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May 2019



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In This Edition:

Through the Windscreen

Ragtops & Roadsters Spring Open House

May 18th

You are invited to stop by for our 25th Annual Spring Open House between 10 AM - 4 PM to see our latest restoration projects. Once again, we will have those delicious scones, teas, coffee and refreshments throughout the day. No need to register, just fire up your favorite collectible and stop by. Our staff and technicians will be on hand to answer any restoration questions you may have about your classic. We also plan to have some of our client's cars looking for new garages on display! This year we have more than a few Jaguars, an assortment of Austin Healeys, many Morgans, lots of Lotus, at least two Triumphs and a multitude of MGs!

Cars & Motorcycles of England

June 1st

The Delaware Valley Triumph and Delaware Valley Jaguar clubs are pleased to announce that the Cars and Motorcycles of England will be held on June 1, 2019 at Hope Lodge in Fort Washington. The Friends of Hope Lodge will also be hosting a beer tasting event with two live bands. Click here for Online Registration. The Delaware Valley Jaguar Club brings in about 75 Jaguars and the Delaware Valley Triumph Club "Cars and Motorcycles of England" usually draws about 150 or more multi-marque British cars and motorcycles. This is the largest British car show in the Philadelphia area. Click here for more information. 

The Elegance at Hershey

June 7th - 9th

The Elegance at Hershey begins with The Grand Ascent, a vintage hill climb exhibition in the European tradition, where drivers pilot some of the finest historic race cars up the back access road to the Hotel Hershey.  The Grand Ascent appeals to enthusiasts and curious spectators alike, as this two day day hill climb event is sanctioned by the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA), Cars & Coffee will be returning again, sponsored by our friends at LBI Limited on Saturday, adding to the celebration and the sophistication of the weekend. The Elegance reaches a crescendo on Sunday, with the highlight of the weekend, modeled after the finest Concours in Europe and America, The Elegance is a genteel garden party featuring the world’s finest collector cars, displayed around the classically manicured gardens of The Hotel Hershey. Stop by and visit us our exhibit in the Marketplace tent!

British Car Calendar of Events

Reoccurring Events

2nd Tue   MG Club of Philadelphia Mtg., Blue Bell, PA
3rd Mon   Austin Healey Sport & Touring Club Mtg., North Wales, PA
3rd Tue   DVT Club GTR Mthly Mtg., North Wales, PA
3rd Sun   DVJ Breakfast Social, Spring House, PA
Every Sat   Katie's Cars and Coffee, Great Falls, VA

May Events

5/3 – 5/5   Greenbriar Concours d'Elegance, White Sulphur Springs, WV
5/4   Britfest 2019, Succasunna, NJ
5/4   20th Annual British & European Car Show, Williamsburg, VA
5/4   Kiawah Island Concours d’Elegance, Kiawah Island, SC
5/11   Memorial Mountain Road Tour for Charles Runyan Armaugh PA
5/11   Scenic River Run,Tribute to Charles Runyan Yardley, PA
5/17 – 5/19   Import and Kit Car National, Carlisle, PA
5/18   25th Annual Ragtops & Roadsters Spring Open House, Perkasie, PA
5/19   Ferrari Concours Skippack PA
5/19   Delaware Valley Jaguar Holiday Luncheon Gwynedd PA
5/20 - 5/24   Triumph Register of America National Meet Dillard GA
5/25 – 6/2   British Car Week, Everywhere, , USA
5/26   103rd Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis, IN
5/31 – 6/2   Greenwich Concours, Greenwich, CT


Shop News

Motorcars Delivered... Ready for Spring Driving!

by: Dave Hutchison

This 1963 Morgan +4 was acquired three years ago by its current owner. The brakes needed work, as they had a rather nasty pull. After several frustrating attempts by others, this Morgan found its way to Ragtops & Roadsters. After a safety check and a proper brake repair, our client is now driving safely down the country roads!
The current owner of this 68 Morgan +4 4-seater inherited this special car from her father many years ago.  Little by little she is catching up with some deferred maintenance. We just rebuilt the sliding pillar front suspension and fitted new tyres all around. She had a good drive home, so look for this classic at Cars & Motorcycles of England.
Ragtops & Roadsters now handles service and restoration of Italian and German vintage cars!  This beautiful 1971 Mercedes 280 SL was restored here at Ragtops & Roadsters and painted by our sister shop Pollock Auto Restoration.  We just installed a new exhaust system and performed an annual service after a long winter nap!
The owner of this TR 4 enjoys this car as both his father and his brother have cared for it over the years.  His father bought it brand new from Motorsports of Havertown and his brother restored the car in 2000. We just did a safety check, changed the fluids, repaired some cosmetics. This TR 4 is now pre-registered for the show field at Car & Motorcycles of England!

In the Rearview

Triumph vs MG Spring Rally... The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat!

April 27th

I am pleased to report that the MG Club of Philadelphia battled the Delaware Valley Triumph Club on Saturday April 27th, starting in Paoli and ending in Kennett Square. Dating back to June 1997, these two clubs have met twice a year to carry on the competition between these rival vintage British marques. The winner is awarded the Lucas Cup and returns the perpetual trophy to the next rally with their name on it. At this time, the DVT has 23 wins and last weekend the MG Club of Philadelphia has evened the score! Congratulations are in order to all who participated in a well fought battle for the famous Lucas Cup!
About twenty MGs and Triumphs showed up in the Acme parking lot in Paoli at 9 AM to run the Spring Rally.  After a quick drivers meeting presented by Larry Macy, a longtime MG Club Member, we followed the written instructions handed out by Larry and we all left at two minute intervals. Without any indicated mileage we navigated through the winding through western Philadelphia suburbs. After a while we encountered some beautiful countryside in Chester County and we also had to run through some traffic on Rt 202!  We needed to return with all the 23 clues and be spot on time at 2:00 hours from start to end. Not early, not late. Sounds easy right?
A note from the author .... I have been running in rallies for over 25 years now, many early ones with my lovely wife, Charlene. Back then, we didn't do so well as it turns out that we each use different sides of our brains! Go figure! So, in an effort to preserve my marriage to this wonderful woman, a couple of years ago, I asked my adult sons to navigate. After a couple of tries, Chuck and I captured the Lucas Cup, then we brought home another win. Wow! Last spring, Ryan who is a technician here at Ragtops, navigated and we won again!  Three times in the last 2-3 years!  So, I strongly recommend getting your kids involved. Good for you and our hobby! With his careful control, this year Ryan took the wheel of our 1961 Triumph Italia 2000 and drove the 46 mile route while I navigated (a first for me).  Over the rivers and through the woods, we picked up every clue and got in at EXACTLY 2:00 hours flat!  We thought we NAILED IT!  Wrong! 
This year the big win for the 2019 Spring Rally went to a couple of great guys from the MG Club of Philadelphia with driver, Ken Brownn at the wheel of his 1975 MGB and navigator, Bernie Hall. It turns out that they did call that little dog on the mailbox a Dachshund not a Wiener Dog and they took the Lucas Cup home! After seven consecutive losses, needless to say the Philadelphia MG Club Members were very relived and very ecstatic with the results. A big congratulations to Ken and Bernie and the entire MG Club of Philadelphia! Job well done!
The MG Club of Philadelphia also took home the "Team Award" with the high average score of the day! Ryan and I were awarded Second Place and new DVT Members Doug and Juli Gramo took home a Third Place. This was the first rally they had ever entered, and their first in the 1979 Triumph Spitfire that they just bought a month ago! Earlier this week, we were informed that Nancy Anderson and Ted Campbell tied us for Second Place! The weather couldn't have been better for us to drive our MGs and Triumphs and we all had a great day together. We encourage you to join these clubs to participate in these events. Which club will take the lead at the Fall Rally next October? The battle rages on!

State-By-State Guide to License Plate Requirements
Newly Updated

by: SEMA & Dave Hutchison

Our clients often ask us how they should register their favorite collector car.  Much depends on how much the car will be driven.  Our owner, Mike Engard, spotted this update on the SEMA website and thought it would be a good idea to pass it along.  
After tracking and influencing license plate legislation nationwide, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) fulfilled the need for a comprehensive resource. The SAN has made it easy to look up each state’s requirements online. 

Bolting a license plate onto one’s prized vehicle is a necessary task that can be unpleasant. Thankfully, available options have made contending with the visual identifier increasingly less painful, yet legal. Governments have recognized the public’s desire for choices and have attempted to adapt their rules over time. In fact, each state offers an alternative plate that varies from the standard issue. Personalized versions continue to be more and more common. Given the choice, the car and truck community would prefer to run only a single, rear-mounted plate. These proposals are overwhelmingly favored by enthusiasts when considered. Such laws save states money, conserve resources and protect the aesthetic contours of collector vehicles.
Antique – Available for vehicles that are more than 25 years old that have been maintained in or restored to a condition that substantially conforms to manufacturer's specifications, and which may be used only for participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades and similar uses and not for general transportation.
YOM – Allows for the purchase of replica Year-Of-Manufacture license plates through the Delaware Historic Plate Company. Hobbyists should review the guidelines on the Delaware Historic Plate Company website before purchasing a replica plate.
Historic – Available for vehicles that are at least 20 years old that have not been substantially altered, remodeled, or re-manufactured from their original construction.  Historic vehicles cannot be used for general daily transportation.
Special Vintage Reproduction Plate – Reproduction of Maryland’s 1910 plate available to most vehicles, including historic vehicles and street rods.
YOM – Vehicles registered as “Historic” or “Street Rod” may display YOM plates with DMV approval.  The street rod or historic plates must be carried within the vehicle at all times.
New Jersey:
Historic – Available for vehicles that are at least 25 years old and used only for exhibition and educational purposes.
YOM – No law on YOM plates. Not allowed.
New York:
Historical – Available for vehicles that are at least 25 years old, used only as collector’s items or exhibition pieces, and not for daily transportation. Some vehicles that are less than 25 years old with unique characteristics may qualify for historical registration.
YOM – Vehicles that are more than 25 years old may display YOM plates with DMV approval. Vehicles registered with YOM plates may not be used for daily transportation.
Antique – Available for vehicles that are more than 25 years old that have been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformance with manufacturer specifications.
Classic – Available for vehicles that are at least 15 years old that have been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformance with manufacturer specifications and appearance.
Collectible – Available for a reconstructed motor vehicle, but not a reproduction thereof, substantially modified from the manufacturer’s original specifications and appearance and maintained in a collectible condition.
YOM – Vehicles manufactured in 1906 to 1975 that are registered as “Antique” or “Classic” may display Year-of-Manufacture plates with DMV approval.
We are here to help out with spring projects. Maybe it's time to take care of that deferred maintenance, restoration, preservation, and upgrade needs that are on your car's "to do" list? Click here to send an e-mail to or call us 215-257-1202 to schedule an appointment. We are currently scheduling appointments in late June and July, so it's not too late to plan for repair or restoration work so you can drive this summer! Click to see our updated Works In Progress page on our website.
We have recently listed more of our client's British cars looking for new homes. Click on our For Sale page to see current listings. Click here to see more pictures of this very clean well sorted 1974 Lotus Twin Cam Special five-speed shown below.
The asking price was just reduced!
Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
Copyright © 2019 Ragtops & Roadsters, All rights reserved.

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