- Through the Windscreen
- Through the Rearview Mirror
- Shop Update: 1963 Jaguar E-Type
- 2011 Hershey Hill Climb
- Employee Spotlight: Matt Slifer
If 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
The date marks the second commemoration in what will
become an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role
automotive restoration and collection plays in American
society. SEMA and its councils are now working to secure
a Congressional resolution to recognize the day’s
More About "Collector Car Appreciation Day"
we will see you at the low-key, easily accessible
“Brits on the Delaware”
Pennsylvania on July 16. All the river and mountain
roads that lead to Kintnersville are good sports car roads if
you can get around the minivans!
We are also looking forward to the “Doylestown at
Dusk” show on Saturday, July 23 in Doylestown,
Pennsylvania. Last year, the new format brought many
more cars than expected to the downtown evening venue.
Plans are being made to handle a larger crowd this
In late July, check out a new event for the Lotus Marque.
The first Lotus Blossom Festival at the Mount
Harmon Plantation in Earlesville, Maryland is scheduled for
Saturday, July 30.
If you are planning to take a car to Hershey in October,
you need the register the car in July. Go to the Antique
Auto Club of America website for more
(See our calendar on the
for links to more information about these
A Look Through
Where We've Been
Despite a brief morning shower, our Spring Open
was very well attended, including by some
visitors from as far away as the Scranton area. A steady
stream of car guys and girls came in to visit and see our
these photos from our Open House!
The following weekend found us at the Import and
Kit Car Show at Carlisle. Always known for its large
flea market of Euro-Brit parts, it is now about half the size
it once was…$4-a-gallon for gas and eBay have put their dent
in the quantity of used parts vendors. Still, many
regulars were there, including replica car manufactures
Factory Five and Superformance, to name just a
We took a Birkin to see if we could
spark some interest in this Super Seven. The car show was well
attended and we had great weather for the whole weekend.
That Sunday we were off to a new venue for the
Concours of Eastern United States in Skytop,
Pennsylvania. We hauled the Hudson Terraplane from Pollock
Auto Restoration, our sister shop.
After a week of rain and the subsequent mud, the show had
to be moved to the resort’s parking lot. Attendance was good,
however, and the award ceremony was well done with the
traditional drive by narration. We were very pleased that the
Terraplane won a Silver Star in the Debutant
Dark skies over Skytop
We set an exhibit at the New Jersey
Motorsports Park for Memorial Day weekend. The racing
was good; however, attendance was not what was expected.
We’re hoping the new date set for 2012 will gain some
traction for this event. Stay tuned for details.
The first weekend in June is always the Cars of
England in Westtown, Pennsylvania. With
motorcycles added this year, this show – now called the Cars
and Motorcycles of England -- just keeps getting better. A
joint effort by the Delaware Valley Jaguar Club and the
Delaware Valley Triumph Club, nearly 250 cars showed up on a
beautiful spring day.
The caliber of cars keeps getting better every year.
One entrant came in with a transport trailer with at
least six cars, including Jaguars and Aston Martins.
The Elegance at Hershey
success and I understand that the three-year contract may be
extended. I was able to attend the revived Hershey
Hillclimb (see the story below).
details about the Elegance at Hershey.
We heard a report from that the new Tanglewood
British Car Festival in Lennox, Massachusetts was a
major success, with more than 300 cars in attendance.
This coupe came in from
California for a restoration. After a full disassembly, the
metal repairs have been completed and a fresh coat of British
Racing Green has just been applied by our metal and paint team
over at Pollock Auto Restoration, our sister shop in
The car arrived back at Ragtops &
Roadsters in early June for reassembly. The engine was totally
rebuilt during the metal and paint phases of restoration and
will be mated to a modern 5-speed gearbox based on the tried
and true Borg-Warner T-5 provided by XKs Unlimited in
We are also fitting a modern air
conditioning unit that will keep the passenger compartment
comfortable for the summer heat and humidity in the
Both of these modifications will not affect
the visual impact this pretty coupe has in its DNA. The
client’s goal is to have a vintage car with modern
improvements for drivability and comfort. We will keep you
posted as the project progresses.
2011 Hershey Hillclimb...
The Hershey Hill Climb has been
Revived for the third time, the Hershey Hillclimb is back
on the motorsports calendar. Boy did it come back in style
The hillclimb is simple, one of the oldest forms of motor
racing that traces its origins back to La Turbie, France in
1897. Many courses have been used all over the world,
including Mt. Washington and Pike’s Pike here in the United
With steep drop offs and trees along the hill, it takes
real concentration to get the right line through every turn of
the seven-tenths-of-a-mile course. Basically, one car at a
time drives the course as quickly as possible from start to
finish. Best times are scored and compared, sometimes by
classes, to determine the “King of the Hill.”
The Hersey Hillclimb, originally run by the Pennsylvania
Hillclimb Association (PHA) from 1958 through 1970, drew
nearly 2,500 spectators at its peak in 1970. Back then Oscar
Kovaleski was “King of the Hill" with times posted just under
50 seconds. Eventually, a couple of Formula Fords posted times
in the upper 40s to beat him in the last race.Read
More About the 2011 Hershey Hillclimb
Employee Spotlight: Matt
Matt first came to Ragtops & Roadsters at the
young age of 15 to apply for a job to bead blast parts, sweep
floors and do general clean-up in the
Working under the tutelage of owner Mike Engard in the
original 3-bay shop, Matt was eager to take on and learn new
responsibilities. Soon he was learning the simplicity of SUs
and the lack of lighting from Lucas on MGs TRs A/H and Jaguars
to name a few.
From tune-ups to full restorations, Matt started to
gain a wealth of LBC knowledge. Soon after the shop was
moved to our current location on Fourth Street in Perkasie,
Matt strayed from home to work at a high-end exotic car sales
company. There, he learned to manage the fast pace of
the resale market.
After a year or so, Matt returned home to Ragtops
& Roadsters. By then the business was growing and by
2003 Matt became our Restoration Team Leader.
experience of all phases of restoration, from wiring
harness replacement to his beautiful execution of interior
work, Matt enjoys training and sharing his knowledge with his
team. He finds the modification work that has become
more in demand at the shops these days interesting and
challenging. The five-speed conversion has become his
specialty, with the improvement it made to a 1967 Austin
Healey 3000 especially gratifying.
As a Team Leader, Matt oversees the progress of our
full restoration work. He enjoys the different challenges of
all marques; however, he is most impressed with the
engineering and design of Lotus.
Matt’s passion for perfection can been seen in the
build quality of the 1959 Lotus Elite, car #1096 that has won
many Best of Show awards in the past several years. His
quiet, careful persistence pays off in results as he is a real
asset to Ragtops & Roadsters.
Matt currently is managing three full-restoration
projects. You will soon see more of his efforts as he and his
team brings a 1963 BRG E-Type Coupe back to