Inside This Issue...

Report from the CCCA
Meet in San Diego

Around the Shop

Restoration Quality Coachwork

Why You Should Have
Your Vehicle Appraised

Report from the CCCA Meet in San Diego

The Classic Car Club of America is a group of owners who appreciate certain select "Classic Cars" of both European and Domestic heritage built between 1925 and 1948.  As the recently appointed Assistant Director of the local Delaware Valley Region of the CCCA, I had the pleasure of traveling to San Diego for the Annual Meet in early January held this year in sunny San Diego.

(Click for a photo album.)

This meet travels from city to city each year and draws about 300 attendees from all over the country.  Much of the club’s official business happens at these national meetings. This year, our new national President Al Kromer officially took office.  Like many national meets, the itinerary allows time for business and time to socialize with club members.

Soon after arriving, I distributed flyers to support our DVR "Grand Classic" that will be held in April in Malvern, Pa. Later that evening, I met up fellow DVR members aboard the de-commissioned Midway aircraft carrier.  We were well received by countless volunteers eager to offer details about the history of this incredibly large ship!

The flight deck was open with many aircraft on display. Below, on the hanger deck, we enjoyed a dinner as various regiuonal clubs received national awards for participation during 2009. 

The day next we visited The San Diego Collection. Chuck Swimmer gave us a tour through his impressive collection.  Most, if not all, the cars are for sale as he has enjoyed buying and selling and the hobby since the early 60s.

Chuck’s favorite "keeper" is his 1934 Gurney Nutting bodied P1, which I agree is a very handsome motorcar and the pinnacle of Rolls Royce that is held by many enthusiasts.

Then it was off to another collection of cars called "Only Yesterday." This is a group of more contemporary cars held in a private collection, along with some wonderful toys and memorabilia from the 50s and 60s.  Among the very impressive display are GM, Packards, Cadillacs, and a stunning disappearing top Murphy bodied 1932 Duesenberg.

Saturday was the show day.  Embarcadero Marina Park, located right on the waterfront, provided a beautiful setting for about 45 cars, mostly from the southern California Area.

The standout for me was the 1928 Daimler Double-Six 50 Royal Limousine, one of two cars with the 7.16-liter engine made with four 3-cylinder iron blocks!  This car won its class at Pebble last year and it was all of a very impressive 8,500-pound motorcar throughout. (I will write more about this car soon.)

As the afternoon lingered on, the sunlight softened as clouds moved in.  I shot quite a few pictures and will include all of them for a feature for our local DVR publication, "The Classic Driver." 

The trip was a success, as I had the pleasure of meeting some fellow members I have written and spoken with over the years. I also had the opportunity to meet and interview our new president Al Kromer. The interview will be included in "The Classic Driver" upcoming issue.

I look forward to seeing some of the members I met attend our Grand Classic on April 16-17.  For more information about the Delaware Valley Region of the CCCA, check out

Dave Hutchison

Mark Your Calendar

Philadelphia Automobile Show
January 30 – February 7, 2010
AACA Annual Meeting
February 11-13, 2010
Brass in Berks
May 16-20, 2010
Ragtops & Roadsters Open House
June 5, 2010
Dureya Days
September 4, 2010

Ludwig's  Corner
September 7, 2010

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Ragtops & Roadsters
203 S. 4th St.
Perkasie, Pa 18944

Pollock Auto Restoration
70 S. Franklin St.
Pottstown, PA 19464

January 2010


…to the first electronic issue of Shop Talk, the monthly e-newsletter for Ragtops & Roadsters clients and friends. We plan to continue bringing you the latest news about the collectible car industry, tips to help you keep your car on the road, and advance notice of special events.

Your input is valuable to us. If there is something you would like to see in the newsletter, let us know. If you have comments to share, we'd like to hear them, too.


Mike Engard
Ragtops & Roadsters

Around the Shop

We always have a number of interesting and challenging projects underway at Ragtops & Roadsters. Here's a quick look at what we have in-house right now:


We’ve just finished installing a new interior into an Austin-Healey 3000. As the disassembly started, we found evidence that the car’s original interior was the relatively rare grey. The owner provided a kit and we proceeded with the installation. As part of the process we sealed the firewall, made sure the transmission tunnel cover was properly sealed and fastened down and used a modern insulation to help keep the dreaded “Healey cockpit heat” to a minimum.


This Lotus Cortina came in as a neglected car but owned by an enthusiastic collector who saved the car from rusting away. Before bringing it to us, he scoured Lotus resources worldwide to collect rare and low availability parts to help make the restoration as complete as possible. His research provided dozens of pictures to ensure correct placement of the green stripe as well as many Lotus-specific details, right down to adapting a larger MK2 fuel tank to the car.


This very nice Jaguar was recently purchased from a collector who didn’t drive it often. The new owner took the car on an overnight trip shortly after purchase and replaced the tires after two flats. He asked for the car to be inspected closely to make sure it would be roadworthy. Typical of a car stored for a long period of time, most of the rubber components were worn or dry and deteriorated. New suspension rubber, door seals and brake hydraulics are part of the repairs. The car will be converted to negative ground and a modern radio installed. A full servicing and tuning will round out the effort to bring to car to a roadworthy condition.

Restoration Quality Coachwork
Available at Pollock Auto Restoration

When it comes to fabrication and paint in a do-it-yourself restoration project, talented classic car enthusiasts have two choices: go it alone, or entrust the job to an auto body shop.

The problem with the first choice is that most hobbyists lack the equipment, facilities and expertise to complete the work. The problem with the second choice is that body shops often prefer to work on insurance claims and might not be willing to invest the time it takes to do the job right. Plus, they may not have the right specialized equipment.

Here at Pollock Auto Restoration, we understand the dilemma. That's why we're offering a "Restoration Quality Coachwork" program, which makes our award-winning fabrication and painting capabilities available to you.

Here's how it works: you dismantle your vehicle and bring us the bare body. We'll address any body issues and paint it to your specifications, all with the same attention to detail and quality that we provide to our own restoration projects. 

"The benefit to the customer is that he saves time and the job is down right," said Mike Engard, President of Pollock Auto Restoration.

Why Should You Have Your
Collectible Vehicle Appraised?

There are several reasons why you should call on the services of a licensed appraiser to determine the value of your special interest car:

Insurance. Most companies that insure collector cars want an appraisal provided by a knowledgeable expert.

Buying/Selling. A car with a properly prepared appraisal can benefit both you and the other party.

Import/Export Duties. When shipping a car in or out of the country you need to provide a reliable value to determine fees.

Estate Planning. The value of your vehicle should be taken into consideration as you look toward the future.

Collateral on a Loan. Some banks will allow you to use the value of your vehicle to apply for a loan.

Just to Impress Your Buddy. Imagine how good it feels to tell him for sure just how much you car is worth.

A perfect time to establish the value of your vehicle is before, during and after a restoration or major repair project. You should always keep your car insured while it is at a shop. If something happens -- fire, burglary, natural disaster -- while your vehicle is in the shop's possession, it may become necessary to establish its value both for your insurance company as well as the insurance company representing the shop. (You did make sure the shop was insured before you took your car there, right?) 

An appraisal is proof that a vehicle has undergone customization and/or upgraded work. It successfully illustrates what work was performed, the quality of materials used, as well as the degree of workmanship.

Like most states, Pennsylvania requires appraisers to be state-licensed. Most appraisers rely on subjective judgment, but professional appraisers also rely on common market values, reference as many objective criteria as possible and refer to prices of similar (like, kind and quality) vehicles in order to guide their judgments. A certified automotive appraiser reviews the vehicle in question, determines its accuracy and quality and then assigns a dollar value to it. 

With collectible cars a situation may arise where, in the case of a loss of some kind, the insurance company offers an unacceptable settlement. As the vehicle owner, you are able to turn to the appraisal to document a previously established value.

If you need an appraisal for your special interest car, give us a call. We'll help you select a trusted professional who will do the job right.

"Joe DeLuca's Raymond the Cat is reprinted
with permission of the 3/4 Morgan Club Ltd."