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July 2019

SHOP TALK

WELCOME NEW SHOP TALK SUBSCRIBERS!

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

In This Edition:

Happy Fourth of July!

Through The Windscreen

Rebels & Redcoats

July 6th

THIS SATURDAY! Classic car owners are invited to participate in the second annual Rebels & Redcoats Classic Car Show, sponsored by Ragtops & Roadsters and Pollock Auto Restoration on Saturday, July 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In keeping with the park's revolutionary history, the show features only American, French, British and German cars, representing the four countries involved in the Revolutionary War. Cars from all years up to 1994 are welcome and owners can register here. The fee is $25 per car. Onsite registration on the day of the event is $35. Linited to 200 cars and awards will be given in numerous categories.

"Under the Stars" aka the "British Invasion" in Perkasie

Aug 17th

NEW THIS YEAR! British Car owners are invited to participate in the first annual "British Invasion" right here in Perkasie, PA. This will be part of the long-time, successful Under the Stars Car Show as Perkasie will be opening Walnut Street to exclusively feature British Cars! The street capacity is limited to about 35 cars, so we very much encourage pre-registration. Trophies will be sponsored by Ragtops & Roadsters and be awarded in numerous categories. If you want to have a nice local evening out, come to Perkasie, PA on August 17th.
Click here to register online. 

 

America's British Reliability Run

September 20- 22nd

Registration opened for the PA 2019 ABRR on June 1st at Cars & Motorcycles of England and at this time we already have about 20 teams registered out of 40!  We are way ahead this year and this one will sell out soon! We will gather and start at Peddlers Village in Lahaska, PA, cross the Delaware, run south along the river towards Millville, NJ, visit New Jersey Motorsports Park, take in some parade laps on Thunderbolt Raceway, then ride the ferry to Lewes DE, dine at The Wheelhouse Restaurant, then tour through Delaware and Maryland state parks, visit another British car restoration shop, see more British cars, have a barbecue lunch, and eat some crab for dinner!  If you are thinking of running with us this year, SAVE THE DATE 9/20-9/22 and check out the details at www.britishreliability.org

British Car Calendar of Events

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

July Events

7/4 – 7/5   2020 Le Mans Classic, Le Mans, France
7/4 – 7/7   Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood House, UK
7/5 – 7/7   MOG 49 Annual Morgan Car Club Meet, Luray, VA
7/6 – 7/7   Giants Despair Hillclimb, Laurel Run, PA
7/7 – 7/21   Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Pittsburgh, PA
7/10 – 7/14   NAMGAR GT-44 MGA National, Dubuque, IA
7/10 – 7/14   36th Annual Fiat “Freak Out”, Greensboro, NC
7/12   Collector Car Appreciation Day, Everywhere, , USA
7/18 – 7/21   Keenland Concours D’ Elegance, Lexington, KY
7/20   Doylestown at Dusk Car Show, Doylestown, PA
7/20   12th Annual Boyertown Annual Cruise Night, Boyertown, PA
7/21   Newtown Car Show, Newtown, PA
7/22 – 7/27   68th Annual Rolls Royce  Meet, Troy, MI
7/26 – 7/28   Concours of America, St. John’s, Plymouth, MI
8/2 – 8/4   55th Annual Das Awkscht Fescht, Macungie, PA
8/3   15th Annual Pennypacker Mills British Car Day, Schwenksville, PA

 

Shop News

Motorcars Delivered... Ready for Summer Driving!

by: Dave Hutchison

This 1959 Triumph TR3a aka 'Smiles' has been in the hands of his proud, passionate owner for several years now. After a winter nap here at the shop and an annual safety check, we changed fluids and made some improvements to bring the car closer to original specs to score better at shows and 'Smiles' won a First Place at CMoE!
This beautiful 1959 MGA came into the shop in the early spring for a  gearbox conversion.  The 5-speed Mazda Miata gearbox was chosen and after some minor modifications, we are pleased to report that everything fit up to the engine. Not to say there were not some bumps along the road with this one, but all said and done we are very happy with the end results and so is our client!
I wrote about this 1975 MGB last month when the wedding anniversary surprise was revealed at our Spring Open House in May. Needless to say, this gentleman was very appreciative of this gift from his wife and after a couple of tweaks here at the shop, they came in last week and drove the car successfully from the Perkasie to Spartansburg, SC! It was an adventure!
Ragtops & Roadsters continues to provide service and restoration for Italian cars.  This beautiful 1967 Lancia Fulvia came in for a safety inspection and we just completed a fair amount of suspension rebuild work.  The owner reports that it now handles very well and can manage a rough road. The engine is tired and we may come in for rebuild it next winter.
The current owner of this 1960 MGA bought this car from a long time owner last year. He quickly learned how to drive standard shift and finds himself behind the wheel more and more. After a spring safety inspection it was time to rebuild the front suspension and go over the brakes.  Now, it stops on a dime and you may see this son and father team on the 2019 ABRR!
Yes, occasionally an American sports car will come through our shop. We have worked on this client's Ferrari and Porsche and we just rebuilt the manual gearbox on this 140 HP Corvair Corsa. We installed a rebuilt 4-speed gearbox, resealed the differential, rebuilt front and rear suspensions and tuned the four carbs. It runs well now! 
This 1960 longtime family owned MK IX Jaguar saloon was purchased new by our client's grandfather! Over the years, we have maintained this vintage luxury motorcar with tuning work, brake work, and a recent steering box rebuild. Now back at home look for this cat out on the Mainline.  Next winter we plan to replace the aging OE wiring harness!

In the Rearview

Cars & Motorcycles of England

by: Bob Norcini and Dave Hutchison

WOW! Those three letters could be used to describe a remarkable show. This year’s 2019 Cars and Motorcycles of England was again presented by the Delaware Valley Triumph and the Delaware Valley Jaguar Clubs at Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, PA  From the sheer number and variety of cars to the overall quality, this year’s CMoE was an incredible success. The weather wasn’t going to be a big concern as forecasters had called for partly cloudy but it ended up being mostly a sunny day. After quite a few rainy days in the previous few weeks, it looked like there was a lot of pent-up demand among drivers of ACs, Austin Healeys, Triumphs, Bentleys, MGs, Lotus, Jaguars, Aston Martins, Daimlers and Minis to see and be seen, not to mention driving with the top down!
In addition to some of the finest examples those marques had to offer, there were some fascinating one-offs: a pristine Sunbeam Alpine, a sharp Elva Courier, a Lister and hot-rodded AC Ace!  Six interesting vintage motorcycles were also on display. About 170 cars registered for CMoE and another 50 Jaguars registered for their national Concours d' Elegance. So, the registration tents were kept very busy all morning as cars started to fill the show field early. By 8:30, it was probably half filled and the cars kept pouring in, threatening to overwhelm the parking volunteers, but stalwarts that they were, they got creative and found spaces for all of entrants.
Ambassador Bob led DVT’s efforts for CMoE and he obviously did an admirable job. There were many volunteers who came through in set-up and clean-up. DVTDave capitalized on his connections to bring in sponsors; Willow Grove Jaguar, Mini of the Mainline, McLaren of Philadelphia, Mid-Atlantic Morgan, Hagerty Insurance, and R&R were all premier sponsors.  Many vendors turned out, some with parts!
It wasn’t only drivers of British steel (and fiberglass) that were excited about the show. Spectators started arriving soon after the show opened. Like the participants, they came in waves. Soon, it was the spectator parking volunteers who became very creative in finding parking spaces as they filled every nook and cranny of available space in the fields. It turns out there were over 500 spectator cars. So, we’re talking over a 1,000 spectators who visited the show! Unlike last year, the food trucks showed up, along with some food tables staffed by Hope Lodge volunteers. There was pizza, brats, fries, hot dogs, a variety of sandwiches and other tasty selections. And, of course, some thirst- quenching beers. All of the trucks and beer vendors did a healthy (even if the food wasn’t—after all, there were pizza and brats) business. An event of this size can’t be a success without a lot of support from many appreciated volunteers!
Dave Samtmann had the unenviable task of lining up volunteers to help with parking. He came through in a big way, and his best hunting grounds were the GTRs. (Frankly, I hadn’t intended to volunteer, but once Dave stared me in the eyes while asking me, I felt like I had no choice). Sarah Murry from Shriners Hospital for Children flew in from Florida to help us kick off the registration for the 2019 America's British Reliability Run with DVT Membership and Regalia volunteers at her side.
Mike Nitroy led an able team and judging went off without a hitch. Finally, as much as it was a lot of fun to see all the cars and have yours admired, the real fun came down to relationships, whether it be forming new friendships or renewing old ones. As Pat Heron said: "The weather was great, the number and variety of cars exceeded my expectation, but nothing beat having the opportunity to see, meet and chat with so many people who share a common interest - whether novice or subject matter expert. It was great to have so many enthusiasts gather to share stories about our passion."
It was also very rewarding to see so many of our client's cars recognized for their commitment and passion for the favorite British Marque. Pete & Peter Rohrbacher (who also did a bang-up job with the sound equipment this year!) took home first place for their 1958 AC Ace, At both ends of collector car spectrum,Tony Pincherri won Diamond in the Rough with his TR3a and, in JCNA judging, Chris Prior scored 1000 points for his 1938 Jaguar SS100!  Way to go, gentlemen!
Bill Swope won a second place with his Europa and Joe Marcione won a first place with his Elite in Lotus class.  Harry Morton won third place with his Austin Healey 3000 (out of 15 cars) and Bill & Sandy Goble won a first place with their MGTD! 
Many winners in the Triumph class, Glenn Coughenour, Bill Neidhardt and Ian Kirschemann won third, second and first in the TR2-TR3a class! Harry Gaffney, and Jim Scanlin won second and first in the TR 250 class! In the TR6 class, Roger Foster and Robert Ruby won a second and a first, Melody Laurel won a second with her TR8, John Mann won a first with his Spitfire and Bob Hunter won a first with his Herald convertible and I picked up another preservation award for my Triumph Italia 2000. Congratulations are in order for all of the winners. It was great to see everyone! The 2019 CMoE volunteers have already met and have started planning for next year.
Save the date... June 6, 2020! See you then! 

The Elegance at Hershey

by: Dave Hutchison

The Elegance at Hershey is a three day weekend that features some of the most unique cars you will ever see!  After nine shows this Concours is one of my favorites as you have the time to take it all in and savor each exhibit.  75 vintage and antique cars were arranged around the formal gardens of The Hotel Hershey.
It all starts on Friday night with the Kick Off Party, at the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens, an automotive garden party that featured some of the Concours and race cars that will compete on the Grand Ascent the next day. Its a casual event to meet the fellow automotive enthusiasts with whom you will spend the weekend and to catch up with old friends. It was nice to see and hear more of the race cars come up to join the party this year! 

In an effort to increase entries for the Grand Ascent this year, rules were relaxed a bit and it really paid off as nearly 40 Entrants were registered to run the hill on both Friday and Saturday.  Maybe Mike and I need to field a Ragtops & Roadsters entry next year? 
The Old York Road Sports Car Club brought out four members; Scott Fenley, Jon Clerk, Jason Urban and Dan Tinsman. Jason stages his one-off Lester MG and a pair of rare HRGs were waiting to make a run. The Cars 'n Coffee was sponsored by our friends at LBI on Saturday morning, at the base of the hill while many spectators came out to watch the course from the path along side the racers to get a good view.
It was reported that a tree jumped in the path of this beautiful Marcos leaving his plywood exposed! Ouch! Many competitors found their best times where run on Friday.  It was reported that John in his Mini, had some good elapsed times and Dan in his Triumph GT6 had a lot of fun! The fastest time of the weekend was set by Stefan Vapaa in a Saab Sonnet at blistering pace of 52.12 seconds!
Sunday morning came quickly and we were all set up in the Marketplace tent. This year we brought out the 1936 Railton Fairmile Three-position Drophead Coupe, a collaborative effort by both Ragtops and Pollock. Several folks came out in period dress to enjoy the day.  Our client's French 1922 Secqueville Hoyau was on the show field.
My Concours favorite this year was the 1952 Nash Healey that was built in less than three weeks to compete in the 1952 LeMans where it placed third overall and took first in class! Wow! The Best of Show, also know as the Governors Cup, went to the 1933 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A owned by Stephen Plaster. 
John Rich comes around the car to present Michael Engard who is driving with the owner, Teri Giacobetti, the award for "Best of France" for their 1922 Secqueville-Hoyau. Later, Dave Hutchison and Michael Engard with our very happy client, Alex Giacobetti clutching his award!  We think they had a good weekend!
The field of cars this year was the best in the show's nine year history!  The rarity and presentation was second to none. I love this show as there is so much to learn and enjoy about our shared passion.  There are many cars out there from all over the world and they each have a story!  Well done. Looking forward to next year!
We are here to help out with summer projects. Maybe it's time to take care of that 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 August and September, so it's not too late to plan for repair or restoration work so you can still drive this fall! 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 the very clean 'rotisserie' nut and bolt, full restoration of this well sorted 1966 MGB with LaCock de Normanville overdrive shown below. This car was photographed by Michael Furman and appears in his "Rule Britannia" book. 
The asking price was just reduced to $27,500
Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
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