In This Issue
  • Get Your FREE 40-Point Inspection
  • Project Spotlight
  • Employee Spotlight
  • Out and About

Readers' Gallery

Thanks to all the newsletter readers who responded to our request for photos. 

Readers' Gallery

If you would like your car to appear in next month's Readers' Gallery, send photos to

Mark Your Calendar

15: 25th Annual British Motorcar Day, Rome, GA                   
This is a web-based calendar of British Motorsport Events for the Spring 2010 driving season. We have included most major British Car Marques and their websites. We suggest that you explore many other events that are listed on each website.  If we have missed listing your event please let us know so we may include it in our next calendar!  Auctions, concours shows, charity runs, local, regional, national shows, rallies, vintage races, and even Sunday drives, are also listed. 

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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

March 2010

Bring it in before spring...springs

Here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, this winter has been one to remember! Record snowfalls, consistently cold weather and now heavy rains have made us yearn even more than usual for the first signs of spring.

Here at Ragtops & Roadsters, we've been busy all winter with our restoration work; our sights are set on some warm weather deliveries.  

History has taught us that, without fail, we get very busy after the first nice, sunny, warm weekend of spring. Sometimes our schedule is full two months out into June!  

We believe that many vintage car owners dig out the garage, move the snow shovels aside and drag the snow-blower from behind their prized possession. After a couple of failed attempts to start it, we get the call. This results in a high demand for our services from many owners all at once.   

NOW, before the first couple of warm days, is the time for you to call us. Taking action NOW will ensure that you get one of the first spots in line and is actually the best way to be able to DRIVE your vintage automobile during the first beautiful warm days of spring. 

If you book an appointment before April 1, 2010, we will include our Comprehensive 40-Point Vehicle Inspection at no additional charge!

Trust me spring is coming�.

Happy Motoring. 

Mike Engard
Ragtops & Roadsters 

Project Spotlight:
Austin-Healey 3000 MK3

RAGTOPS - austin healy

This car came to us for paint refinishing and metal repair. We did a full mechanical evaluation to determine the overall condition of the car. One complaint the owner had was that the front end �wasn�t right.�

Sure enough, we found that the right frame was bent up and in and had evidence of prior repair.The front crossmember also was bent.

After removing some patches, we found that the frame was rusted through where it was bent. Ultimately, we replaced the front section of the frame to get the car straight.

As work progressed, some odd repairs were noted on the underside of the front shroud. The damage to the frame must have been accompanied by damaged bodywork at the right front. We repaired the shroud by splicing in a shroud section from the right rear to the left front. After removing the paint and layers of filler, we found that the joints were riveted together and reinforced by pieces of house siding.

Another issue was that the front section between the bonnet and grille was severely deformed. We made and installed a new section.

Once these areas were repaired, we proceeded with the usual sill and rocker repairs on both sides along with correcting dogleg and lower fender repairs that been done by spot-brazing and covering with filler. The trunk floor was actually a laminate of two aluminum layers over the original perforated floor with heavy undercoating on the bottom. 

After paint removal, the lower section of the boot lid was found to be perforated and was replaced. Time was spent to get body panel and bonnet alignments better.

After the body repairs were completed, the exterior was prepared and painted. It is now being reassembled for the 2010 driving season.

-- Rick Broduer

Employee Spotlight:
Dorian Custodia

Dorian Custodia, my first employee, is a master fabricator 'panel-beater' who has been here since 1991. He came to the shop looking for TR-7 parts and I offered him a job. He does our metal work, straightening and welding and is capable of creating any body panel that can't be repaired. 

Dorian amassed experience from inside and outside the shop, working on both British and American automobiles. Dorian is mostly self-taught and learned some advanced metal working techniques from Kent White of TM Technologies. 

Dorian's 1967 Jaguar 420 is awaiting slight modifications and rust repairs; he also owns numerous Triumphs, including a convertible GT-6 with a 5-speed gearbox and suspension modifications.

--Mike Engard

Out and About

February and early March were extremely busy for the Ragtops & Roadsters crew as we ventured out of the shop, despite the challenging winter weather, to display cars at several important shows and events. 

Continuing a tradition, we took several cars to the Philly Auto Show. In addition to giving us a chance to show off our great work, the show is an opportunity to promote the Concours d Elegance of the Eastern United States. Unfortunately, the Concours, which benefits the Burn Prevention Foundation, won't be held this year as organizers search for a new location; it's tentatively scheduled for June 2011.


One of the four cars we took to Philly was a 1960 Austin Healy 3000 Mark 1; we re-installed its rare gray interior. Another was a 1967 Jaguar XKE, which attracted plenty of positive attention. 

It's always neat to see folks come by, especially the kids, so they can get a close up and personal look at the cars we bring. We usually see lots of familiar faces, but we also make plenty of new friends, too.  

Next up was the Antique Auto Club of America (AACA) national meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Philadelphia Feb. 12-14. Unlike the Philly Car Show, which draws more causal fans, the AACA show brought out the hardcore collectors. Even though snow held down attendance, everyone had a great time. We brought a '61 Chrysler 300G to this one; somehow, we managed to squeeze into on a 19-foot freight elevator -- with a scant few inches to spare -- for the trip to the fourth floor. 

Next up was the British Motor Trade Association (BMTA) annual conference (Feb. 19-21), which was held at the Renaissance Hotel near the Philadelphia Airport. About 70 people involved in the British motor trade -- shop owners and vendors -- participated.

Friday's activities included a tour of the Motorcar Garage of Maple Shade, N.J. and an open public session featuring Mike Cook, columnist, newsletter editor and Jaguar NA Archivist. On Saturday, the group traveled to our shop in Perkasie for lunch and a tour, then over to Triumph Rescue/British Wiring in Bally, Berks County, PA. 

That evening, a banquet was held at The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum at the Philadelphia Auto Mall. Everyone got a sneak peak at the "Best of Britain" display, an amazing collection of 37 sport and racing cars I put together with author Jonathan Stein of Hagerty Shop Insurance. The "Best of Britain" ran through March 14; we're hoping it will become an annual event, even if the convention isn't held in Philadelphia.

CBS3 did a story about "The Best of Britain." 

The conference concluded Sunday with a presentation by Bentley Zionville on transitioning to a second generation and and lunch/presentation by Hagerty Shop Insurance.

We were back at the museum Sunday for lunch sponsored by Hemmings Sport and Exotic magazine.

-- Dave Hutchison