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December 2017



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In This Edition:

Through the Windscreen

Holiday Party Time!

December- January

Time to go out and get the tree and celebrate! Now that most, if not all of the northeast driving events are in our rear view mirror, it is time to enjoy the holidays and support your local sports car clubs. The club holiday parties started this past weekend and run through the end of January. This is a good time to join a club, come out and make new friends with common interests, and reconnect with some old friends.... No need to bring your classic, just come out and have a good time. Check out the special Holiday Party section of the calendar below for a list of some local celebrations with their website to find out more information. Happy Holidays!

Simeone Museum "Best of Britain" 

Feb 16th - March 3rd


The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum will once again host the “Best of Britain” event from Feb 16th through March 3rd 2019.  This year we will be celebrating the centennial of Bentley Motors Limited, founded by W.O. Bentley in Cricklewood, North London in 1919. Bentley became widely known as a builder of premium luxury cars and has held that position for the last century, not to mention their legacy of racing heritage earned by winning the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1924, 1927-1930 and again in 2003! We are calling all Bentley Motorcar Owners to celebrate with us by submitting their car to represent this wonderful marque in the 2019 Best of Britain exhibit, sponsored by Ragtops & Roadsters, to be held at the museum from Feb 16th through March 3, 2019. We are looking for special Bentley Motorcars to represent a century of motoring, so please send a photo and a short description of your Bentley to the Simeone Museum. Space will be limited.

British Car Calendar of Events

Reoccurring Events

2nd Tue   MG Club of Philadelphia Mtg., Blue Bell, PA
3rd Mon   Austin Healey Sport & Touring Club Mthly 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

Holiday Parties

12/1/18   Austin Healey Sports and Touring Club, Moorestown, PA
12/1/18   Old York Road Sport Car Club, Doylestown, PA 
12/8/18   Delaware Valley Classic MG Club, Schwenksville, PA 
12/8/18   Positive Earth Drivers Club, Lakewood, NJ 
12/9/18   Keystone Rolls Royce Owners Club Keystone Region, Kimberton, PA 
12/9/18   New Jersey Triumph Association, Bedminister, NJ
12/11/18   Madison Ave Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society, New York, NY
1/12/19   British Car Club of Lehigh Valley, Bath, PA
1/19/19   Delaware Valley Triumph Club, Lansdale, PA  
1/20/19   Delaware Valley Jaguar Club, Gywnedd, PA  
1//27/19   Delaware Valley Region AACA, Springhouse, PA  

Time to Put 'em Away?

by: Dave Hutchison

                            If this is you, DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE! 

We have winter storage available here at Ragtops & Roadsters! Contact us soon to reserve a spot for your LBC as space is limited!  If you plan to tuck your special car to bed for the winter at home, here are a couple of suggestions.  First check your antifreeze to make sure it is good down to -20 degrees. If not, maybe it is time for a flush and refill with a good 50/50 mix. We recommend adding a fuel stabilizer such as Stabil 360 Marine, then fill your fuel tank to reduce condensation. Make sure you run the engine to get the Stabil circulated throughout the fuel system. Next, overfill your tyres to about 40 psi to reduce the potential for flat spots, then hook up a "Battery Tender", not a trickle charger which can cook your battery. The Battery Tender is one many brands that uses microchip technology to only supply a charge when needed. After cleaning the interior, which includes conditioning the leather, toss a couple of dryer sheets or moth balls behind the seats to repel any rodents. Lastly, clean and cover the car so the snow shovel doesn't have shot at your paint!  I still run my engine (so it gets to full temp) throughout the winter and I'll get it out on the road if the salt and brine has been washed away!

Remember SPRING is only 16 weeks away!

In the Rearview

Before We Put 'em Away Run

Novemer 18th
by: Dave Hutchison

After a half a foot of snow three days earlier, we managed to clear the street on our block and we were pleasantly surprised to see the large number of vintage cars and friends who came out for our annual Before We Put 'em Away Run. 
After showing off our latest work we brought together many of the participants and planning committee from the 2018 America's British Reliability Run to present the BIG CHECK to Shriner's Hospital for Children. Their Development Officer, Bonnie Meister and a local Shriner, who turned out to be British car guy Ed Roth, were on hand to accept the check for $42,468 (a new record for our event!) on behalf of the kids. Just before we started the run, we had a viewing of sorts of yet another potential Triumph Italia 2000 project, Vignale number 55 needs many hours of love! 
About fifty vintage cars hit the road a little after 10 AM and we navigated the back roads of Bucks and Montgomery County, taking the long scenic route through Green Lane Park to our sister shop, Pollock Auto Restoration in Pottstown, PA
With a couple of extra twists and turns eventually everyone made it to Pollock where Ross, Barb and company had lunch ready for all who attended. Our parking lot was full and our staff were available to answer restoration questions from over 150 enthusiasts about the many projects underway in both shops. It was great to see so many of our friends take part in this annual tradition. Now it is time to put 'em away.

DVT Ploughman's Lunch Charity Run Nov 11th

by Charlie Frick Editor of the Trundlin Triumph

Photos by Bob Hoernlein

A brisk wind blew in a beautiful, chilly day for the Delaware Valley Triumph's “Ploughman’s Lunch Rally” hosted by Charlene and Dave Hutchison on Sunday, November 11th Veterans Day. About twenty DVT and DVJ members were greeted by Dave’s Italia outside, while inside a feast of a breakfast featuring those legendary “Ragtops & Roadsters scones”, fruit, jams, jellies and coffee greeted us before venturing out on the scenic backroads of Bucks County.  A wide variety of rides lined the cul de sac and included a selection from the “Herald lineage” including a Herald, Vitesse and Spitfire. Two Jaguars crouched in anticipation and a smattering of Triumphs, with TR 3A, TR4, TR 250 and a TR 6.
Longtime friends since their service as Cavalry Officers in the Army, Tony Gray and Pat Heron wore their dress hats in honor of Veterans day. Once everyone was refreshed (read stuffed) and now (at least for the moment) fully awake we departed in two “flights”, DVTDave setting a brisk pace in his 1961 Italia and Mike Wolf heading the second group “sans Jenks” in his Series 1.5 Jaguar E-Type. 
Myself, Andy Dunning, Kevin McLemore and Mike Wolf, four founding DVT Members were reunited with the original DVT charter.  Andy joined Dave in his Italia as navigator. Andy and Dave had loads to catch up on as they had originally met around the birth of DVT when they both owned Triumph Italias! Kevin and myself brought up the rear in the Vitesse allowing us a chance to get some shots of the group as it wound our way through some very seasonal foliage.  The brisk weather provided several icy stretches enroute as well, each a bit of a wakeup call for any scone impaired drivers!  All survived unscathed though, one or two “Oh #!@&!” moments notwithstanding. Dave had chosen a sparsely trafficked route that included three covered bridges and an ascent of the infamous “Uhlerstown Grade”.  Not for the faint of heart, this one way only roadway to the heavens features a major drop (un-armco-ed, to add to the effect) on the right as it snakes upward on a very steep pitch.  Caution was the rule on this section and I several times wished for an even lower gear as we crawled up at close to idle speed in first gear!.
Fortunately, our clutches were spared and we crested the top at last and booted along some fine sweepers to complete the drive and safely back at Chez Hutchison a faithful re-creation of a traditional “Ploughman’s Lunch” awaited us.  I’ll pause here for a bit of background on this British repast, so steeped in lore it even provided the title for the eponymous film from 1983…chew on that!  The traditional “Ploughman’s or Ploughboy’s Meal” harkens back to 1394 when crusty bread, cheese and beer were eaten as midday meals owing to their portability and non-spoilage.  By the 1800s, this fare was regularly featured in pubs and public houses and often slightly expanded with additional items such as ham, green salad, hard boiled eggs and apple  Fast forward to the 1950s when, cheese having been recently removed from wartime rationing lists, politicians (notably the Cheese Board) and publicans sought a resurgence of the Ploughman’s to promote cheese. The fact that this menu offering was simple to prepare, required no cooking as it were and often did not involve meat helped make it a staple in pubs.
Charlene certainly outdid herself with a comprehensive spread of goodies all in keeping with the traditional P-L fare.  Several delicious cheeses, sourced with a fair bit of difficulty I learned, along with marvelously crunchy bread and grapes sat at the base of a literal mountain of ham (+2 soups!).  Folks took their places at tables set in the shadow of Dave’s MK II Spitfire and Lotus and conversation flowed.  Talk turned to DVT history naturally, and we took a moment to commemorate the fact that this Ploughman’s mimicked one far back (nay, before!) in DVT history.  The first took place on Oct 17, 1975 at Richard Langworth’s home, Dragonwyk in Hopewell NJ.  Technically DVT did not exist at that time for this was a meeting to discuss the formation of a Delaware Valley Chapter of the Vintage Triumph Register. Below Mike Wolf shoots a recreation photo from back in the day! That is what it is all about!
As the title said, this was charity event funded by the Delaware Valley Triumph Club to raise funds for Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. DVT Ambassador Bob selected a food bank, Manna on Main Street in Lansdale PA.  We all had a fun rally, a good day with great food and we raised over $500 for those in need!  Well done!
Ragtops & Roadsters is here to help out the late fall and the upcoming winter seasons. Maybe it's 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 or call us 215-257-1202 to schedule an appointment. We are now scheduling appointments in January and February, so it's not too soon to plan for repair or restoration work. to drive in the spring! 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 this very clean, 1964 Morgan + Four shown below.
Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
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