens at 11 a.m. for vehicles. The polo match is at
September 11 is the 100 Motorcars of
Radnor. It's always a wonderful show. This year's
featured marque is Jaguar. Please contact me if you have an
interesting Jaguar that you would like to have invited to the
(See our calendar on the
for links to more information about these
A Look Through
Where We've Been
The Doylestown at Dusk Show was one of
the hottest shows we've ever attended, and not just because of
the great cars on hand. It was more than 100 degrees in the
afternoon and it felt just as oppressive in the
Still, it was a great show. For the second year in
a row, it was held in downtown Doylestown, Bucks County.
Organizers opened some additional streets in anticipation of
more than 500 cars. They ended up with 420 – not
Congratulations to Lonny and Tina Hamilton, who took Best
of Show for their green 1941 Ford Business Coupe. Ragtops
& Roadsters owner Mike Engard chose Tom Marsaloha's 1940
LaSalle as the Pro’s Pick.
On July 31, we joined RD Enterprises
sponsor of a car show that was part of the Lotus Blossom
Festival in Earleville, Maryland. The setting, with the lotus
blossoms in full bloom along the Sassafrass River, was
spectacular. A nice variety of about 20 cars participated in
See below for more photos and a full description of
The following week (August 6) my Triumph
was among 130 cars to attend the
6th Annual Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car
at the Saratoga Automobile
in upstate New York.
included Fiat, in recognition of the automaker's return to
the United States; the cars of Donald Healey (Austin and
Jensen); the Mercedes-Benz SL-class in honor of the
automaker's 125th birthday, and late model exotic cars from
1986 to the present day.
I was pleased to see one
of our customers at the Hemmings Sports & Exotic show: Gib
Battisti and his 1984 Toyota Supra.
This stunning RHD Triumph
was just imported to the
Lotuses Invade Maryland
On July 30, a diverse group of vintage and current Lotus
cars and their owners from five states converged on the Mt.
Harmon Plantation in Earleville, Maryland for the Second
Annual Lotus Blossom Festival.
Mt. Harmon is in the northern part of Maryland on one of
the fingers of land that jut out into the creeks. In addition
to having a history as a tobacco plantation dating back to
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it has the distinction
of hosting a cove of American Lotus blossoms that bloom in
Beginning last year, Mt. Harmon
began an event featuring weavers, potters, artisans, a blue
grass band, a tour of the Plantation house and, of course,
their Lotus blossoms.
My wife Pat and I were showing our 1959 Lotus Elite
at the Oakbourne Mansion Car Show in Pennsylvania when John
and Phyllis Gossin asked if we would consider bringing our
Elite to Mt. Harmon's first festival. John is a member
of the Delaware Valley Triumph Club and also a member of the
Mt. Harmon Historical Society.
When planning their event, he had told them: "You
know, there is a "Lotus" car and maybe I could find one for
your show." We jumped at the opportunity to attend. How
much more perfect could it get...Lotus blossoms and Lotus
Last year, the time was too short for us to invite
other Lotus owners so it was our Elite and another Elite
brought to Earleville by Clark and Pam Lance. We had
such a good time it seemed a great opportunity to rally the
Lotus troops this year for our first "LIMB"…Lotuses Invade
We just had "LOG" 30 up the road in Gettysburg, so
why not another chance for a branch (get it?) event for us
Northeasterners? I made plans with the Mt. Harmon folks to
have an area set aside for our cars and organized the event
with commitments from PALS (Philadelphia Area
and the DC Lotus Ltd. chapter.
With the help of Dave Hutchison, of Ragtops &
Roadsters, we were able to arrange trophy and printing
sponsorship from Ragtops and RD Enterprises
, a supplier of Lotus parts in Quakertown,
Pennsylvania. My goal was to have at least 20 Lotus cars at
the show, hopefully attracting a variety of types representing
the history of the marque.
We were so lucky to exceed that goal with Lotuses
from 1956 to the present, including:
- An historic 1956 Lotus 6, the very last Type 6 built,
owned by Kyle and Irena Kaulback;
- The 1959 Elite S1 owned by Pat and I;
- A beautiful 1962 two-tone Elite S2 owned by Kevin
Moving on through Lotus production there were Elans,
Europas, an Eclat, Esprits and Elises Lotuses. One of
the stars of the show, at least from a kid’s point of view,
had to be Dave Hutchison's Lotus 1966 Indy pedal car. Not
exactly a trailer queen, I'm told.
The show was such a success that we have already
started plans for next year's event (LIMB 2). This time we
would like to reach out to the other Lotus owners to join us
(hear that LOONY?). We are considering a show on Saturday, a
dinner that night at a local inn and a scenic run on Sunday.
More details when they are available.
I am so grateful to Paige Howard, Debbie Brown and
the Mt. Harmon Historical Society for allowing us to join
their festival. You can check out the Mt. Harmon
site and see more pictures of the Lotus
cars on the PALS
congratulates Kevin McGovern
for winning his class with his
How to Make That Hot Little British
Coupe' Really Cool
As our long summer wears on -- I
believe we are now in the middle of our sixth heat wave – we
face yet another stretch of days with temperatures above 90
degrees with high humidity.
Under those harsh
circumstances, many vintage car ethusiasts find themselves
choosing comfort over driving pleasure, leaving their
rides in the garage from early June to early September
and, therefore, missing a good part of the driving
Here at Ragtops & Roadsters,
we have seen an increase in our clients’ interest in air
conditioning. We have been successful in finding
original parts for AC systems that were either installed in
the factory or at the dealership when the cars came stateside.
When we make the repairs and revive these older systems
they leave something to be desired....COLD
Sure, they do work but air conditioning
technology has come a long way since the 60s and 70s.
A San Antonio company has
cornered the market for modern AC systems that can be
installed in classic cars. Vintage Air has become a
market leader having been in business for 35 years. We
have installed several of their systems and find the kits well
engineered and easy to adapt to our British cars.
The most recent system we
installed was in a 1974 Jensen GT. Madera
worked with us modify a walnut dash
fascia to incorporate one of the anodized control panels that
go very well with the 70s-style switches and
Using the state-of-the-art Sanden
compressor, the Universal Gen II Mini will compete with the
best of today's automotive AC. The electronic controls, with
several different styles of control panels, blend in very well
and the design and execution of the entire bolt-in system
can't be beat.
I know it’s fun to show up at a
car show with an original AC system that will offer something
cooler than the outside air. I suppose you could get points
added to your judge’s sheet for that. If you want to be
"really cool,” though, a Vintage Air system might be the best