July 2016


Welcome new ShopTalk subscribers! 

Through the Windscreen

USA 7s Track Day

Saturday, July 2 – Sunday July, 3

As I write, we are all ready to run our second Track Day on the Lightning Circuit at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville NJ.  My son Ryan, a technician here at Ragtops & Roadsters has carefully checked over our Birkin Super Seven making sure we have done everything to have a good weekend. A Track Day is a controlled driving event where we have our own run group of just Lotus based Sevens. This year we expect about 20 cars to participate in this two day event that starts off with go-kart racing on Friday.  All cars must pass a Tech Safety Inspection and all drivers must obey the point-by passing rule. The only person you are racing is yourself!
Fun will be had. Wish us luck!

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Saturday, July 16 – 17

Schenley Park is the scene of our nation’s largest vintage race event and the only one run on actual city streets. 150 vintage racers gather here each July to test their skills and entertain the crowd. The PVGP races through Schenley Park are considered by many drivers to be the most challenging race course worldwide. The 2.33 mile circuit has 23 turns, haybales, manhole covers, phone poles and stone walls. One of the highlights of Grand Prix Race Weekend in Schenley Park is British Car Day on Saturday July 16th , sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Triumph Association (WPTA). It features 500 of England’s best sport and luxury automobiles. Jaguar is the Featured Marque in 2016 as they celebrate the 30th year that British Car Day has taken place in conjunction with the PVGP in Schenley Park. During that time the WPTA has raised well over $115,000 for the Grand Prix charities! At British Car Day we plan to show the 1957 AC Ace at our vendor booth on both Saturday and Sunday.  If you haven’t seen this one you should plan to stop by and take a look at what our staff at Ragtops & Roadsters and Pollock Auto Restorations can produce!

LOG 36 Lotus National Meet

August July 5 – 7

Ragtops & Roadsters is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of this national Lotus Owners Gathering. Just a little over a month away, from August 5th through the 7th over 200 Lotus cars and their owners will meet in Princeton, NJ. This is a multi-day event that includes rallies, tours, tech sessions and a show at the Grounds for Sculpture on Sunday. Organizers expect this to be very well attended given its northeast location. If you are a Lotus Owner or enthusiast this is not to be missed!   

Technicians Needed

Ragtops & Roadsters, specialists in the restoration and repair of classic British vehicles, is accepting applications for skilled technicians. We have recently celebrated 26 years in business, with a growing client base of repeat and new customers (and their cars!). The work we perform is constantly varied, and provides interesting projects and challenges year-round. Our reputation for top-quality work is built on the talent of our team, and we are seeking that same high level of excellence and work ethic in the candidates for this position.

Our ideal candidates will have recent experience in mechanical assembly, fitting, repair and tuning. Must have very good mechanical ability and knowledge of engines, suspension, steering and carburetors. Fabrication and interior fitting skills are desired but NOT REQUIRED. We offer both full-time and part-time opportunities for skilled technicians who possess:
  • Strong Mechanical Aptitude
  • Great Attitude
  • Well-stocked Toolbox
  • 5+ Years Professional Experience
Please contact the Shop Manager or any of our management staff here at Ragtops & Roadsters – by email at shopmanager@ragtops.com, by phone at 215-257-1202, or stop by and see us!

British Car Calendar of Events

7/3–7/17   Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Pittsburgh, PA
7/8   Collector Car Appreciation Day, Everywhere, USA
7/8–7/9   2016 Le Mans Classic, Le Mans, France
7/9–7/10   Giants Despair Hillclimb, Laurel Run, PA
7/10   15th Annual British Invade Gettysburg Outlet Shops, Gettysburg, PA
7/10   Newtown Car Show, Newtown, PA
7/13–7/17   NAMGAR GT-41 MGA National, Louisville, KT
7/14–7/17   Keenland Concours d’Elegance, Lexington, KY
7/16   Doylestown at Dusk Car Show, Doylestown, PA
7/17   British Car Show of N.E., Forty Foot, PA
7/23   “The Thoroughbreds of Marenello” Simeone Museum, Phil., PA
7/23–7/24   Misselwood Concours, Beverly, MA
7/27–7/31   33rd Annual Fiat “Freak Out”, Auburn Hills, MI
7/29–7/31   38th Annual Concours of America at St. John’s, Plymouth, MI
7/31–8/4   67th Rolls Royce Annual Meet, Ashville, NC

Complete 2016 calendar PDF now available HERE!

We make our best attempt to provide a thorough and accurate listing of relevant events; however, changes in the details may not always be reflected in time. Please always double check the organizers website as you make your plans. 

Tech Tip

Time, Money, Quality – Pick One

by: David Jago

In most things, you have choices. When choosing how to invest your time and money, you have the choice to work quickly to save time, or cheaply to save money. Either of these choices impacts the end result, usually at the expense of quality. When clients bring their cars to Ragtops & Roadsters for an initial evaluation, the remnants of those choices are quite easy to spot. A shortcut taken here or there, or substandard or “universal” parts in place of OEM or high-quality reproduction parts are often contributing factors to the current complaint that brings the car to us.

It may be obvious that you cannot truly “save” time. You can defer it, or accomplish less or more during a period, but there is no way to bank it to be used better later. On the other hand, you can intelligently “invest’ your time, providing some positive return.  Likewise with money. “Saving” money by purchasing lower quality parts often results in deferral of the cost, but not elimination of it.  In some cases, the same parts may be replaced multiple times for well over the cost of the better quality part. The return for the “investment” of time and money is quality, and that it the goal for which we at Ragtops & Roadsters strive.

There is a prevailing thought that “time is money.” It isn’t. Paying double-time to expedite a job doesn’t assure that the work will be done properly in less time.  Certain work requires time to complete, and further time to verify. Time is time, and money cannot reduce how much time is required. When budgeting for the work your car requires, I would implore you to set aside money AND time to have the work done well.

In the Rearview

First Italia 2000 to Win an AACA Grand National Award

by: Al Anspaugh

“Did I mention Williamsport, PA?” This simple question one cold winter night started our 1960 Triumph Italia 2000 GT heading to the AACA Annual Grand National Meet on June 3-4. It’s said to be the first time a Triumph Italia has gained entry to the prestigious event, billed as a Show of Winners. The right to enter requires having won an AACA Senior Award the prior year, which our little “Amelia” did at the end of a whirlwind 2015 show season. 
Amelia shone, earning a First Place based on points and judged among a class that included a Mercedes Benz Gullwing and drop-dead-gorgeous Alfas, Triumphs and MGs. A massive turnout of some 625 pristine cars, trucks and bikes fit nicely on the sprawling grounds of the Pennsylvania College of Technology – home to the best hands-on automotive-tech school on Earth. The awards were presented in a mammoth auditorium at the Scottish Rite hall in Williamsport, and Robin and I were pleased to bring home a beautiful trophy. My hat’s off to the Pollock and Ragtops & Roadsters, the restoration pros who each in their own way made Amelia a star!

Cars & Motorcycles of England

by: Dave Hutchison

This year our show was not as well attended as in the past. Maybe it was a cooler wet spring. It was nice to Lou Parotta win Best of Show with his immaculate Lotus Type 51.
This year our show was not as well attended as in the past. Maybe it was a cooler wet spring. It was nice to Lou Parotta win Best of Show with his immaculate Lotus Type 51.
The Delaware Valley Jaguar Club held their JCNA Concours as part of the CMOE.   This beautiful Jaguar XK 120 OTS won their Best of Show. 

British Motorcar Festival

by: Dave Hutchison

This year we decided to change it up a bit and take both Italias to the British Motorcar Festival in Bristol Rhode Island. Michael Gaetano, the man behind the very successful British Invasion in Stowe VT, is also the driving force at this relatively new event, now in its second year at Bristol, the town that celebrates to Fourth of July for nearly two weeks!  This four day event started with a Hidden Highway Hundred rally through the back water roads of small New England fishing villages ending at the Herreshoff Museum the home of America's Cup. A good run with lots of suprises!
This 1910 Rover was on display and was found in its original condition near Philadelphia.  After a recently mechanical restoration the owner gave rides around the show field. These three LandRovers were entered into the Concours Class that consisted of 19 cars.These Concours cars were scrutinized by three teams three Concours judges.  .
Over two hundred cars attended this very well run event that concluded on Sunday afternoon after a rain shortened Saturday show. We were very pleased to take Best of Show, Participants Choice with my 21 year old restoration of my red Triumph Italia #194. Later Al and Robin's silver Italia #122 was asked to "go around"... Could it be? YES!! They won Best of Show Concours! Wow. It doesn't get better than that!
Ragtops & Roadsters is here to help out during the summer season. 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 July and August.  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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