In This Issue
  • Through the Windscreen
  • Through the Rearview Mirror
  • Shop Update: 1963 Jaguar E-Type
  • 2011 Hershey Hill Climb
  • Employee Spotlight: Matt Slifer

Readers' Gallery

If you would like your vehicle to appear in next month's newsletter, please send a photo and brief description to Dave Hutchison.

Calendar of Events
9-10 -- Giants Despair Hillclimb, Laurel Run, PA 
10-24 -- Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Pittsburgh, PA 

14-17 -- Keenland Concours D’ Elegance , Lexington, KY 

15-17 -- Hemmings Motor News 5th Annual Concours, Stratton Mountain, VT 

16 -- Brits on the Delaware, Kintnersville, PA 

17 -- 11th Annual British Invade Gettysburg, Outlet Shops Gettysburg, PA  

17 -- Newtown Car Show, Newtown, PA  

18-23 – 24th Annual Z Car Convention, Savannah, GA 

23 -- Doylestown at Dusk Car Show, Doylestown, PA 

24 -- British Car Show of NE PA, Chinchilla, PA 

31 -- Meadowbrook Concours, Troy, MI 

5-7 -- Das Awkscht Fescht,
Macungie, PA 

10- 13 -- Austin Healey Encounter 2011,  Paradise, PA  

12-13 -- Roadster Factory Summer Party, Armagh, PA 

13-18 -- 60th Rolls Royce Annual Meet, Lake Tahoe, CA 

13-14 -- New Hope Auto Show, New Hope, PA  

13-14 -- Mt Equinox Hillclimb, Manchester, VT 

20 -- Perkasie Under the Stars, Perkasie, PA 

21 -- Pebble Beach Concours, Pebble Beach, CA 

21 -- UK Car Day, Rochester, NY 

26-28 -- British Car Triathalon, Northport, ME  

27 -- British Racing Green, Simeone Foundation, Philadelphia, PA  

28 -- Day on the Farm,
DVR AACA  Bluebell,  PA 

Works in Progress

We always have a number of interesting projects going on in our shop. Take a look.

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a Vehicle?

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Link of the Month

Here's a complete list of links to clubs and businesses that we support.

Our Videos

Fall Covered Bridge Tour Through Bucks County

1959 Lotus Elite S-1 #1096 Restoration 2005-2007

Contact Us

Ragtops & Roadsters

203 S. 4th St.
Perkasie, Pa 18944

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

July 7, 2011

  A Look Through
the Windscreen

Previewing events of interest to the owners of British or Specialty Cars

By Dave Hutchison
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) councils have designated today, Friday, July 8, 2011 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.”
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 significance.  
Read More About "Collector Car Appreciation Day"

Maybe we will see you at the low-key, easily accessible “Brits on the Delaware” in Kintnersville, 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 year. 
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 information.
(See our calendar on the left
for links to more information about these events.)

A Look Through 
the Rearview Mirror

Where We've Been and
What We've Done

Despite a brief morning shower, our Spring Open House 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 work. 

Enjoy 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 few. 
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 Class.

Dark Skys at Skytop lodge
Dark skies over Skytop Lodge.

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 was major 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).

More 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.

Shop Update:
1963 Jaguar E-Type Coupe

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 Pottstown.

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 California.

We are also fitting a modern air conditioning unit that will keep the passenger compartment comfortable for the summer heat and humidity in the Northeast.

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...
A Truly "Grand Ascent"

The Hershey Hill Climb has been jump-started.

Revived for the third time, the Hershey Hillclimb is back on the motorsports calendar. Boy did it come back in style this time! 
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 States.
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 Slifer

Matt SliferMatt 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 mid-1990s.
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.

With his 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 life. 
Copyright (C) 2011 Ragtops & Roadsters, Inc. All rights reserved.