February 2016


Welcome new ShopTalk subscribers! 

Through the Windscreen

Philadelphia International Auto Show

Now – February 7

It's that time again! The Philadelphia International Auto Show runs now through February 7th. All of the modern day car manufacturers are here in force. We are once again supporting the Elegance at Hershey / AACA Exhibit near the Broad Street entrance. Come to see these styles and shapes of the past!

AACA National Meeting

February 11 – February 13

The AACA National Meeting is held in February every year at the Sheraton Hotel on 17th Street In Philadelphia. If you have yet to attend, I suggest you stop in as there are many seminars about our hobby including electrolysis metal finishing, interior cleaning and stain removal, and certification and judging of vintage race cars to name few. Check the AACA's Seminar Listing for complete offerings. We will have an exhibit set up the vendor room. Stop by and see our latest restoration projects.


Youngsters are introduced to the hobby by learning to scrutinize every detail at an AACA Junior Judging Seminar.

Get to know Pollock Auto Restoration and Ragtops & Roadsters

British Car Calendar of Events

1/30–2/7   Philadelphia Auto Show, Philadelphia, PA
2/9   MG Club of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Bluebell, PA
2/11–2/13   80th AACA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
2/15   Austin Healey Sport & Touring Club Monthly Meeting, North Wales, PA
2/16   DVT Delaware Valley Triumph Club GTR, North Wales, PA
2/19–2/21   Boca Raton Concours, Boca Raton, FL
2/20   DVC MG Chapter Craven Hall Tour, Warminster, PA
2/20   DVJ Breakfast Social, Conshohocken, PA
2/26–2/28   Atlantic City Car Show & Auction, Atlantic City, NJ

Check our upcoming newsletters for a complete 2016 calendar!


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We agree to do our best to keep this calendar updated to reflect the most current information.

In the Shop Now

Our painter Mike, preps an engine cover for a Lotus Esprit while Paul works on getting good lines on our third Italia 2000 frame off restoration.  

In the Rearview

Before We Put 'em Away Run

Our annual tradition of the "Before We Put 'em Away Run" was again a fantastic success! On Sunday morning, November 22 a beautiful day helped turn out nearly 50 cars at Ragtops & Roadsters. This year we presented a check for the funds raised ($23,807) by the 2015 America's British Reliability Run benefiting St. Christopher's Hospital. Some of the entrants from the 32 teams that competed in the ABRR joined in the presentation. After a shop tour, coffee, tea and scones we started the run that consisted of about 40 cars. A rather spirited drive on the twisty roads of Bucks and Montgomery County left some participants smiling when we arrived at our sister shop Pollock Auto Restoration just before noon. There, everyone was treated to a buffet lunch and a tour of the projects at Pollock Auto Restoration. We hope to see you again in 2016!

Auction Report "Rolling Sculpture" & "Driven by Disruption"

by: Dave Hutchison, Operations Manager

"Rolling Sculpture" was the first Keno Brothers Classic Car Auction held in New York on Nov 19th. Their presentation was top shelf, museum quality, as all of the cars were displayed on pedestals and lit to show every beautiful line and curve. Their sale price estimates were strong but the way the market has been moving; who knew? The mood was good and but crowd was a little less than expected. I was later told that many potential overseas buyers did not attend just days after the Paris terrorist attacks. Once underway, the room was quiet and the auctioneer was not enthusiastic, to say the least. That's where it all went into slo-mo. Every lot was stretched out far beyond what time needed to engage bidders and soon the 'no sales' climbed higher and higher. One might ask, "Is the bubble popping?" When the dust settled only 50 % of the lots that crossed the block sold for a total of $8.3M. Many cars sold below the estimated ranges, however, a stand out lot was a superb 1968 Bizzarrini Strada 5300 that brought $1,010,000. As we headed out into the rain and I wondered if now is the time to sell?

Our friend Andy Reid from classiccars.com in this special PorscheLess than a month later, another New York auction aptly named "Driven by Disruption" by RM Sotheby's was held on December 10th. It still did not answer that question. Although I did not attend this auction, the total of $76.1 again fell far short of expectations and the sell thru was a disappointing as 10 of the 31 vehicles offered went home with their sellers. One car that did far exceed RM's expectations, that has been seen by the pubic for the last 20 years at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cincinnati, was the 1964 Porsche once owned by Janis Joplin. RM estimated this celebrity car to sell between $400K and $600K. This treasure had seven bidders chasing and it finally hammered at a whopping $1.76M! Can the new owner sing' "Oh Lord, Won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?" Long live Rock & Roll!
terms of beauty, and one of my favorite shapes, was the 1962 Aston Martin DB4/GT, whose body was designed and built by the famed coach builder, Zagato. This British/Italian hybrid sold for $14.3 million (est. $15-17 million). It was the 14th of 19 iterations built and had been restored to the nines. Photos by Andy Reid.

Most of the cars at both of these auctions were extremely rare, the best of the best with significant provenance, and many have broken the price ceiling due to that fact. Most common vintage sports cars have appreciated well since the recession, and the leader of that pack is still held the Jaguar E-Type, as Lot # 114 sold for $380K. Still a respectable number! Although some say this iconic car's value has now flattened out, it still remains strong compared to their pricing only three years ago.  The high end auctions do indicate market confidence, but for me, I will continue to hold, not for financial concerns, but for the reward vintage car owners receive in two ways, pride in ownership and smiles per mile! Let's see what happens at Scottsdale and it’s still too early to judge whether the once booming classic car market has toned down a couple of notches. Most of the US sales take place on the West Coast and these New York sales venues are relatively new to the market so the question still remains. 
Ragtops & Roadsters is here to help out over the winter and spring seasons. Maybe it's time to take care of those maintenance, restoration, preservation, and upgrade needs on your car's wish list? Click here to send an e-mail to dave@ragtops.com or call us 215-257-1202 to schedule an appointment. We are now scheduling appointments in Feb / March, so it's not too soon to think about the upcoming spring driving season!  Click to see our Works In Progress page on our website. Also, we have recently listed more of our client's British cars looking for new homes, see current listings on our For Sale page.

Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
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