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March 2020

SHOP TALK

WELCOME NEW SHOP TALK SUBSCRIBERS!

Visit RAGTOPS.COM today to see recent updates and new photos! 

In This Edition:

Through The Windscreen

COVID- 19
March 2020 - ???

We found this story posted by the Rolls Royce Owners Club and we want to share it as an interesting piece of history. The Keep Calm and Carry On poster shown above was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 to prepare for World War II and was intended to boost morale. The belief in self discipline, fortitude, and remaining calm in adversity, the very British "stiff upper lip", was put to paper and print to display to the public to help with the motivation. It was designed by the Ministry of Information sometime in June-July 1939. It was actually a part of a series of three posters as seen below and were intended to be distributed to strengthen moral during wartime. The posters were produced in 11 different sizes with over 2,500,000 copies printed. It has become a popular theme in our media today and it is once again words to live by over 80 years later!

Per Pennsylvania Governor Wolf's orders, we have curtailed operations at both shops through April 5th and our employees are spending time at home with their families to weather the virus storm. As we face these difficult times, that are affecting everyone worldwide, remember, we will endure!! Stay calm, stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!  The Ragtops & Roadsters team will be there for you down the road! If you are interested in making an appointment for when we return to the shop, call Dave on his cell phone 215 527 1409 and he will get you on our "To Do List"

WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WHEN WE GET OVER THIS CORONSVIRUS HILL WE WILL FIND MANY WINDING ROADS ON THE OTHER SIDE TO DRIVE AGAIN!

Ragtops & Roadsters  Spring Open House
30th Anniversary
May 16th 10AM - 4 PM..... FINGERS CROSSED MAYBE OUTSIDE ONLY? 

Please join us for our 30th Anniversary Open House. All British Car enthusiasts and friends are invited to our shop, to meet our staff and see the many cars in the restoration process. We will have our famous scones in the morning and, new this year, we will hold a rally from our sister shop Pollock Auto Restoration to Ragtops & Roadsters.  More details to follow soon. Our Car Corral will offer a variety of cars from show to project cars.  No need to register; just stop by! For directions please visit our website at www.ragtops.com. After a short, not-so-snowy winter we are looking forward to some sunny weather and seeing all of our sports car friends again!

Cars & Motorcycles of England
Hope Lodge, Fort Washington, Pa

June 6th  NEWSFLASH JUST CANCELED FOR 2020  Next year JUNE 5,2021
An All British marque concours with judged cars and motorcycles, and a nationally sanctioned JCNA Concours d'Elegance, will be held at historic Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, PA. The combined show fields represent one of the largest British Motoring shows on the East Coast with over 250 cars and motorcycles participating in the last five years. The show field opens at 8:30 AM and judging starts at 10:00 AM. Prizes will be awarded beginning at approximately 2:30 PM. There will be a car corral and British Car related vendors.  Craft Beer and food will be available. Click here to register online today!

America's British Reliability Run 
October 16th - 18th

SAVE THE DATE! The PA based ABRR is running again this fall on 10/16-10/18.  We are in the planning stages at this time, but we can tell you that we will be running a "cloverleaf style" run, where we plan on staying at the same hotel (in the Gettysburg area) and will run three loops back to our host hotel. Other ABRR Chapters have done this over the years and found it to be a lot of fun with no packing and unpacking each day. Our runs are planned down south on the great back roads of Maryland and West Virginia.  We will be visiting the Summit Point Motorsports Park and we are working on a couple of surprises, too! We are running for the kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children again this year to support their efforts to treat kids with scoliosis. Keep an eye on our PA website for more details.  We plan to open registration on 6/6/20 at the Cars & Motorcycles of England Car Show.

British Car Calendar of Events

Recurring Events

Please check with event sponsors for recurring events this month.
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
3rd Sun Mugs & Morgans, Lumberville, PA
Every Sat Katie's Cars and Coffee, Great Falls, VA

April Events

All month We don't expect any events to take place this month.

Coming Events

5/16 Ragtops & Roadsters Open House, Perkasie , PA

MGA Windscreen Frames For Sale!

ATTENTION!

We have completely rebuilt MGA Windscreen frames for 1500, 1600 and  Competition Windscreens. Please contact barb@pollockauto.com
 

Shop News

Motorcars Delivered... Ready for Spring / Summer Driving!

by: Dave Hutchison

We have serviced this locally owned 1974 TRIUMPH TR6 for the past three owners! We just rebuilt the steering column and chased away some Prince of Darkness problems caused by Lucas. This TR-6 is now in the hands of  Ambassador Bob DeLucia of the Delaware Valley Triumph Club and he plans to get out and resume "Retiree Runs" when we get the "ALL CLEAR"
This 1962 TRIUMPH TR3B was bought from the original owner back in 1978. He and his Dad rebuilt the engine, drove it daily, then the kids came along. After sitting a couple of decades until 2017, we picked up the car and performed a mechanical freshening, rebuilt the carbs, brakes, cooling system and installed a new clutch. Next, the new owner will do fresh paint and a new interior.
Our client had this MG-TF restored by a hobbyist who did the best he could, but many tasks were either not finished or not done properly.  After a full evaluation we rebuilt the windscreen,  repaired and aligned the doors and bonnet and went over the brakes. We also installed fender welting, fixed the grill and fitted a new tonneau cover. The owner reports a much better, tighter car as he is back on the road again!

In the Rearview

25th Annual Amelia Island Concours d' Elegance

March 5-8 2020
By Bob DeLucia and Dave Hutchison
FIVE PENSKE INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNERS
The classic automotive weekend started well for Bill Murphy and Bob DeLucia as the Hampton Inn hotel shuttle driver told them she used to drag race at Gainesville (Gator Nationals). The automotive vibrations for the weekend had started!   Both Bob and Bill, from the Delaware Valley Triumph Club, took the easy way down that involved a plane! Dave, on the other hand, made the 18-hour drive down solo, trailering the 1964 Triumph Italia 2000 GT Vignale #295 that was invited be on the Concours show field on Sunday. DVT and DVJ members Alan and Robin Anspaugh (1960 Triumph Italia #122) also drove down, though a lot more comfortable, and less stressful in their Ford Expedition. Of course they made the obligatory stop at the iconic, "South of the Border", to say "Hello" to "Pedro". Hopefully nobody actually ate there! Myself on the other hand blew right past Pedro as I had eaten there in the past!  

I rolled in with the Ragtops/Pollock truck and trailer at the Hampton Inn late Wednesday afternoon and later that evening, several of us stopped over at the Bonhams Amelia Island Auction preview and viewed more metal "eye candy". Two Triumphs were at the preview headed to the auction block on Thursday, a 1965 TR4A (estimated at $35,000-$50,000) and it hammered at $29,680 and a 1961 TR3A ($25,000-$30,000) which sold for $20,160. Several E-Types were under the tent also with estimate sale prices considerably less than last year, that sold for far less this year. Thanks to Greg Porter of Bonhams for preview tickets, which included food and drinks!
On a beautiful sunny Thursday morning, Bill and Bob helped (well, sort of, actually sat in the lawn chairs watching!) Dave unload the Italia and precisely detailed the third Triumph Italia Pollock Auto Restoration has shown at Amelia, to perfection. All around the closed off taxiway were many car carriers, unloading their "goods". After taking care of the details, the Italia went back in the trailer all ready for the Porsche Driving Experience first thing on Friday morning at the Fernandina Airport. We then visited the activities at the host Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which was the hotbed of motoring activities, motoring celebrities, and everything else motor-related.

Later, on Thursday afternoon after some spotty rain showers, I had signed us up for an RM Sothebys pre-auction tour by Andy Reid of Classiccars.com, of the great cars that would be auctioned off on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton. Andy gave us a great guided tour, though the offerings he spoke about in the "soft classic car market", RM Sothebys had some huge high dollar offerings. One car that caught my eye was a beautiful TR2 based 1955 Swallow Doretti that Andy said is an affordable Mille Miglia eligible car (before 1957). So is my Triumph TR2 longdoor Hmmm? The Doretti sold for $84K! Well bought!  At RM, we also met up with Sean Coveleski from Shriner Hospital for Children who is the Senior Director of Corporate Engagement, our contact for the past and the 2020 America’s British Reliability Run.  Pictured below are those who have participated on the ABRR in past years!
Then it was off that evening to the 5th Annual 2020 Amelia Motoring Film Exhibition where we met some of the 35 cars on the Hagerty "Amelia or Bust" Tour that started this year from Gettysburg. They drove 1400 miles, all on paved back roads without an inch of interstate, down to Amelia while visiting some very impressive private car collections. After four very good short films, Four Cam Jam, The Racer, Why I Drive, and Redline Rebuild, a Hagerty produced fantastic slow-motion rebuild. This year's feature film was the critically acclaimed "Blink of an Eye" directed by Paul Taublieb. The very well done documentary chronicles racing driver Michael Waltrip's struggles of racing 462 races without a singe win in NASCAR, while in the shadow of his successful brother Darrell, before being hired to drive for Dale Earnhardt, the most feared and iconic driver in NASCAR history. Culminating with Waltrip's first win at Daytona in the most tragic of circumstances.
On Friday morning, some of us went to the auction by Gooding and Company. I was surprised to see so many newer cars and supercars there. A very low mileage 1973 VW Beetle sold at the Gooding auction for an amazing $42,560! Almost no full classics, but this Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster was well bought at $758,000, about $200,000 below it's 2018 value!
After lunch we attended Seminar #1, "Penske Perfect - Effort = Results". This was SRO, the most crowded seminar I have ever seen. It was a "who's who" of racing including Roger Penske, Rick Mears, John Mecom and Rusty Wallace. MC'ed by Ray Evernham, the conversation was entertaining and informative. On Friday evening after the seminar, we just relaxed and visited one of our favorite seafood places in Fernandina Beach, "The Crab Trap". Grouper, hush puppies, blue crab bisque and good local pints on tap finished off the night.
As we were headed to "Cars & Coffee" we made a brief stop at the 2nd Annual Concours de Lemons here at Amelia hosted by Alan Galbraith right on the Amelia Island Parkway on our way to the 10th and 18th fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island. As their website says they celebrate the truly mundane and awful cars,  everything from the Soul Sucking Japanese Appliances to Rust Belt to American Junk Mopar and even a trophy for Worst of Show. Many horrible cars from the 70s were there and it was well worth a 15 minute stop!  I ran into my friend Jeff Lane from the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville with a couple of his cute eccentric cars and I am happy to report that I was the FIRST buyer of his new book! Check out his museum in Nashville and buy his new book "Hobby Gone Wild" online!  It is very well done!  Stay tuned next month for a full report of when I recently visited the Lane Motor Museum in next month's ShopTalk!
This year, the Cars & Coffee had most of the cars parked by marque (over 30 Alfas!) and the cars had the fairways to themselves. 450 invited vehicles were on the two fields. It now costs $35 to register, which was always free in previous years, and registrants had to apply to display by September 1st. Later that morning, we attended another seminar called "Penske, The Early Years". Again it was hosted by Ray Evernham with a panel of distinguished gentlemen and one special lady, Judy Stropus. Walt Czarneki, Woody Woodward, Don Cox, Chuck Cantwell, Karl Kainhofer, and Jay Signore all shared stories about the early days of Penske Racing. I especially enjoyed Judy's reflection of how she was recruited by Penske for $25 a race, as the timing and scoring person, a task that she came to perfect in later years. Don Cox said that when it rained on test days, they went to the pub and talked about the car. On a rain day, Mark Donahue suggested they make the body of the car longer to slip through the air better. Don remarked they had enough aluminum, pop rivets and racers tape, so they stretched the body four inches and so was born the Porsche 971/30! Donahue said the air flow was much better resulting in a higher straight line speed test, with speeds nearing 240 MPH!
Later on Saturday, after "Cars & Coffee", the 18th fairway was quickly vacated about 2:00pm. Concours vehicles started driving onto the field, in all marques and models. Show cars were being detailed, including the 1964 Triumph Italia 2000 GT by Vignale that was restored by Pollock Auto Restoration and Ragtops & Roadsters. All shows cars were covered with several layers of protective covering for the evening and tucked into bed.

Sunday came early as our alarms went off at 6:30am. After losing an hour of sleep due to the Daylight Saving Time, we still made it onto the show field before 8:00am. It was warm already but overcast with the high temp only going into the mid 60's for the day; cooler than the usual Amelia experience. The Concours d'Elegance was another display of extraordinary classic cars on the golf course aka show field. Perfection personified. We had staged the car on Saturday so we could take a gander at some of the other vehicles. We had a great location, in front of a vendor's tent with plenty of room for lawn chairs.
This year's competition drew more than 350 classic cars and motorcycles, divided into 35 classes, onto the fairways. That included this 1952 Jaguar XK 120 once owned by Clark Gable customized by George Barris, and this stunning Osca by Vignale! Hundreds of spectators swarmed the field at the 9:30am opening to view the assembly of world-class automobiles. There were almost, literally far too many to view on the several fairways. The Concours always gathers a group of cars that are associated with the honoree. For the 25th Anniversary, more than 30 Penske vehicles were displayed in four different classes. Cars of Penske was comprised of vehicles that Roger raced himself. In 1966, Penske founded Roger Penske Racing, which later became Team Penske. The three classes represented this era including Team Penske, Team Penske Sunoco, and Penske Indy Winners.
Our client's Italia presented very well, the judges very much enjoyed the car, and I would not hesitate to say it is one of the best examples of a Triumph Italia 2000 GT here in the states. It drew a lot of attention, but it was hard to beat a freshly restored Ferrari Super America 410 (1 of 12) and an Alfa TZ with a cam tail that boasted LeMans racing history!  We had a great week and it was an honor to be among the superstars of the collector car world.
The "Best in Show Concours d'Elegance Trophy" was given to a 1929 Duesenberg J-218 Limousine owned by the Lehrman Collection, Palm Beach Florida. This distinctive Murphy-bodied Town Limousine sports an aluminum roof line that allows the doors to be curved upward into the roof. This feature was carried forward into several future designs by Murphy. The most distinctive features of the J-218 were the angled windshield, surrounded by "clear vision" window pillars and the classic Art Deco paint scheme. The bare aluminum belt line was polished to a mirror finish to divide the black bottom from the white top. Chrome flashes such as door hinges, tool and battery doors complete the look. Vent doors in the hood rather than louvers are also a special feature.
The 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder, owned by Rob Kauffman of Charlotte North Carolina took home the "Best in Show Concours de Sport Trophy". Years ago, "It is to me the perfect racing car," said Indy 500, Can-Am & Trans Am Champion, Mark Donahue, of Porsche's 1500 hp 917/30. It carried him to six victories in eight races and to the 1973 Can-Am Championship. After nearly a half century Porsche's 917/30 is still the most powerful circuit racing car ever made. While no one knows the car's ultimate top speed, it easily achieved speeds of over 200mph at circuits like Watkins Glen and Riverside. It set a closed course speed record of 221.16mph at Talladega Superspeedway in 1975. Now 50 years later, that remains the fastest lap ever recorded on the steeply banked Alabama Superspeedway.

Sunday evening after the show, eight of us gathered at a favorite seafood place overlooking the water, to reminisce about yet another fabulous Amelia Island Concours weekend. I was missing? Where's Dave? He was already loaded up and headed north with the Triumph Italia, yet another great time had by all! So, who is going to join us for the 26th Amelia next March? Hmmm?
We are here to help out with spring projects. Now is the 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 just call us 215-257-1202 to schedule an appointment. We are currently scheduling appointments in late April, so it's not too late to plan for repair or restoration work soon, so that you can be enjoying your classic in 2020!

Looking For a New Garage

1966 MGB Roadster
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 1966 MGB Roadster with Overdrive (Asking Price Just Reduced to $26,000) looking for a new garage! This well restored MGB was restored with a bare metal respray about 15 years ago by a fastidious English engineer who lived in Canada. Driven only just enough to stay healthy in dry weather and the odometer shows just shy of 19,000 miles since restoration. This car is in excellent shape as it runs cool, shows good oil pressure and drives like new. Ragtops & Roadsters has looked after mechanical maintenance for the last several years and this roadster is guaranteed to pass PA State Inspection. Equipped with Retrosound radio, leather seats, custom steering wheel and shift knob, which were installed at restoration. Bright work is good, with no nicks, dings, chips or scratches in paint. Soft top, full tonneau, restoration photos, spare keys and books included. Contact Dave@ragtops.com or call 215.527.1409
Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
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