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May 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 - May 2020

   As I write, we are at the end of our sixth week of quarantine observing social distancing while the shop remains closed to the public  We were hopeful that we could return in full force on the week of May 11th, however, it was just announced yesterday that Governor Wolf has not lifted the "Stay at Home Orders". We expect to be back as soon as we get the "All Clear" Stay tuned.
   
We have had a skeleton crew working on some jobs to keep the lights on during this crisis and we have had a couple of no contact deliveries, all while maintaining the CDC guidelines.  Mike is ready to welcome our full staff back to work and we will have our temperatures taken daily to remain safe.
     If your had an appointment we will be in touch during our first week back. Between now and when we return, Dave can be reached directly via his cell phone at 215.527.1409, if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, or to schedule a "NO CONTACT PICK-UP OR DELIVERY".  We all look forward to DRIVING SOON and seeing you IN THE FUTURE! 

Till then, like the sign says........

We have curtailed operations at both shops and our employees are spending time at home to weather the virus storm. As we face these difficult times, that are affecting everyone worldwide, remember, we will endure!! Stay safe, stay home, stay healthy, and most of all Stay Calm and Carry On!  Remember, the Ragtops & Roadsters Team will be there for you down that winding road! 

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 30th Anniversary Spring Open House
The May 16th 30th Anniversary Open House has been CANCELED BY COVID 19!! 
We have postponed our 30th Anniversary Celebration. Now rescheduled to coincide with the Pollock Auto Restoration Open House and with the "Before We Put 'em Away Run" on November 23, 2020.  Stay Safe Everyone!!

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

CANCELED BY COVID 19 FOR 2020!! See you 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

We are currently working on some new ideas to keep this event on the 2020 calendar. Please stay tuned!
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

ALL EVENTS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE HAVE BEEN EITHER CANCELLED FOR 2020 OR POSTPONED TO LATER IN THE YEAR.  WHEN WE SEE THE CALENDAR SETTLING DOWN WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO KEEP YOU INFORMED OF FUTURE BRITISH CAR EVENTS.
Many of the local British Car Clubs listed below are conducting their monthly meetings via Zoom. Check their website or Facebook Page for more information.

The April DVT Zoom Meeting was fun!  It was good to see everyone!
Check in with your British Car Club.listed below.

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

May Events

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

Coming Events

    To be determined

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

Our former Shop Manager and friend, Dave Jago, passed away suddenly in March.

We are very sad to report that one of our Ragtops extended family members, David Jago passed away March 11, 2020 at the age of 53. David was our Shop Manager from February 2015 to September 2016 and he was a great friend and colleague to everyone that worked here. As I write this post, it is hard to find words to describe the way I feel about this loss. David was a mentor to me in many ways with life, work, and any problem that I may have been dealing with at the time. Not only was he a mentor but most of all he was a great friend who was there to listen if I needed someone to talk to. He was always happy to help anyone with anything no matter how busy or stressed he was at times, he would always be happy to drop everything just to help you out of a jam with a calm demeanor. The greatest things I learned from David was how to be resourceful and selfless. There was never any problem that was too big or small for him to solve, he just took care of things and he always put other people before himself. He will be deeply missed here at Ragtops and to everyone he knew because he was just that special type of person who made you happy and laugh every time you talked to him. David was an example of how to live a positive life with a positive attitude. He left behind his wife Kim, two daughters Sophie (18) and Emma (16) and our hearts go out to them, I can't even imagine how they feel right now so we would like to ask everyone to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Dave was passionate about driving his MGA.  He and his daughter Emma ran the 2015 America's British Reliability Run in his MG as "Team Emmagination" and raised money for kids at St. Christopher's Foundation for Children.  May you have many winding roads ahead, my friend.

Rest in peace David, you will be greatly missed.........by: Ryan Hutchison

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

by: Dave Hutchison

We restored, resprayed this dark red Mercedes Benz 280 at our sister shop, Pollock Auto Restoration several years ago. Every winter, the long time owners bring the car back for winter storage and annual service. After a safety inspection, we delivered this car from our enclosed trailer via a "NO CONTACT DELIVERY" complying with all CDC recommendations!

In the Rearview

Lane Motoring Museum... a hobby gone wild.

Open all Year
By Dave Hutchison
I first meet Jeff Lane many years ago in Spartanburg, South Carolina at the 2008 Euro Auto Festival, when it was first held at the now-closed BMW Zentrum, the US headquarters. He brought his red Tatra T 603, a car that I had never seen before, a big Czechoslovakian car powered by an air cooled 2.5 liter OHV V8 capable of 100 mph! Wow! I first wrote about Jeff and his unusual cars in ShopTalk Spring 2008 Vol 15 Issue 1. Jeff has been a regular at the Amelia Island Concours and many Concours over the years as he brings out his one-of-a-kind, eccentric and downright, weird cars. I ran into Jeff again at the Meadowbrook Concours that year with his 1932 Helicron, a propeller driven car that made a lot of noise and wind!
Over the years, I remember many of his cars and all have several things in common. They are from all around the world especially Europe, some are very low production, and many are small... very small.. A couple of years ago just before the Amelia Island Film Festival he took me for a ride in his 1965 British built bubble top Peel Trident. It was then when Jeff and I became closer, a lot closer, as when I exhaled he inhaled! This was definitely the smallest car I had ever been in! This is the "big two seat" version of the Peel that some of you might remember in the scene on Top Gear episode with Jeremy Clarkson driving through the halls of the BBC studio and offices. Back to Jeff and his museum...
Jeff's roots are firmly planted in British Cars and he had cars in his blood since his childhood. His dad strongly influenced him during the "Wonder Bread" years when at the age of twelve, he got a 1955 MGTF as Christmas present!  Way to go Santa! It needed a lot of work and soon he got his license in his restored TF and joined his British car family on the road in their MGT Series motorcars! He put many miles on his MGTF while attending school and the annual Gatherings of the Faithful. For some time he was distracted by racing, then at 40 he really starting collecting cars.
It was then he realized that he had 75 cars in a number of storage building in Nashville and he either had to stop collecting or gather them together in one building. Stopping collecting was not an option! He looked for a 40,000 sq foot building and ending up acquiring an old bread bakery that had 140,000 sq feet! That should do it! He started his museum, sold a Tatra to Jay Leno and jumped into collecting full time focusing on Micro-cars. His hobby gone wild has now been based in this former Sunbeam Bakery located in Nashville just minutes of I 40 and has been open to the public since 2003.  I first stopped at the Lane Motor Museum on my way to visit Bill Hutton, the stateside guru of the Coventry Climax engine. I didn't have a lot of time on that trip but I vowed to return as I had never seen any collection like it before.
This past fall, after Hershey, I went on a road trip to deliver the Railton Faimile to it's owner in Memphis TN.  I made a quick stop on the way out and a longer on on the way back when Jeff was nice enough to give me a guided tour. The museum has a fabulous French car collection as well as it also is home to the US based Nissan Heritage Collection in the basement! Jeff also now has a full fabrication and restoration shop and if a part doesn't exist he will reproduce it!  A "Century of Citroen" and many other special exhibitions are held throughout the year and when I visited they were showing a comparative study of "Then & Now" pairing up the old and new. It was very well done and offered some great cars. Mini vs Mini, Fiat vs Fiat. A cool idea.   
When you visit, don't miss a featured iconic car of the museum, the recreation of the Dymaxion pictured in the background of the photo below. It was designed by American inventor, Buckminster Fuller during the Great Depression and was featured at Chicago's 1933/1934 World's Fair!  It appeared at Amelia in 2015, the same year we debuted the silver birch Triumph Italia 2000.
Check out the nose to nose comparison of the 20+ years of development of the 1973 Caterham to the the 2001 Caterham 7 Blackbird that was launched on July 8, 1999, at the F1 Circuit in Portugal, and the performance from this 1000cc sports car was absolutely amazing and far exceeded its 1600 cc predecessor!
From motorcycles you have never seen, a vintage 1968 Commer Imp Van, Three Wheel Cars, Car of Auto Union, One-off Micro Cars, Tatra, Amphibious Cars and yes, Two-Engined cars are all there, part of a rotating exhibition of 500 plus cars from Jeff's hobby gone wild. He just published his Lane Motor Museum book and brought a dozen of them to the Amelia Island Concours. I ran into him again at the "Concours d' Lemons" and I am proud to say I bought the first copy for sale of the Lane Motor Museum; a hobby gone wild! It is a fascinating, very informative read and you can order online here BTW Jeff is still collecting!  Call him if you find something in a barn!
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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